Minister Kenney Announces Important Change for Live-in Caregivers

Extracted from – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/minister-kenney-announces-important-change-for-live-in-caregivers-2011-12-15

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Dec 15, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Live-in caregivers will be able to get open work permits about 18 months sooner, thanks to a processing change announced today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but must continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed,” said the Minister. “This is understandably frustrating. That’s why we have started issuing open work permits to live-in caregivers as soon as they have completed their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence.”

The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) allows Canadian families to hire workers from abroad to provide care to a child, an elderly person or an adult with disabilities when there is a demonstrated shortage of Canadians and permanent residents to fill available positions. Caregivers are obliged to work for two years, or 3,900 hours, and then become eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Until now, live-in caregivers waited for an initial approval on their application for permanent residence before being eligible for an open work permit. An open work permit allows the caregiver to move out of their employer’s home and seek jobs in other fields, if that is their wish. As of December 11, 2011, all live-in caregivers who had met their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence have had their files reviewed. Those who submitted an open work permit application with no missing information are being issued open work permits.

“I’d also like to thank the Toronto Caregiver Resource Centre for advocating on behalf of caregivers and bringing this situation to my attention,” the Minister added.

The LCP is a demand-based program and the number of caregivers accepted as permanent residents generally corresponds with the number who came to Canada as temporary foreign workers (TFWs) a few years earlier. For instance, about 4,700 live-in caregivers entered the program as TFWs in 2002, and about 4,500 permanent residents were accepted through the Live-in Caregiver Class in 2005. More than 7,200 caregivers entered the program in 2005 and about 10,400 individuals, including spouses and dependants of those caregivers, became permanent residents through the Live-in Caregiver Class three years later.

In 2010, CIC admitted a record number of permanent residents through the Live-in Caregiver Class-nearly 14,000 in all-corresponding with the record number of live-in caregivers who entered the country as TFWs in 2007.

In both 2009 and 2010, about five percent of all permanent residents to Canada were admitted through the Live-in Caregiver Class, a huge percentage for any single occupation.

However, the number of caregivers entering the program has declined every year since 2007.

“The change I have announced today will help caregivers settle into their new life in Canada while they wait for their permanent resident applications to be processed,” the Minister added. “And with the significant improvements being made to our global case processing system, my department’s officers will be better able to manage the file load between Canada and missions abroad and improve the efficiency of that processing.”

The Government of Canada has taken action to protect live-in caregivers from abuse and exploitation with regulatory improvements implemented in the Live-in Caregiver Program in 2010 and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2011. Changes include:

        --  allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900
            work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is
            appropriately recognized;
        --  the elimination of the need for a second medical examination when the
            caregiver applies for permanent residence;
        --  increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work
            obligations, from three years to four;
        --  the adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both
            parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime,
            holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
        --  defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the
            caregiver's travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance,
            workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
        --  emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire
            live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their
            employment immediately;
        --  a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the
            department's Call Centre;
        --  an assessment of the genuineness of the job offer, including
            confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence
            and providing child care, senior home support care or care of a disabled
            person in that household without supervision, as well as whether the
            employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the
            caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate;
            and
        --   a two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers,
            including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up
            to the terms of past job contracts.

Jo Frost: What it’s like to be SuperNanny…

Extracted from – http://www.madeformums.com/for-mums-and-dads/jo-frost—what-its-really-like-to-be-supernanny/20658.html

 

TV’s very own Mary Poppins tells MFM all about working in the US, offering tips to the stars and how she came up with the famed naughty step…

Jo explains how she tackled working in the USA
A modern day Mary Poppins!

The US move was exciting

It was just like doing my nanny job abroad, and I’d already worked with US families, so I was excited rather than anxious. Plus, the whole process was so quick, I didn’t have time to worry about how they’d receive me.

Mary Poppins was part of the publicity

There’s no nanny system in the US – anyone who takes care of children is called a babysitter – so people in the states have a high regard for the English nanny. The only one they really know is Mary Poppins, and her name was mentioned in all the pre-show publicity. I was proud that it was good PR for English nannies, after some of the bad press we’ve had.

At first they thought I was an actress

As so many US reality shows are scripted, everyone thought I wasn’t really a nanny, so it was fantastic when viewers started coming up to me and saying, “Your technique really works.” It was the same with the families I was going in to help: I don’t think they realised when they signed up that there would actually be a lot of hard graft involved.

They didn’t get my accent

I had to speak a bit slower at first because they couldn’t understand me. Then I’d tell children to put their pants on, meaning underwear, but they’d reach for their trousers, and I had to remember to say diaper instead of nappy. In the end the editing team compiled a board of ‘Jo-isms’: things I’d say that they didn’t understand, which they found really funny!

US families aren’t that different

Fundamentally, the parenting problems are the same as in England. I think that US families do seem to have a very positive outlook on life, though, which is great because I share that.

Parents need to take more responsibility

It’s a bad climate at the moment and governments could do more to help, but we need to take responsibility for our own families too, rather than blaming someone else when things go wrong.

It’s about sticking to your guns…

Decide how you’re going to parent and then be accountable for those decisions. It’s much more productive to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. I also want parents to realise that it’s all about enjoying the experience. Yes, there will always be ups and downs, but that’s all part of good parenting.

…but not being too stubborn to accept advice

It’s gotten to a point where parents get defensive when other people attempt to give them advice about their children. I sometimes tell parents things that the grandparents already know, but are too scared to say because they don’t want to affect the relationship they have with the parents and grandchildren. We must learn to accept that it’s just advice, not criticism.


Celebrities call me with their parenting problems

I’ve worked with two celebrity families on US Supernanny – one was Brian Wilson’s [of the Beach Boys] daughter and the other was a basketball player – and I do get other celebrities calling me for help. They have the same problems as every other parent. To their kids they’re just mum or dad.

I’ve been on the brink of tears many times

I’ve done more than a hundred families now, and every one touches me. I’ve worked with a mother who has two young children. It was the father who contacted me for help – he was dying of stomach cancer. As soon as I agreed to come along, he passed away, so I was in the home helping out a week after he was buried. I cried every day. The little girl kept asking “Where’s daddy?” I got family and friends to make video clips of their memories of him so she’d have them when she grew up, and we made a book of photos.

The worst thing is seeing a child with a broken spirit

I’ve only come across a couple of children like this, and they break my heart. Then there are the children with parents who need professional help – cases of abuse, for example. It’s hard to put your emotions to one side. But that’s why watching the DVD of the parents’ behaviour at the beginning of the show is so vital. The parents often say to me, “I can’t believe I behave like that,” when they see it. I’m proud of how the shows have made parents talk. It used to be that families kept all their problems hidden, but now people seem to feel able to talk at the school gates. And that’s all thanks to those brave families who signed up for the first few shows and were happy to air their problems in public.

The hard work’s worth it

All the travelling and living out of a suitcase (I don’t own a house because I’m never in one place long enough) seems worthwhile when you get comments like the one I had recently. I was at Gatwick airport when a lady approached me holding my latest book, Jo Frost’s Confident Baby Care (Orion, £12.99). She said, “This is you, isn’t it? I’ve read six or seven others and this one has really helped me.”

I came up with the naughty step years ago

It was simply a part of everything I did when I worked as a nanny, but back then I didn’t have the name – it was just the place you went when you were naughty. I actually give advice on all aspects of parenting, but as you can see, the production company does like to focus on discipline as a staple for the show.

The Supernanny glasses aren’t a gimmick

The glasses are mine, but the suit isn’t – the production company wanted me to wear a suit so that people could tell the difference between me and the family members. But I had to put my foot down and say that I wouldn’t wear the suit for the whole time, because it’s just not practical when you’re down on the floor interacting with kids.

I was good with people even as a child

My parents say that I was a very sociable little one. When we were away on holiday I was always the one to bring back new friends to meet my family.

My earliest childhood memory is at the beach, digging in the sand

I’m at my happiest by the sea and I loved building sandcastles as a child. I was always determined to fill the moat I’d created with water from the sea, not realising that it would all drain away. I also wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger – I used to say “I want to dig in the sand and find things from Egypt, I love Egyptology”!

I used to drive my parents mad over ice cream

As a child I always wanted an ice cream, no matter what the weather, and I would have a temper tantrum if I was told ‘no’. Nowadays my downfall is mint choc chip…

I would definitely like children one day…

I’m not in a relationship at the moment, however, so I’m not feeling broody just yet. I support National Adoption Day, though, and I believe that you can love a child even if he’s not biologically yours, so there might be that possibility in the future.

How I became Supernanny

I always loved babies, so it was natural for me to start babysitting when I was a teenager. I also loved English literature and musical theatre, so I headed off to drama college. I was still babysitting too, and I started doing more and more, and finally it became my career.

Fast-forward to 2003 and I’d covered all the different types of nannying, from troubleshooting for families to working abroad. Then I saw an advert in a magazine for a nanny with more than five years’ experience, to give advice to chaotic households. My dad used to say our phone at home was a nanny hotline because I had so many people calling for advice, so I figured the job was something I’d be good at. After an interview and stints helping two families, during which I was filmed on a camcorder, I got a call saying Channel 4 liked the pilot. The rest, as they say, is history…

Mums’ stories

“I’d just spent another mealtime in tears with Paola refusing to eat her tea. That evening I watched Jo on TV, dealing with an even fussier eater. Following Jo’s advice (using a fun reward chart and smaller portions) I was able to get Paola to try vegetables. A year on, she even eats sprouts!”

Lyn Santini, 31, from Aberystwyth, mum to Paola, 3

“My 2-year-old son, Alex, used to run off whenever we were out. I’d end up dashing after him with Chloe in the buggy. I watched Jo show a family how to get ‘little runaways’ to hold on to the buggy: no holding on, no going out. After four trips, Alex was holding on without being told to. Amazing!”

Carrie Smith, 27, from Reading, mum to Alex, 2, and Chloe, 1

Funny moments

  • “On the first day of the new show, I was being filmed walking up to the house. It was pouring with rain, and I didn’t want to get my feet wet so I was dodging puddles. I noticed that the cameraman was laughing, so I asked what was so funny. “You look like you’re drunk, swerving from side to side,” he said. Take two!”
  • “I was in Colorado with a family and I didn’t have my boots with me. As I was observing them they decided to go out in the snow, so I had to go out, too. After a while out there, I remember saying into my mic, “Help, I can’t move, can somebody get me.” My feet had frozen and I had to be carried inside. Literally, my feet had to thaw!”

18 ways to say “no” positively to a child – good tips!

Extracted from – http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/18-ways-say-no-positively

18 Ways to Say No Positively

“No” is a power-packed word, quick on the lips, easy to say. Your child will hear you use this word often, and you will hear it from your child as well. It’s necessary for a parent to say “no” to a child so the child can later say “no” to himself. All children—and some adults—have difficulty delaying gratification. “I want it now” is a driving desire, especially in toddlers. Learning to accept “no” from someone else is a prelude to saying “no” to herself. What gets children (and adults) into trouble is a knee-jerk, impulsive reaction to a want, an immediate “yes” without taking time to run it through their internal sensor and consider the necessity of saying “no” to themselves. Here’s how to use this negative little word to teach positive messages.

1. Strike a Balance

Too many no’s and too many yeses cripple a child’s self- discipline. It’s important to achieve the right blend of yeses and no’s in a child’s environment. If you rarely say “no” to your child, the few times that you do he’ll disintegrate because he’s not used to being frustrated. If his whole day is full of “no’s,” the child believes the world is a negative place to be and will grow up a negative person. The real world will always be full of yeses and no’s. In many homes, children soon learn who the yes parent is and who’s more likely to say “no”. Even the Ten Commandments has do’s and don’ts.

2. No’s Grow Too

The art of saying “no” develops along with your baby. During the first year, a baby’s needs and wants are the same, so that you are mainly a “yes” parent. During the second year, baby’s wants are not always safe or healthy, so you become a “yes” and “no” parent. From nine to fourteen months, no-saying is straight forward. We call them “low energy no’s.” Between fourteen and eighteen months, as babies click into overdrive, they get easily frustrated and are likely to protest being steered in a direction other than the one they want to go. This is when you will need both high energy no’s and very creative alternatives. By eighteen months, no-saying can begin to be more matter-of-fact. Parents can begin to convey an attitude of “that’s life and I’m confident you can deal with it.” By two-years-of-age toddlers are experts at saying “no”.

3. Use Creative Alternatives To “No”

one morning when she was eighteen- months-old our daughter Lauren, who was going through an impulsive phase, flitted around the house climbing and getting into everything. She was endangering herself and trashing the house. After the twentieth “no,” I was tired of hearing that word and so was Lauren. on the wall in one of our children’s bedrooms I noticed a poster of a kitten stuck out on a limb at the top of a tree. The caption read, “Lord, protect me from myself.” I realized that Lauren needed rescuing from her impulsive self. She needed a change of environment. We spent the rest of the day outside. Parks and play-yards provide space and a “yes” environment in which to roam and climb. If you find yourself isolated with a curious toddler who is flitting from thing to thing with you chasing him around the house saying “no,” consider changing to something more fun. Go outside; take along a book, plant yourself in a safe location, and let him run.

DISCIPLINE TIP

The fewer “no’s,” the better your day goes.

4. Teach Stop Signs

Even in the early months, teach baby to recognize body language that means “stop.” Your baby needs to be exposed to “stop” body language long before hearing the “no” word. The first nip on your nipple during breastfeeding will invoke an “ouch” sign on your face; the first time your baby reaches for something dangerous, your face will register alarm. You are likely to get the best results from your stop signs if your baby has been used to positive body language, so that any change makes him sit up and take notice. Your “no’s” will be more meaningful during toddlerhood if your baby sees a lot of “yes” body language: looks of pride and approval, gestures of delight and pleasure, eye-to-eye contact, hugs, tickles, and a sparkly face that says “I love you, you’re great!”We have noticed that attachment-parented children, because they spend hours a day in arms and in face-to-face contact, easily learn to read parents’ faces and body language. Having lots of face-to- face contact in the early months makes face-to-face communication easier in the months and years to come. Some children are so impressed by body language that you can get your point across without even saying a word. An expressive mother of a connected two-year-old told us: “Usually all I have to do is glance at her with a slight frown on my face, and she stops misbehaving.”

5. Teach Stop Sounds

Often a change in your mood or body language is not enough to redirect impulsive actions. Words are needed. Children soon learn which discipline words carry more power and demand a quicker response than others. And children soon learn which tone of voice means business and which allows for some latitude. Arm yourself with a variety of “stop-what-you’re- doing” sounds so that you can choose one that fits the occasion. Tailor the intensity of the sound to the gravity of the behavior. Save the really big sounds for true danger.

6. Master “The Look”

You can often correct a child without saying a word. I have noticed that master disciplinarians use a look of disapproval that stops the behavior, but preserves the child’s self-image. Martha, after disciplining eight children, has mastered “the look”: head turned a bit, eyes penetrating, just the right facial gesture and tone of voice to convey to the child “I don’t like what you’re doing, but I still feel connected to you. I know that you know better.” Remember, your eyes will disclose what you are really thinking and feeling. If you are feeling anger or contempt toward your child, that’s what she will read in your eyes. If one or both of you recognize this is happening, you will have to apologize for the harshness of the feelings communicated toward her person by “the look.” Be sure that stop signs and stop sounds stop the behavior and not the growth of self-worth in your child. Your child should understand that you disapprove of the behavior, not the child. To be certain you strike the right note in disapproval discipline, follow the look with a hug, a smile, or a forthright explanation, “I don’t like what you did, but I like you.”

7. Create Alternatives To The N-Word

Constantly saying “no” causes this word to lose its punch. Since stop sounds are used mainly to protect, try using more specific words that fit the situation. Consider this example: When a toddler is about to reach into the cat litter box your first reaction is to say “no,” but follow it up with an explanation: “Dirty! Make you sick.” Next time the child goes for the litter box (and he will do it again), instead of “no,” say “Dirty! Make you sick.” That and a disgusted expression on your face will help the child learn the why as well as the what of good behavior, and the litter box will lose its attraction. (We are assuming that the litter box is kept in a location well away from the toddler’s beaten path. Litter, like sand, is irresistible to babies.) Babies start reaching for “no-nos” around six months.Coincidentally, one day two-year-old Lauren came prancing into our study clutching a bag of peanuts. Instead of grabbing the peanuts from her and shouting “no” (they are on our chokable food list for children under three), Martha looked Lauren straight in the eyes and calmly said, “Not for Lauren.” Her tone of voice and concerned look stopped Lauren in her tracks. Martha picked Lauren up (still clutching the peanuts) and headed off for the pantry where they found a safer snack. By using our standard “not for Lauren” phrase and giving her a safe alternative, she didn’t have time to consider throwing a fit, which a “no” surely would have produced. In any family there will be items that are “not for” the little one. When you use this phrase calmly and consistently from early on the toddler understands you are protecting him.

“No” is so easy to say. It requires no thought. It’s knee-jerk automatic, yet irritatingly oppressive. Saying “cannot” communicates more and you’ll use it more thoughtfully (i.e. in situations where baby truly cannot proceed). You’re respecting his mind as you protect his body. In our experience, babies respond to “stop” better than to “no.” It gets the child’s attention, and stops behavior long enough for you to plan other strategies. “Stop” is protective rather than punitive. “No” invites a clash of wills, but even strong-willed children will usually stop momentarily to evaluate a “stop” order, as if they sense danger ahead. Strong-minded children often ignore “no” if they’ve heard it a thousand times before. Even “stop” loses its command value if overused.

8. Use “The Voice”

Besides mastering “the look,” reserve a special tone of voice for those occasions when you must get your point across. A veteran disciplinarian shared her secret with us: “I am an easy-going mommy, but my children know just by my tone of voice when they have crossed the line. one day our two-year-old was misbehaving and our four-year-old said, “Don’t mess with Mommy when she talks like that!”

9. Give Positive Subs

Present a positive with your negative: “You can’t have the knife, but you can have the ball.” Use a convincing expression to market the “can do” in order to soften the “can’t do.” “You can’t go across the street,” you say with a matter-of-fact tone of voice; then carefully state, “You can help Mommy sweep the sidewalk.” There is a bit of creative marketing in every mother.

10. Avoid Set-ups

If you’re taking your child along with you to a toy store to buy a birthday present for your child’s friend, realize that you are setting yourself up for a confrontation. Your child is likely to want to buy everything in the store. To avoid the inevitable “No, you can’t have that toy,” before you go into the store tell him that you are there to buy a birthday present and not a toy for him so that he is programmed not to expect a toy.

11. “No” Is a Child’s Word, Too

Prepare yourself to be on the receiving end of “no.” Your two-year-old has just run out the door. You ask her to come back. She yells “no!” Your first reaction is likely to be, “This little pip-squeak is not going to talk back to me that way. I’ll show her who’s boss…” (In our family, being disrespectful is a real “no-no.”) Understanding what’s behind that two-year-old and that two-letter word will help you accept this normal toddler behavior. Don’t take “no” personally. Saying “no” is important for a child’s development, and for establishing his identity as an individual. This is not defiance or a rejection of your authority. Some parents feel they cannot tolerate any “no’s” at all from their children, thinking that to permit this would undermine their authority. They wind up curtailing an important process of self-emergence. Children have to experiment with where their mother leaves off and where they begin. Parents can learn to respect individual wishes and still stay in charge and maintain limits. As your child gets older, the ability to get along with peers in certain situations (stealing, cheating, drugs, and so on), will depend on her ability to say “no”.By eighteen months Lauren had surmised that “no” meant we wanted her to stop what she was doing. one day she was happily playing with water at the kitchen sink. As she saw me approaching, and in anticipation of me stopping her play, she blurted out an emphatic “No, Dad!” Lauren had staked out her territory, and she had concluded she had a right to do this. Her “no” meant she was guarding her space.

12. Use a Funny “No”

One afternoon I (Martha) walked into the TV room and saw Matthew and his friend watching a video that the older children had rented and watched the day before. (Later I found out Matthew had also watched it at that time.) I took one look at the movie and realized I would have to ask him to turn it off. Besides, it was the middle of the day and the boys should have been playing outside. As I stood watching the movie for a few moments planning my course of action, I caught the flavor of the character in the movie and in a spurt of inspiration decided to use humor to say no. As I clicked off the TV, I spun around on my heels and launched into a monologue using the character’s facial expressions, accent, and hand gestures. I must have done a good job of impersonating this actor because both boys sat staring at me wide-eyed as though they couldn’t believe their mom was capable of such improvised insanity. They both jumped up and headed out the door as the voice of this character told them to find something better to do. They were still laughing.

13. Personalize “No”

We are convinced Lauren is destined for public relations. Her “no, dad” was the diplomatic way to say no. By adding “dad” she personalized her message. Rather than giving a dictatorial “no,” we add the child’s name. If you tend to shout, a personalized address at least softens the sound and respects the listener. Some parents confuse respecting the child with granting him equal power, but this is not a power issue. The person with the power should respect the person taken charge of. That consideration holds true in parenting; it holds true in other relationships as well.

14. Have a “Yes” Day

Jill, mother of five-year-old Andrew, confided to me, “I don’t like what’s happening to me. I want to enjoy being a mother but our whole day is spent in conflict with each other. Andrew won’t mind when I ask him to do even the simplest things. I’m becoming a cranky person, and I want to be a happy mother.” I advised her, “Tell Andrew exactly what you want. Say ‘I want to be a happy Mommy, not a cranky Mommy. (or ask Andrew ‘Would you rather have a happy Mommy or a cranky Mommy?’) To help me be a happy Mommy, we’re going to have yes days. Every time I ask you to do something and you say ‘yes Mommy,’ I’m going to put a yes on the chart. At the end of the day if there are more yeses than no’s, that’s a yes day, and we’ll do something special together.'” (or, let Andrew mark yes on his own chart.) Soon Andrew will realize that the happy Mommy is more fun to be with than the cranky Mommy, which will motivate him to continue having yes days.

15. Be Considerate

When you have to stop a behavior, there is no reason to be rude. For example, your baby discovers the tape dispenser someone left out. This is a wonderful toy. Instead of descending on him and snatching it from his hands, causing him to wail pitifully as you carry him off, you can take a few moments to explore it with him. Then you say “bye-bye” to the tape and hand him a decent length of the fascinating stuff to compensate for not getting the whole roll as you head off for a perhaps less interesting, but more age-appropriate activity.

16. When You Say It, Mean It

Follow through on your directives. For months we said to Lauren that in order to have bedtime stories she had to submit to toothbrushing. And for months it worked, sometimes easily, sometimes with a certain amount of coaxing and saying, “okay, no stories…” one night she decided to test me (Martha). I could tell by the set of her jaw and firmly shut lips that she finally was “calling my bluff.” So rather than proceed with my coaxing and humoring, I calmly said “okay, no stories!” I turned off the lights and carried her to bed. She fussed a bit as I lay there with her, because she realized I had called her bluff and now the lights were out—the irreversible sign that the next step was to go to sleep. After that, toothbrushing went unchallenged and stories were reinstated.

17. Are You a Mother Who Can’t Say No

In their zeal to give their children everything they need, some parents risk giving their children everything they want. Mothers who practice attachment parenting risk becoming totally “yes” mothers, with “no” being foreign to their parenting style.It is important for the mother to feel comfortable saying ‘no’ to her little one from the very beginning. In fact, it begins when she teaches her newborn to latch on to the breast correctly. It is the mother’s first discipline situation— to show baby how to latch on properly so that he can get fed sufficiently and she can avoid sore nipples. Some mothers cannot do this. They are afraid to be assertive for fear of causing baby to cry. They would rather let the baby do it wrong and put up with the pain. She will say ‘no’ early on when he yanks her hair or bites the breast while nursing. By telling him to stop because it hurts, she is beginning to teach boundaries. Serious no-saying comes with toddlerhood. Besides the literal word ‘no’ there are many ways to communicate that something is not safe or appropriate. Whether she says “stop that” or “put it down” or “not safe,” or she physically redirects her toddler’s activity, she is consistently and gently redirecting behavior and teaching boundaries. Whatever the terminology, saying ‘no’ is not a negative thing. It is a way of giving, and it takes a lot of effort. Mothers who can’t say ‘no’ will have a big problem on their hands down the line. They become the moms that we see getting yanked around like puppets by their preschoolers.

When mothers begin saying ‘no’ at the appropriate times—confidently, firmly, and lovingly—It does not threaten the child. It might wrinkle him for a few minutes because he doesn’t like hearing ‘stop’ or ‘wait’ or whatever the word might be that you pick.

18. When Your Child Won’t Accept No

Children, especially those with a strong will, try to wear parents down. They are convinced they must have something or their world can’t go on. They pester and badger until you say “yes” just to stop the wear and tear on your nerves. This is faulty discipline. If however, your child’s request seems reasonable after careful listening, be willing to negotiate. Sometimes you may find it wise to change your mind after saying “no”. While you want your child to believe your “no” means no, you also want your child to feel you are approachable and flexible. It helps to hold your “no” until you’ve heard your child out. If you sense your child is uncharacteristically crushed or angry at your “no,” listen to her side. Maybe she has a point you hadn’t considered or her request is a bigger deal to her than you imagined. Be open to reversing your decision, if warranted. Make sure, though, that she realizes it was not her “wear down” tactics that got the reversal of your decision.Our daughter Erin seems destined to become a trial lawyer; she pleads her case with logic and emotion. Eventually, we learned to say “no” without discouraging Erin’s creative persistence. When Erin wanted a horse, we said “no” (we had too many dependents already). Erin persisted. By trial and error we’ve learned that any big wish in a child, no matter how ridiculous, merits hearing the child’s viewpoint. We listened attentively and empathetically while Erin presented her horse wish. We countered, “Erin, we understand why you want a horse. You could have a lot of fun riding and grooming a horse, and some of your friends have horses.” (We wanted Erin to feel we understood her point of view). “But we have to say no; and we will not change our minds. Now let’s sit down and calmly work this out.” (Letting the child know her request is non-negotiable diffuses the child’s steam and saves you from getting worn down.) “You are not yet ready to care for a horse.” (We enumerated the responsibilities that went along with the fun of owning a horse.) “When you have finished another six months of lessons and you show us that you can be responsible for a horse, we’ll talk about it then.” Nine months later Tuffy was added to our list of dependents. Erin got her horse and she learned some valuable lessons in life: how to delay her gratification, and with privileges come responsibilities.

Nanny Personality and Risk Assessments – Benefits and challenges

Extracted from –  http://www.parentinghelpme.com/parenting-help-tips/would-your-nanny-pass-these-psychological-tests/

Nanny personality and risk assessments are psychological tests that help parents assess potential Nannies, Au Pairs or Babysitters. The tests provide a better insight into the caregiver’s personality and traits, as well as an assessment of possible risk factors, and allow parents to select the best possible nanny. Similar tests are used by corporate and government organizations worldwide (including some 80% of the US Fortune 500 companies and 75% of the UK Times 100 companies) as well as by some Nanny, Babysitter and Au Pair agencies and childcare organizations. As a matter of fact, such tests are mandated by the US government for all Au Pair agencies.

Why are such tests needed? Aren’t interviews and checking references sufficient to select a nanny? Most recruitment specialists agree that the validity of interviews is quite low, even when conducted by trained professionals. Most parents are not trained interviewers and are usually lacking the necessary experience to properly formulate interview questions, read between the lines of what the applicant says, interpret non-verbal signs and body language, etc.

A Nanny Personality and Risk Assessment test can be considered as a very detailed and structured interview that overcomes some of the parents’ face-to-face interview limitations.  The test includes several hundred questions, covering all relevant issues, including questions which parents may feel uncomfortable to ask in a face-to-face interview. Personal traits covered may include responsibility, obedience and discipline, self control, emotional stability, coping with pressure, positive attitude and service awareness. Risk assessment issues should include violent behavior, drug abuse, drinking problems, truthful reporting, respect to property and more. In a similar manner to an ordinary interview, online interactive tests of this sort allow different questions to be asked according to prior responses, as well as provide real-time feedback to the applicant triggered by specific answers that are considered problematic.

Yet, the main benefit of the Nanny Personality and Risk Assessment test is in the accuracy of the information provided. A properly constructed and administered test includes various mechanisms which are aimed at identifying misleading and inaccurate responses; the large number of questions (some repeating themselves in different versions), the way those questions are structured (which may sometimes seem peculiar), the time constraints and some additional mechanisms (which won’t be detailed in this article for obvious reasons).

Using a Nanny Personality and Risk assessment by parents may also create certain challenges. Some parents are concerned that the use of such a test may offend an applicant and create a bad impression. While this may be true and certain applicants may even refuse to take such tests, parents should always keep in mind that such tests are a standard procedure for applicants in many business and government organizations, as well as part of the screening process in a number of Nanny and Au Pair agencies. There is really no good reason why parents recruiting a nanny on their own, will not benefit from the use of such assessments. There is no other position as important and as critical as that of a child caregiver. Parents shouldn’t compromise on the screening process and use all possible means to make the best-informed decision. To minimize objections, parents should explain to the nanny about the test, why they feel it is important, and ask her to put herself in their place, facing a similar decision about her own kids.

Another challenge is for parents to avoid using the test results as a single decision factor. Parents should keep in mind that Nanny Personality and Risk assessments do not replace interviews or any other component of the existing caregiver screening process. As any other psychological tool, they are not 100% accurate and should be considered a decision supporting tool and not a decision making tool. When hiring a nanny, parents should always interview applicants, check references and use their intuition, which is as important and useful as any scientific tool.

Nanny Personality and Risk Assessments should be used correctly to ensure test results are valid. The applicant must read fluently the language in which the test is administered. Applicants who are not fluent in the test language should not be tested. Tests are also designed for a specific purpose. For example, a test designed to assess applicants for a job should not be used for self-test purposes, such as by someone who wishes to check if he is suitable for a certain position or occupation.

Designed and used correctly, Nanny Personality and Risk assessments are invaluable for parents who are looking for a nanny for their child, and should become a standard component of the screening process of any childcare provider.

Written by Yossi Pinkas, TakeCare, www.take-care.me

 

Nanny V Childcare – The pros and cons..

Extracted from – http://www.pregnancy.org/article/daycare-vs-nannycare-pros-and-cons

 

Daycare

Pros:

  1. Cost: It is one of the most affordable options for childcare.
  2. Your child’s care provider is in a supervised environment with many adults present.
  3. Daycare centers must meet minimum state safety and sanitary regulations.
  4. You maintain your privacy. You do not have to open up your home to anyone.
  5. Your child will have more opportunity to socialize with other children.

Cons:

  1. It is very likely that your child will be sick more frequently.
  2. Shipping your child to a daycare center can be inconvenient. Packing baby supplies, bundling kids up in the winter and getting yourself ready for work can be very time consuming.
  3. It is a fact of life that daycare centers pay their employees very low wages. Consequently, turnover is high. If consistency in care providers is important to you, this may not be the best option.
  4. If your child is very ill, daycare centers will not allow your child to attend. You will need to find back up care or be prepared to take days off from work.
  5. Many daycare centers dictate when your child should be off the bottle, pacifier, take naps etc. If the idea of someone else calling the shots with your child’s routine turns you off, you may not like this form of care for your child. On the other hand, some parents like the idea of the daycare center doing the “dirty work” and appreciate someone else getting their toddler to give up his comfies.
  6. If your work hours are longer than the standard hours of operation for the daycare center, you will need to arrange for drop off and/or pickup by either a family member or another childcare provider.

Nanny Care

Pros:

  1. One-on-one care for your child. This is especially desirable in the infant years. Babies are held more often, comforted when crying.
  2. Your child is cared for in a familiar and comfortable environment, your home.
  3. More convenient for parents. Parents do not have to dress and pack up kids to transport them to outside care.
  4. Less illness. Children do not catch every illness that is going around. Parents are not required to find sick care for their child or to take as much time off to care for a sick child.
  5. Many times, parents enjoy a more flexible schedule. If parents need to leave early in the morning and can not return by the standard closing time of a daycare center, nanny care is sometimes a much better alternative.
  6. More control over values, rules your child is exposed to. Parents can communicate to Nanny the way things are done and ask that Nanny follow family rules, teach family values, etc.

Cons:

  1. Cost: Nannycare is the most expensive form of childcare. Recruiting a nanny can be costly when using a Nanny agency. Weekly salaries for nannies are 2 to 3 times the cost of a week of daycare. Cost becomes more comparable to daycare when 2 or more children are cared for by the nanny.
  2. Turnover: Finding the right nanny can be challenging. Some families go through many nannies until they find the right match. This lack of consistency is difficult on the children and the parents.
  3. Lack of Privacy: Some families do not like the idea of having a “stranger” in their home all day. And, when a live-in is involved, the lack of privacy spills over to evening and weekend hours as well.
  4. Lack of Security: Everyone has heard the stories of abusive nannies. Even though this is not the norm, many families feel the risk is just too high to trust someone with their child.
  5. Hassle: Employing someone in your home does come with some added “hassles.” Calculating and paying payroll taxes, providing benefits such as paid vacation time, health insurance, sick days. All of these things are imperative if you want to keep your nanny and keep her happy. But, when holding down a full time job and taking care of your children when you are home, taking care of nanny too, can sometimes be difficult for families to remember.
  6. Back up care. You will still need to arrange for back up care when nanny is sick or takes vacation time.

 

10 ways to get the kids to eat their veggies!

Extracted from – http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/02/kids.eat.vegetables.ep/index.html

 

(CNN) — As a parent, you might look at the government’s new nutrition icon and think, “Really?”

The image is a dinner plate divided into sections. Half the plate is full of fruits and vegetables.

That’s right — half of what your child eats is supposed to be fruits and vegetables. Not hot dogs, not hamburgers, not chicken nuggets, but broccoli, squash, Brussels sprouts, and other things that come from the ground.

“It’s extremely tough to get your child to eat half a plate of fruits and vegetables,” says Jessica Seinfeld, author of two books on cooking for kids. “I’ve talked to thousands and thousands of parents, and most of them can’t get their kids to try them.”

Statistics show kids aren’t getting nearly enough fruits and veggies. Only 22% of children ages 2 to 5 meet government recommendations for vegetable consumption, according to a 2009 study by researchers at Ohio State University.

It only gets worse as children get older: Just 16% of children ages 6 to 11 meet the government’s guidelines, and only 11% of those ages 12 to 18.

In the study of more than 6,000 kids and teens, about a third of vegetable consumption was fried potatoes (potato chips, french fries, etc.), and a little more than a third of the fruit consumption was juice — so if you don’t include those, the percentages get even lower.

There’s no one way to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies, but here are ten tips straight from moms.

1. Get them while they’re hungry.

From Dr. Ann Kulze, family physician, author of “Eat Right for Life,” and mother of Liz, 21, Frazier, 20, Jack, 19, and Lucie, 16.

If they’re hungry, they’ll eat. Before dinner, serve an appetizer of colorful vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers, along with a hummus or low-fat salad dressing, Kulze suggests.

2. Institute the “no thank you bite” rule.

From Amy Traverso, Yankee Magazine’s lifestyle editor and mother of 3-year-old Max.

Tell your child he has to take a bite before vetoing something on his plate.

“We figure as long as our son is tasting the food, he’ll eventually get comfortable with it,” Traverso says. “It works pretty well.”

3. Make up cute names.

From Susan Risdal, an administrator with an IT company and the mother of C.J., 38, Cedric, 36, Dan, 30, and Lars and Rebecca, 26. She’s also grandmother of Theodore, 7, Alexander, 4, Jess, 2, and Jaxon, 2 months.

Marketers do this, so why shouldn’t you? Once Risdal started calling Brussels sprouts “hero buttons,” her kids couldn’t get enough of them.

4. Shop with your kids.

From Eileen Wolter, who writes a blog called A Suburban State of Mom. She’s the mother of 6-year-old Luke and 3-year-old Graeme.

“Let them pick out the fruits and vegetables,” Wolter says. “Let them smell the produce and admire the colors.”

5. Cook with your kids.

From Shannon Duffy, mother of Dakota, 15, and Dylan, 9.

A few years back, Duffy asked Dylan to make the green beans — add some butter, sprinkle on some seasonings — while she worked on other dishes.

“When we sat down to eat, Dylan insisted on eating the green beans because, as he put it, ‘I made them.'” Two years later, he’s still eating his veggies as long as he helps prepare them.

6. Have a “veggie night.”

From Mia Redrick, who has her own blog, Time for Mom-Me, and is mother of Patrick, 13, Alexandra, 9, and Matthew, 6.

This way, there’s no competition from other types of foods.

“Serve up edamame, hummus with veggies, mushroom burgers with Swiss, etc.,” Redrick suggests.

7. Hide the veggies.

From Jessica Seinfeld, author of “Deceptively Delicious,” and mother of Sascha, 10, Julian, 8, and Shepherd, 5.

In Seinfeld’s book, she tells parents how to stealthily sneak pureed vegetables into everything from shrimp dumplings to quesadillas.

8. Make fruits and vegetables the easy option.

From Coco Peate, blogger at vidacoco.com, and mother of Sophia, 7, Maddy, 5, Danny, 2, and 2-month old Anthony.

Take a tip from the geniuses who thought to put potato chips in single-serving bags. Stock a kid-accessible shelf in your fridge with little bags of cut fruit and vegetables, applesauce, and fruit cups.

9. Let them use fun gadgets.

From Althea Hughes Wills, blogger at Raw Mocha Angel.

What kid doesn’t love gadgets? Let them use a blender, juicer, and food processor to make smoothies and other recipes with fruits and vegetables. Use proper supervision, of course.

10. Bribe with dessert.

From Natalie Boecker, marketing executive, mother of Ali, 27, and Pam, 23.

“Didn’t want to finish what was good for them? No problem — no dessert,” Boecker says. “Maybe not the healthiest way to get them to eat vegetables, but it worked for us.”

Getting the kids to take a bath – helpful tips!

Extracted from – http://talkingtotoddlers.com/getting-kids-to-take-a-bath.htm

 

Some kids love to take baths. But with other kids, some parents feel like they’re asking their kids to open wide to have teeth pulled out. What can you do, as a parent, to get kids to take a bath?

Before I give you a few solutions, I thought it would be fun to share some of the moments that made my wife and I laugh over the last couple of years. My personal favorite is when our two daughters were taking a bath together. Our older daughter said to the youngest, “Sweetie, don’t drink the water because I peed in the bath”. We were both just about rolling on the floor when that came out of her mouth. Another time, when my daughter was about 3, I was taking a bath with her while my wife was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. My daughter looked at my wife and said, “Mommy, did you know that Daddy has a tail?” I think the neighbors must have heard us laughing at that one.

When we give our kids baths in our home, it has been programmed in their minds that bath time is fun. We laugh. We sing. We play with toys. We talk about anything. Both of our kids love taking baths because they see it as a really good time. I think that this is the key to making sure your kids are willing participants when it comes to getting squeaky clean.

Here are a few tips to get you going in this direction:

  • Let your child sit in the bathroom while you take a bath. Put a few bath toys in the bath and play with them yourself. It seems weird but you might just get your child interested enough to want to join you.
  • Get in the tub with your kids! In the toddler years this is a normal and healthy thing to do. Splash around with your kids and take turns dumping water on each other. Laugh about it.
  • Get your child to pick a favorite toy to bring into the bath. In a really difficult situation have the child actually pick the toy out at the store him or herself, but only allow the child to play with this toy in the bath.
  • Sing songs in the bath together.
  • Give your child a straw to blow bubbles in the water with. This simple “toy” seems to really give kids a ton of pleasure. Just make sure they aren’t using it to drink the bath water!
  • Last but not least, use the language tools that I teach in the “Talking to Toddlers” audio course. Presuppositions, double binds, yes sets and reframing techniques are just a few of the tools you’ll learn in this program. They are designed to get your toddlers to agree with your requests without resistance. They really do work!

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you understand this one simple thing – getting your kids to take a bath is best accomplished by making it fun for the child. Every child is different, so find something that works for your child. Whatever you do, remember to be flexible and try new things.

Enjoy your children,

By Chris Thompson

Hey nannies, looking for some fun things to do inside with the kids when it’s cold and wet out? see below!

Are the kids driving you, the parents and themselves crazy just from being stuck inside due to the horrible weather? If so, then see the link below for some terrific rainy and snow day activities for the children aged 6 to 10 to keep them occupied and give you some much needed quiet time!

Everything from memory and word games to cards and physical activity. The link below will provide hours and hours of fun for not only the children but the whole family!

http://fun.familyeducation.com/hobbies-and-interests/games/33402.html

 

27 games to keep the kids entertained on a roadtrip – good advice for nanny’s

Extracted from – http://www.airlinecreditcards.com/travelhacker/27-free-games-to-keep-your-kids-entertained-on-a-road-trip/

 

While the idea of driving hours with a car full of children may send shivers down the spine of even the most patient of parents, a family road trip doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. There are tons of games you can play with your children that will keep the “are we there yets” at bay. Best of all, they won’t cost you a thing. Here is a list of some road trip games and activities you can play with your children.

  1. The Grocery Game: Whether you want to challenge your memory or just whet your appetite for lunch, the grocery game is a great way to pass the time on your drive. One person starts with naming something that can be bought at the grocery store that starts with the letter ‘A’, such as “apples”. The next player would have to repeat the first person’s answer as well as add on a food that begins with the letter ‘B’. If you mess up, you’re out, and the game continues until only one memory-gifted player remains. If you get bored with groceries, try using another topic.
  2. The Geography Game: Help your kids refresh their geography lessons while on the road with the geography game. The game begins with a person naming any place in the world, London for example. The next person then has to come up with a place name that begins with the last letter of the first location. So in this case, the next place would have to start with an ‘N’, like Nepal for instance. The game continues on until someone gets stumped, and no place can be used more than once. The game can be played with any topic, so give celebrity names, movies, animals or anything else you can think of a try.
  3. License Plate Bingo: To play this game you’ll need to bring along a few writing utensils and have paper to use for game cards. If you’d like, you can print out game cards ahead of timehere. There are a few variations of this game, so you can either write down the names of states as your bingo squares or random letters and numbers. As players see the states or letters and numbers on passing license plates they cross them off. First player to get 5 in a row wins, and it might be a good idea to keep a few prizes on hand for the lucky winner.
  4. Card Games: Never underestimate the power of card games to keep your kids entertained. Bring along a set of cards from home and challenge kids to play their old favorites like old maid, go fish, and rummy. If you want to find new games, check out a book on card games at your local library or print out instructions for kids games here.
  5. Family Spelling Bee: See who is the best speller in the family by having an in-car spelling bee. Make sure words are appropriate for the age level of the kids in your car so no one gets discouraged. If spelling isn’t your thing, there are a number of other contests you can have as well. Try challenging your family to trivia or singing competitions as well.
  6. 20 Questions: An old favorite, 20 questions is a great game for inquisitive little ones. The game begins with one person choosing pretty much anything they can think of. The first question for the guessers is usually “animal, vegetable, or mineral?” though it doesn’t have to be. Players then go through a litany of questions trying to determine the nature of the mystery object and answers must be yes or no. The winner is whomever guesses the object first or can stump the other players with their object.
  7. I Spy: Similar to 20 Questions, I Spy is another classic travel game. One person in the car looks around and chooses an object. The guessers are given one clue: “I spy with my little eye something that is (insert first letter of objects name, objects color, or other clue of your choice)”. Players can’t choose something that is whizzing by too fast; objects must be within the car or far enough in the distance to be within sight for a few minutes. Guessers attempt to figure out the nature of the object and the winner gets to create their own mystery object.
  8. Team Storytelling: Inspire your family’s creative side by creating a group story. Someone begins by creating one line to a story (for example, “There once was a prince under a curse…”) and each person must add one line to the story as you go. If simple storytelling is too dull for you, spice it up by making the lines have to rhyme, or by pointing at players out of order to come up with a line on the spot. You can extend the game by writing down the story and having your children create illustrations for it.
  9. Word Play: Have your kids write down words they see as they’re traveling from billboards, bumper stickers, restaurants, etc. Once they get a certain amount, have them write a story, poem or song that includes all of the words they have found. When they’re done, have them read or sing their creation out loud for the rest of the family.
  10. Counting Cows: Rural countrysides can make for pretty dull window viewing, so make it more interesting by turning it into a game. Create a set distance within which players have to find as many cows on their side of the road as possible. If you have the misfortune of passing a cemetery on your side of the road, then you have to start over. If you’re not in cow country, try counting something else, like phone booths, mailboxes, or houses of a certain color.
  11. Rock, Paper, Scissors: This classic game makes it easy to keep kids occupied. Players put their hands behind their backs and pull one out to reveal either rock (closed fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (first and middle fingers in a “v”). Scissors beats paper, paper beats rock and rock beats scissors. Kids can get creative and think up three other competing things (cowboy, ninja, and bear for instance).
  12. License Plate Lingo: You can use the license plates of the cars around you to provide entertainment for your kids. The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on passing license plates. For example, if you see a plate with the letters “EIC,” your phrase could be “eat ice cream.”. You can make this game as silly or as serious as you’d like.
  13. Travel Scavenger Hunt: Keep children occupied with a travel scavenger hunt. Compile a list of objects for each child to find along the road. For example, you could have things like “brown cow” or “water tower”. Anything that comes to mind that you might be passing will work, or you can use prepared lists like this. You can also turn this game into a form of bingo with a game card like this. The winner is the first one to find everything on his or her list.
  14. The Banana Game: Single out yellow vehicles with the banana game. Players get points for each yellow car they point out passing. Double points are awarded for buses and larger yellow vehicles. Be prepared, this could get competitive!
  15. String Figures: You wouldn’t think a simple piece of string could keep a kid entertained for hours, but in some cases it can. Pack a piece of string or yarn tied into a circle for your child and challenge them to learn to make string shapes like Jacob’s Ladder, Kitty Whiskers or to play Cat’s Cradle. If you don’t know much about string games, you can check out a book from the library or print out some instructions from a string game website.
  16. Fortune Teller: Keep your kids giggling with a fortune teller. Fold up your own using theseinstructions or use a preprinted version. Once folded, you can write colors and numbers and various fortunes on the flaps or turn them into cute animal puppets.
  17. Find the Vehicle: Challenge your kids to find a list of different types and models of cars. Children interested in cars will find this game particularly enjoyable. You can make it more challenging by specifying a color for more common models of cars or types of cargo for semis.
  18. Slug Bug: While the name implies a certain amount of violence, it can also be played much more peacefully. Have your kids count on their fingers or gently tap their seatmate every time they spot a Volkswagen Bug. The specifics of the rules are up to you, but you can make old bugs worth more than new, or certain colors worth more than others.
  19. Map Monitors: One easy way to keep children entertained on the road is to engage them in the process of travel. Give each child a map of your trip and allow them to keep track of your progress using stickers, coloring or something else your child enjoys.
  20. Mad Libs: Mad Libs are a fun and silly way to keep your reading-age kids entertained on a long trip. You can make up your own or use free versions from the Web. Give your kids the worksheets, have them come up with nouns, verbs and adjectives to fill them in, and then have them read their new stories aloud to one another.
  21. Road Trip Math: Have a budding math lover in your car? Entertain them by having them figure out math problems based on your travel. For instance if you pass a sign telling you the next rest stop is 20 miles away, have your child figure out how long it will take you to get there based on your current speed. It might not sound like the most fun, but it will keep your child engaged and learning. Rewards for work well done won’t hurt either.
  22. Fortunately-Unfortunately: Help your children learn to think positively with the game Fortunately-Unfortunately. One player begins with an unfortunate statement like, “Unfortunately, there is a bat in the car.” The next player has to counter with something more fortunate like, “Fortunately, I brought along bat repellant.” Players continue to alternate between unfortunate and fortunate things until you’ve exhausted a particular topic.
  23. Treasure Bottle: You’ll need a little preparation ahead of time, but a treasure bottle can be a great way to keep younger children entertained and engaged. Use a 2 liter bottle or large plastic container with a lid. Fill it 2/3s full with rice or birdseed, then add small “treasures” from around your house like paper clips, bolts, pennies, Legos and any other small things you might have lying around in your junk drawer. Keep count of how many items you put in and write the number on the outside of the bottle. Have kids roll around the bottle until they find everything hidden inside. Just make sure the lid is extra secure so there aren’t any mid-trip messes to clean up.
  24. Who Am I?: Keep your kids guessing with this easy and fun game. Think of someone you and your children know: a family member, neighbor, or friend, and give clues to the person’s identity like their hair color, sex, or whether or not they wear glasses. Let each person guess and if no one gets it, continue giving clues until your kids figure it out.
  25. Find 100: Occupy your kids with counting using Find 100. Choose a color or object and keep counting until you reach 100. Try counting flags, statues, churches, red cars or anything else you can think of. Mix it up by giving each player a different object to find 100 of and race to see who can finish first.
  26. Official Count: Change up the usual counting games by taking an official count. Pick out objects to keep a tally of like motorcycles or vans. Keep a tally of what you see, including the color. At the start of the trip, have your kids make their own predictions about what they think will be the most popular colors or styles of these kinds of vehicles and compare the predictions to the results at the end of your trip.
  27. That’s My Car!: Compete with your fellow passengers to see who can get the sweetest ride. Have each kid choose a car from the next 5 that you pass or that pass by you to be his or her “own” car. All players mutually decide who has the best car of those that are “owned” and that person is the winner.

With a little creativity and planning, you can keep your kids entertained mile after mile and keep your sanity intact. Try out a few of these suggestions on your next trip and you’ll create both on-the-road entertainment and memories to last a lifetime.

Babysitter’s arrest highlights background check confusion…

Babysitter’s Arrest Highlights Background Check Confusion

“Nationwide” Computer Checks NOT What They Seem

 

APNA raises this issue in light of this week’s news that two Glendale, California brothers may have been sexually molested by a 19-year-old babysitter. Investigators say the suspect may have communicated with more than 100 families using online childcare sites.

 (December 1, 2011) – “Online babysitting sites give families a false sense of security by stating things such as the applicants are ‘mom approved’ or have gone through a nationwide background check, “says Daryl Camarillo of Menlo Park, California’s Stanford Park Nannies and president of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies – A Household Staffing Alliance (APNA). “Most online services are just electronic bulletin boards and the computerized background checks they suggest are not enough to ensure a family’s safety.”

“What most parents don’t know is that the quick and inexpensive computer background searches offered online can easily miss a problem,” adds Judi Merlin, owner of the Atlanta, Georgia nanny placement agency A Friend of the Family and an APNA board member.

“I’ve found that most nanny candidates with criminal records have committed misdemeanors which rarely show up on the low-cost, nationwide computer searches that are offered online. Felonies are more likely to be listed. So, the nationwide computer check sounds good, but it probably won’t find a person’s minor run-ins with the law which can tell you a good deal about their past and their character,” says APNA sponsor member Lynn Peterson whose Oakland, California company, PFC Information Services, offers comprehensive background checks.

“Because of the danger to families, APNA has worked for years to try to educate the public about the effectiveness of different types of background checks,” says Camarillo. “Hiring a professional background check company is the safest way.” While the cost is higher (hundreds of dollars typically), it is just one of the ways APNA agencies screen candidates before referring them to work in a home environment with young children.

Among the issues that can arise with an online background check:

1.) It might not cover every state (some post disclaimers listing the exempted states).

Top notch nanny agencies will require that applicants’ social security numbers are traced to identify every state in which they have lived. That information is used to check records in those states.

2.) Misdemeanor records that are supposed to be forwarded to state or national databases are not sent, get lost or misfiled.

A record search of each county where the person has lived is more likely to find them

3.) No personal screening

Professional household staffing agencies meet with each job candidate in person and know how to analyze resumes for red flags and ask the right questions during a reference check.

Concludes Camarillo, “After screening, my agency chooses to represent only about 15 percent of the people who come through our door looking for work. Most online sites will represent anyone who can fill out the form.”

Contacts:

•Daryl Camarillo, APNA president, (650) 462-4580 or apna@spnannies.com

•Judi Merlin, APNA ethics chair, (770) 725-2748 or judim@afriend.com

•Go to www.theAPNA.org to find an APNA agency in your community and valuable information for families and people seeking household employment

APNA is a self-regulating organization that helps set the bar for industry standards and practices. APNA member agencies have their contracts, applications and business practices scrutinized by peers to ensure they know and follow all applicable laws. You are dealing with a quality household staffing service when you see the APNA seal.

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