Archive for May, 2012
May 30th, 2012 by admin
Your babysitter is by and large a reliable and conscientious care giver, someone you can trust to watch your children. She will make sure homework assignments are done when asked; ensure everyone has done their bedtime chores – wash, brush teeth, etc., and knows how to act, and how to reach you in case of an emergency. So why then would she ever need to lie to you about your children? Let’s look at eight reasons why sitters sometimes lie about your child’s behavior:
- Protection – In some instances, it’s just a matter of covering for them so the child can avoid being disciplined for a largely (in their minds) innocent and/or forgivable offense.
- Job security – It may be because she fears being fired if she tells you the truth. Especially if the truth might imply that she hadn’t done an adequate job caring for your child. For instance, she may allow the kid to stay up later than instructed, and then lie to you about when she put the child to bed.
- Money – Some sitters might exaggerate the difficulty they have in caring for your child in order to merit a higher rate of pay. If she makes it sound like your child is more of a handful than he really is, you might feel obliged to give her a raise.
- Shame – Another reason to lie about your child’s behavior might be to avoid embarrassment. She may prefer to keep it to herself if, say, Johnny locked her out of the house when she went out to her car for a moment.
- Boast – If your child really is a handful, she may lie about behavioral progress that he’s (not) making. It would hopefully give you the impression that she too is making progress, doing a better job at her job than she really is.
- Exaggerate – Your sitter may lie about your child’s behavior to one of her friends, if she were trying to get the friend to substitute for her. It would be a lot easier to get someone to babysit for her if she could convince them that the child is an angel.
- Defense – Of course, there’s also the possibility that a sitter might lie about a child’s behavior to another sitter. We all know what it’s like to get together with others in our own profession and trade war stories.
- Promote – A sitter might also lie to another prospective family in order to embellish her resume, so to speak. A family that’s looking for a new babysitter might be more inclined to hire someone who has experience getting children to behave.
These eight reasons are not unreasonable if you think about it. We all tell little white lies, especially about our jobs. As long as the babysitter doesn’t lie about anything major, it is fair to let a few exaggerations slip by. Only when it becomes a bad habit should you bring it up.
May 28th, 2012 by admin
Getting in a good workout provides plenty of health benefits, and lifting weights is an integral part of any good exercise regimen. Recent studies have shown that kids that enjoy a regular, low-weight lifting routine enjoy a bounty of benefits. However despite these benefits, there are concerns to have as a parent, and there are plenty of reasons why kids need to be careful when they’re weight-lifting.
- Strains, pulls, & breaks – It’s easy to push yourself too fast and too soon, and that can lead to strains, pulls and breaks on the muscle. Children’s bodies aren’t fully developed until later in life, and putting strain on their young muscles could lead to injury.
- Broken bones – Working out in a gym environment means that lifters are expected to be able to lift the weights without fear of dropping them. The thought of broken bones in one’s foot due to a dropped weight can send shivers down a spine. If kids are going to be transferring weights to and from their work station, make sure they can carry that weight.
- Improper form could lead to injuries – While it is suggested that kids spend more time on strength training as opposed to actual weight lifting, if your kid is interested in being in the gym, make sure the proper technique is used. Gyms typically have a trainer on the floor at all times, aiding in the proper techniques for lifting. (http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/is-weight-training-safe-for-kids
- Kids could hurt someone other than themselves – Much like the dropping of weights can lead to your own broken foot, it can just as well lead to injuries for other people. Kids need to be careful and mind their surroundings. When lifting weights make sure you and your spotter can handle the weights and avoid injuries to you and your spotter.
- Weight room equipment is expensive – Improper use of weight room equipment might not only hurt your child, but also the equipment itself. Respect the equipment in the gym and use it properly; many of the pieces in the gym are worth more than $1,000.
- A trainer could potentially push you too hard – While the large majority of trainers will work with the kids on their limits, there is always cause for concern that a trainer might push too hard. One of the ways to battle this potential problem is to supervise your child as they work out with the trainers. Watching your child train will keep you in the loop about the process and let you keep an eye on your child as they train with a professional.
- Overtraining can be harmful too – Rest days can be just as important as lift days. Your body needs a chance to recover and rebuild muscle, so make sure there is a set regimen of rest at least once a week, maybe twice a week for children. (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/RestandRecovery.htm)
- Showing off for friends could lead to injury – When training with weights it’s important not to do too much. That is especially the case when working out with friends. Some kids might want to show off and show their friends that they can do it all, but that could lead to injury. Make sure you are out there for the right reasons, and not just to puff out your chest in front of others.
- Make sure your child is healthy enough to start lifting – If your child is serious about lifting weights, it is wise to get a check-up before beginning. No parent would want their kids to enter a strenuous activity without first knowing that their children can complete the task. Visit a doctor before visiting a gym.
Weight lifting is a great way for kids to get in shape, but it can be dangerously when it’s done incorrectly or when they try to lift too much too soon. If your kids do decide they want to start lifting weights then keep an eye on them while they’re doing so to help keep them injury free and safe.
May 21st, 2012 by admin
Few things are as tempting for kids as the forbidden fruit of jumping on the bed. When the slightest bounce can send parents scrambling to the door to put a stop to the fun, the whole idea becomes more and more alluring. Instead of reaching for the old standby “because I told you so,” here are ten things that can actually result from jumping on the bed.
- Damaged Mattress Springs – Spring mattresses can sustain damage from the pressure of kids, especially more than one, jumping up and down on it for an extended period of time. Simply forgetting to turn these types of mattresses periodically can lead to sagging; the weight of a group of jumpers can really do a number on them.
- Weakened Box Spring – The weight of one standing adult can compromise the integrity of a box spring; because they’re designed to support evenly-distributed weight from a body lying flat, the pressure can be quite damaging if the bed in question is a box spring model.
- Dents, Scratches and Holes in the Wall – Bouncing kids can find themselves hurtling into a wall, damaging the paint job with scratches, dents and even punching holes through drywall.
- Torn Bedclothes – One jumping kid can get tangled in bedding, causing rips and tears in addition to increasing the chance of falling. Adding more to the equation is just asking for demolished sheets and blankets.
- Pillow Fights – There’s something about jumping on the bed that is inextricably linked with a good-natured pillow fight. When there’s a disparity in size and strength between kids, however, this can also lead to blows that are harder than intended.
- Falls – Even the most agile kid can find themselves abruptly hitting the floor after a particularly wild jump; while bumps and bruises are part of being a kid, injuries sustained from these falls can be more serious.
- Broken Decorative Items – Lamps, alarm clocks or other items on a bedside table or hanging on a wall adjacent to the bed may be casualties of a jumping session. Out of control kid-bodies are able to make quick work of anything in their way, leaving shards of broken things everywhere.
- Collisions – Two or more jumping kids become exponentially more likely to crash into one another as beds get smaller; three kids on a twin bed are almost certain to collide in mid-air. As a result, bumped heads and injuries sustained from a fall are probable.
- Irritated Parents – An edict that forbids jumping on the bed very rarely happens only once. Most parents are forced to remind kids on a regular basis; eventually, the telltale signs are enough to irritate an adult immensely.
- Giggling Kids – Of all the likely results of jumping on the bed, this one is an absolute certainty. Left to their own devices and jumping to their hearts’ content will undeniably cause paroxysms of giggles, chuckles and belly laughs.
In a funny twist, the newer memory foam mattresses are more durable and can better withstand jumping, but are significantly lacking the “bounce factor” that makes it so fun in the first place.
May 14th, 2012 by admin
One of the many wonderful things about kids is their disarmingly complete lack of inhibitions. They will boldly go where no man or woman dares. For instance, kids will kiss just about anything they find cute and kissable. In fact, here is a list of ten things kids will gladly plant a big old kiss on:
- Dogs – Whereas most grown-ups will be fixated on the family pet’s cleaning habits (or lack thereof), kids couldn’t care less where that dog’s nose has been or what he’s been licking. They’ll smooch that pooch in a heartbeat.
- Frogs – Maybe they’re re-enacting a fairy tale, or just taking a dare, but boys especially will plant one on a frog just for grins any old day. The virtues of rescuing a princess far outweigh their fear of warts.
- A Boo-boo – After all, for most kids this was their first lesson in First Aid training. When they see someone they love hurting, they’re sure to be the First Responders to offer a healing kiss to the wound.
- Grandparents – Kids know where their bread is buttered, sure, but they’re also keenly perceptive. Grandma and Grandpa love them like no one else, so kissing them is as natural as a sneeze, and not nearly as messy.
- A Photo – Kids usually won’t distinguish between people they love, and pictures of them. When they see a loved one, the instinct to kiss them is just too strong. Make sure those glossy prints are laminated.
- Other Kids – Not only puppies get them to pucker up, but so does puppy love. Kids don’t suffer from the same social stigmas, and aren’t naturally subject to a sense of decorum. Don’t worry, Mom, they’ll develop a better sense of taste and discretion in due time.
- Dolls – For kids of a certain age, dolls are some of their very best friends in the whole wide world. When they kiss their dolls, it’s one of the first expressions of intimacy for them and is perfectly natural. Much more sanitary than frogs, too, we’re pretty sure.
- Their Reflection – In a mirror, Christmas tree decorations, or a window, kids kiss their reflections all the time. No, it’s not narcissistic. They just see someone they think could use a kiss.
- Teachers – When a child encounters someone who shows them genuine care and guidance, as a good teacher does, their appreciation is just as genuine. The world needs more teachers worthy of that sort of affection.
- Santa Claus – Old Kris Kringle has been bringing joy to the hearts of kids for centuries. Anytime a child gets to meet with Santa, how can they not want to plant a big old kiss right on those rosy cheeks?
May 7th, 2012 by admin
Children can be counted upon as a lifelong source of pride, joy and love. They can also be counted on to need a potty break at the absolute worst times. When you’re confronted with one of those instances, you need to have a Plan B, because Plan A – actually having a bathroom handy – isn’t always an option. Here are ten tips for you to help them deal with it:
- Keep the child occupied with an activity that will distract them for awhile. Until you can get to a bathroom, the subterfuge will not only buy you some time, but stretch the child’s bladder a bit so that he can last longer between potty visits.
- Offer your child incentives for holding out a little longer each time until they need less frequent breaks. It could be a gift or a special privilege that helps his willpower and keeps him going – that is without actually going.
- One way of “holding it” is to provide a little backup, in the form of these. Pull-Ups® come in several varieties, including Little Swimmers® for use in the pool or at the beach. When you know you’ll be somewhere that the little one can’t take a break, having these along can be a real blessing.
- Limit your child’s liquid consumption during time spent away from restroom facilities. Her need to go is directly linked to how much her bladder is holding; so the less she drinks, the less pressure she’ll feel to empty it.
- Make sure your kid has had ample opportunity to take a potty break before setting out on an extended trip, or spending time away from a bathroom. You’ll need to make fewer unscheduled stops, and your child will enjoy the trip much more – which means so will you.
- Practice developing your child’s bladder control gradually on a regular basis. Help him to wait just a few minutes longer each time he feels the need to go. As he learns to wait just a bit longer, his bladder will grow in capacity, thus reducing the number of trips needed each day – and overnight.
- Be a role model. Let them know that you need to go too, but you’re able to hold it like a big girl until you get to a bathroom. You could provide the example the kid needs to help her hold her shaky little knees together. Now get to a bathroom, for Pete’s sake.
May 1st, 2012 by admin
Establishing the the rules regarding physical contact for a babysitter is one of the most important things to clarify from the beginning, especially if the sitter in question is young and relatively inexperienced. Drawing clear lines between acceptable contact and that which crosses the lines can help to keep your children safe and eliminate any confusion on the part of the sitter. These ten rules are examples of those that you might want to have in place for your sitter.
- No Corporal Punishment – Even if your family practices corporal punishment, it should be strictly forbidden for the babysitter to do so. The potential for excessive force due to inexperience is too great, and could lead to injury. If your family does not practice corporal punishment, having it introduced by a babysitter is likely to be a traumatic event for your child.
- Attachment Parenting Guidelines – For babysitters that will be watching an infant whose parents are practicing attachment parenting, it’s important to explain the guidelines clearly in order to ensure that your sitter follows them.
- Rules Regarding Bathing – Depending on the age of your children and the experience level of your sitter, the rules regarding bathing probably need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Tailoring these guidelines to each sitter and situation might be the best option.
- Acceptable Methods of Showing Affection – When children are young and sitters are inexperienced, a simple show of innocent affection can become one that parents would might find inappropriate. Letting your sitter know what sort of affection is acceptable (such as hugging or patting on the back) versus what is not (kissing on the mouth, for example) is important for the safety of your children and the comfort of everyone involved.
- Never Shake an Infant – Teenagers with limited baby experience might accidentally shake an infant that won’t stop crying or seems to be unconscious, which could lead to brain damage. Because this situation is almost always the result of an uninformed, inexperienced sitter reacting to a stressful situation it’s important to clearly explain the dangers ahead of time.
- Avoid Overly Rough Play – Accidental injuries could easily result from roughhousing, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your sitter knows this sort of behavior is not acceptable. While you certainly don’t want to discourage a sitter from playing with your kids, younger sitters may need some guidelines to guarantee that safety comes first.
- Forceful Handling is Forbidden – Spanking is only one form of corporal punishment, but it’s the first that comes to mind for most people. It’s important to make sure that your sitter knows that rough handling of any sort, especially that which stems from anger, is absolutely forbidden.
- Rules Children Should Know – Babysitters should be well informed of your expectations, but children should also know what sort of contact is acceptable. Explaining good touch/bad touch and other concepts related to physical contact is just as important for your children as it is for the sitter that will be looking after them.
- Be Observant of Kids’ Contact With One Another – Kids of a certain age are naturally curious about their bodies and how they differ from those of the opposite gender; instructing sitters to keep an eye out for this behavior when watching several children, especially those that have shown indications or have a history of exploratory contact, might be a wise choice.
- Eliminate the Potential For Kids’ Witnessing Inappropriate Contact – In addition to establishing rules that govern the acceptable contact between the sitter and your child, it’s also important to establish ones that protect your children from witnessing inappropriate contact between your sitter and their significant other. Strictly forbidding visitors of any kind will not only eliminate this possibility, but will also keep your sitter from being distracted and inattentive to your children in favor of their guest.
Although these discussions may make some parents uncomfortable, they are essential for the safety of your children, especially when dealing with a new or inexperienced babysitter.