Archive for the ‘Babysitting 101’ Category

30 of the Best People to Get Sleep Training Advice From

April 21st, 2013 by admin

If you need advice, tips and training on sleep related problems and disorders affecting infants, children and adults, these 30 blogs feature experts from every field.

  1. The Sleep Lady – Kim West, better known as The Sleep Lady, has been featured on several TV shows, including Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America.
  2. VI Spring – Dr Neil Stanley is the resident sleep expert at VI Spring. This blog contains expert sleep analysis and tips for people of all ages.
  3. Snoozester – This blog is a directory of sleep related resources from across the web. Snoozester is both informative and easy to use, with a focus on community driven sleep information.
  4. Sleep Education – The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers advice on a wide range of sleep related conditions. The blog also provides a tool to find sleep disorder clinics in your area.
  5. WebMD: Sleep Well – This is WebMD’s very own sleep expert blog.  Clinical Psychologist Michael Breus is on hand as a guest blogger to answer all your sleep related questions.
  6. Baby Sleep Guide – A mom’s guide to baby sleep, this blog contains a wealth of related information. The sleep help index is especially useful for quickly finding help for your specific sleep problems.
  7. Sleepio – Inspired by the clinically proven sleep program of the same name, you will find expert blog entries on every sleep related topic on Sleepio.
  8. The Sleep Doctor – Michael Breus, who also writes for WebMD, offers extendsive advice and services as The Sleep Doctor. Dr Breus specializes in sleep disorders and related treatments.
  9. Sleep Disorders Gone – Donene Lashbrook is a CEO and recovering insomniac who now dedicates her time to finding natural health cures for sleep disorders.
  10. Wake Up Narcolepsy – This blog focuses on finding cures for narcolepsy and provides resources, tips and support for sufferers of the condition.
  11. N is for Narcolepsy – Ellie is a narcolepsy sufferer and writer. She combines tips and coping strategies from her own experience with advice and resources from sleep experts, bringing you a blog that will help you fight the effects of narcolepsy.
  12. DSPS, a Sleep Disorder – Delayed sleep-phase syndrome is a little known disorder, often confused with laziness or badly managed sleep patterns. This blog aims to raise awareness and help sufferers get a good night’s rest.
  13. Vital Sleep – While Vital Sleep is a blog that mainly deals with snoring disorders, they also offer advice and resources on other disorders and sleep training. Topics cover everything from bed wetting to holistic sleep remedies.
  14. Sleep No Sleep – This blog deals with all aspects of sleep deprivation, with a special focus on insomnia and similar conditions. Sleep No Sleep is the brain child of Australian film production company, Mindful Media.
  15. Good Night’s Sleep – Alanna is a mom of three and a certified sleep consultant. This blog focuses on helping families get back to healthy sleep patterns using great tips, advice and practices.
  16. Baby Sleep Site – Baby Sleep Site has all the tools you need to train your little ones to sleep soundly. You can download free guides, read articles with helpful advice or arrange personal consultations with a sleep coach.
  17. SleepyTot – This expert and community based site has a team of sleep consultants, as well as a form where parents can share tips and advice on sleep training for babies.
  18. Sleep Training Solutions – Seminars, success stories and behavioral training from Kim Schaf will help you and your family cope with any sleep related problems.
  19. Sleep Baby Sleep – A mommy blog that provides detailed training on how to get your baby to sleep. This blogger is both a nurse and mom who brings her professional expertise to the blog.
  20. Sleep is for the Weak – SIFTW is a to-the-point, no-holds-barred sleep training blog. This blog combines the experience and expertise of a team of mommy bloggers.
  21. Science of Mom – A huge directory of sleep related articles from a blog that pools parenting resources on every subject.
  22. Baby Calm – Baby Calm is a unique training program that seeks to bring empowerment to parents through innovative classes, techniques and advice.
  23. Mission Mommy – A journal of one mommy’s trials and tribulations. Mission Mommy has an entire section dedicated to sleep training.
  24. Light Therapy – Light Therapy Products present this blog as an aide to all who suffer from sleepless nights. You will find articles on low energy, seasonal depression and other symptoms and causes of sleep disorder here.
  25. Sleep Disorders Guide – With over 20 categories that deal with various sleep disorders, this is one of the most in-depth sleep disorder blogs available.
  26. Sleep Tracker – Tips, member stories and an extensive FAQ make the sleep tracker blog a go-to source for training on various sleep-related conditions.
  27. Valley Sleep Centre – Based in Arizona, this blog offers excellent training tips and resources for those suffering from sleep disorders.
  28. Sleep Well Blog – An easy to use blog with a glossary on sleep problems and advice, arranged in alphabetical order.
  29. Mums Net – Mums Net is a well-established web resource for parents. You will find reviews on books, sleep articles and a whole range of sleep-related forum topics.
  30. Sleep Solutions – This blog is an online accompaniment to the “Sleep Book” by Ann Douglas. The blog expands on topics taken from the acclaimed sleep training guide.

10 iPhone Applications that Parents Need for Date Nights

August 20th, 2012 by admin

For busy parents, trying to squeeze in a date night can end up being a chore, never mind trying to plan one. Fortunately these timesaving iPhone applications have done your homework for you, so you can put the fun back in date night with none of the usual stress. With recommendations on everything from wine to wonton soup, you can book your sitter, capture a fun photo, and even hail a cab, all with the touch of a button.

Sitter Sorter – Before you can plan your date night, you have to secure your sitter. Sitter Sorter lets you store all of your babysitter’s contact information and request a sitter from the palm of your hand. Your sitters can respond to your request for childcare and you can book your preferred available sitter by clicking a button to send a scheduling confirmation to her.

Fandango – For parents who are hoping to catch a movie, Fandango can help them do just that. You can view local times and movies on the app, and parents can even organize their movie theaters by their favorites.

Hello Vino – Heading out for Chinese and want to know the perfect wine pairing for wonton soup? For those who like to keep track of their favorites, they’ll love the note taking abilities Hello Vino provides.

Groupon – Wondering where to go or what to do? Let the local deal of the day inspire you. For parents who are willing to try new restaurants or go on adventures for a fraction of the cost, Groupon can be a great place to score deals.

Food Spotting- The ultimate pocket guide to good food and where to find it, Food Spotting goes beyond rating restaurants and helps you discover good food near you.

Cabulous – For city dwelling couples, Cabulous is a handy application. You’ll never have to worry about waiting in the rain to hail a taxi again. With the push of a button you can hail and track your cab as it heads your way.

Yelp – Dying to check out the new pizza joint but want to hear what others think first? Yelp it! With the Yelp app you can search for businesses and read reviews before finalizing your date night destination.

LocalEats – If you’re looking for a quick restaurant guide, LocalEats is just that. A culmination of the top handpicked restaurants, LocalEats will lead you to the best locally owned restaurants around.

Hotel Tonight – If you’re looking for a last minute deal on a hotel, Hotel Tonight will help you find it. The app boasts low pricing and fast booking, and features three great deals in a growing list of cities.

Pocketbooth – Turn your iPhone into a vintage photo booth with Pocketbooth. You can email, tweet and even mail photo strips with the click of a button. What’s a better a goodnight gift to your kids than sending them a photo of mom and dad having fun?

8 Biggest Distractions for Teen Babysitters

August 7th, 2012 by admin

When parents are faced with the prospect of leaving their children in the care of a babysitter, one of the most worrisome aspects of the arrangement is the idea that a distracted sitter might inadvertently allow her charges to get into a dangerous situation. While there’s no surefire way to ensure that absolutely nothing will ever go wrong, there are a few steps that you can take, as a parent, to ensure the safety of your children while they’re under a sitters care. The first step to eliminating distractions is knowing what the most common ones are.

  1. Cell Phones – In the 1990′s, cell phones were large, clunky objects that most teenagers were only aware of as a result of Saved By the Bell heartthrob Zack Morris. Times have since changed, and these days almost every teenager brings her tiny, powerful mobile device everywhere she goes. No longer restricted to simply chatting away as she keeps an eye on her charges, today’s sitter can update social networking accounts, check her email, and send text messages from your couch; because all of these actions require her to keep her eyes on the screen, there’s a lot she could potentially miss.
  2. Television – While we’ve all been distracted from time to time by a television show, a babysitter whose childcare experience is likely to be limited to a few hours a week might let things get out of hand as she zones out in front of the tube. Though banning television altogether while your sitter is working might not be as effective in practice as it is in theory, it’s wise to have a discussion about both the distraction factor and the need to filter questionable, age-inappropriate content from your kids. A good sitter will understand your concerns, and will make every effort to adhere to your house rules.
  3. Visitors – Most parents make a “no visitors” rule whenever they hire a babysitter. Unfortunately, this is one of the rules that almost always begs to be broken. If your kids are old enough to be verbal, the sitter may be tempted to wait until they’re in bed to invite a pal over; before her charges are old enough to tell on her, however, all bets are off. Let her know that the neighbors will be keeping an eye on the house in the interest of safety; it’s a great way of letting your sitter know that she’s being observed without accusing her of planning to have guests over before you’ve even left the house.
  4. Homework – Teenage babysitters may have homework to attend to, especially if you’ve requested her services on a school night. Requesting that she wait until she’s put the kids to bed before she cracks open the books is one way of eliminating the potential for any distraction, but you should remember that her schoolwork is important. Calling your sitter on short notice will raise the odds of her having homework that can’t be ignored, so you should make every effort to make arrangements as early as possible.
  5. Other Children – When you have more than one child, you should understand that your sitter will be forced to pay more attention to a younger or more rambunctious child than she would an older one with a calmer temperament. When a babysitter works for a large family, the thing that’s most likely to distract her from the group as a whole is one demanding child.
  6. Meal Preparation – Leaving money for pizza or other delivery food is a time-honored tradition between parents and their babysitters, largely because providing a ready-made dinner dramatically reduces the likelihood of a child getting injured or in trouble because his sitter is focused on cooking; it also eliminates the risk of a kitchen fire stemming from a neglected stove when kids demand every ounce of a sitter’s attention. Some parents feel uneasy about allowing a delivery person to come to their home when there’s no real adult present; if this is the case, you should arrange for a pre-prepared dinner that requires minimal focus on your sitter’s part.
  7. Pets – Anyone with pets knows that they can be just as demanding as the children in the house. A barking, energetic dog that paws at the door every five minutes is a distraction for your sitter, especially if she’s not familiar with your home, the animal’s temperament, or the routine that your children are accustomed to. Relegating your pooch to a fenced yard or a designated part of the house for the duration of a sitter’s shift can reduce the potential for pet-centric distractions.
  8. Parents – It’s not altogether surprising that a babysitter’s employers can be her biggest distraction. Calling every five minutes to make sure that your kids are okay is understandable, especially if you’re leaving them in the care of a sitter for the first time or she’s never worked for your family before; still, talking on the phone and fielding your questions might take her attention away from your kids, leaving them with minimal supervision.

Life is unpredictable, so it just isn’t possible to foresee every situation that might arise to remove a babysitter’s focus away from your children. The most that any parent can do is make an effort to minimize the likelihood of the most common culprits rearing their heads, and ensure that any sitter they hire is mature, competent and reliable.

How to Keep Your Babysitting Schedule Straight

July 10th, 2012 by admin

Keeping a schedule straight when you have multiple babysitting clients can be tricky, and it’s important to make sure that you take the time to keep accurate records on who you will be sitting for, and when.  Keeping a pad of paper and a pocket calendar with you can help ensure you gather the information needed to book a babysitting job without worry that it conflicts with another.

When you take a phone call from a new client, make sure that you get all of their information. Creating a client form template with space for the family’s name, contact information, and information about the children can be helpful.

Before committing to a gig, check your calendar for your availability. As soon as you book a babysitting job, update your calendar.  Ask if the time they’ll be home is firm or flexible. If they are unsure about the time they’ll return home and it could be later you don’t book jobs back to back.

Keep the client sheets filed alphabetically so that you can find them in a hurry if you need to reference the family’s information.  Make sure to note on the client sheet if anything noteworthy happens during the time you are babysitting.  If the client comes home hours after when they told you, note that on the sheet.  If there’s anything you want to note about the child or children that will help you the next time you provide care, do it on the sheet.  Be sure to make a special note if the child has allergies.

Mark your calendar when you have a babysitting job lined up.  Make sure to confirm the job a few days before it is scheduled, to ensure that there has been no change in plans.  Once a job is confirmed, highlight it or write “confirmed” next to it to indicate that that you have confirmed the job.

If you are keeping a hard copy of your calendar at home or an electronic copy on your computer, make sure to transfer that information to your phone’s calendar so that you always have access to your schedule.

Tips

There are many different types of calendars on the market.  Make sure to pick one that fits your lifestyle and needs. If all of your information is on your phone, but you forget to charge the phone and you need the information, you will be in trouble.  Try to keep your dates in two places, one electronic and one physical, just in case you need a backup.

If you have reoccurring jobs, you can write each client on your calendar in a different color.  Make sure to write your own appointments and scheduled events in black so that you don’t mistakenly schedule yourself to babysit when you have a personal commitment.

Taking on multiple babysitting jobs is a great way to earn extra money. Be sure to manage your babysitting jobs properly so that you are prepared to arrive at the right place, at the right time.

8 Reasons Sitters Lie About Your Child’s Behavior

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

7 Tips to Help Kids Hold It

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

10 Physical Contact Rules for Babysitters

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

20 Tips About Babysitters Giving Medication to Kids

March 30th, 2012 by admin

Medicines Babysitters Should Not Give to Kids

There are times when it is necessary for kids to receive medication from their babysitter. When these times come up, it is imperative for parents to check the medication, make sure it is not expired and insure that the babysitter has all the instructions she needs to administer the medication safely. There are certain medications that children, especially babies, should not be given.

  1. Aspirin – This is one medication that should never be given to children. Reye’s syndrome has been known to manifest in children who have been given aspirin for flu or other virus symptoms. This rare disease has sometimes proven fatal.
  2. Ibuprofen – While an acceptable medication for older children, babies under six months old should not be given ibuprofen. Allergic reactions could occur, or it could cause tummy problems.
  3. Over the counter cold medications – In the past, many toddlers were hospitalized due to complications with OTC cold and cough medications, so the FDA looked into the problem. As a result of their findings, doctors quit recommending such medications for children since the efficacy of the drugs did not seem to warrant their use. Most colds and viruses will run their course without complications and will last only a few days or so.
  4. Anti-nausea medications – There are risks involved with children using such medications as Alka-Seltzer and Pepto-Bismol. Both contain aspirin and complications can arise. For most children, bouts of vomiting are short lived.
  5. Adult medications – Never give a baby a smaller dose of a medication meant for an adult. This includes such things as sleeping pills. Medications are made to take as directed and guessing about how much of an adult dosage to give to a child could prove fatal.
  6. Medications prescribed for someone else or another condition – Different medications prescribed for the same condition can contain different drugs, so it is particularly important not to give medication prescribed for one person to another. Complications can crop up.
  7. Expired medicine – When medicine is past the expiration date the chemicals may begin to break down and the medicine becomes ineffective. In some cases expired medicine can become harmful so it is essential always to check the date. If the medicine is discolored or crumbly or doesn’t look right, do not use it.
  8. Extra acetaminophen – It is necessary to read the ingredients on all medications. If the child is getting acetaminophen as a pain reliever or fever reducer you don’t want to add more to that dosage by giving another medication that has it included. Too much of this over the counter drug can be harmful to the liver and even toxic.
  9. Chewable medications – While this is fine for older children, babies should not be given chewable meds. Chewable medications are a choking hazard for the very young.
  10. Syrup of ipecac – This was once recommended in the event that a child ingested something that could be considered poisonous. Doctors are no longer recommending this since it hasn’t been shown that ipecac helps. In truth, it could actually prove more harmful than helpful if the child continues to vomit when something with proven effectiveness like activated charcoal is administered.

Medicines Babysitters Can Give to Kids

There will be times when the babysitter can and should give medicine to the kids in his or her care. Knowing what medicines babysitters should be able to administer without any difficulty will give parents peace of mind.  Here are some medications that most sitters should be able to manage:

  1. Acetaminophen – This popular drug is often administered to reduce fever and to alleviate pain. Make sure the sitter knows the proper dosage to give your child as the dosage is not the same for everyone. If the child has already had one dose, be sure to let the sitter know at what time it is safe to provide the next dose.
  2. Medicines prescribed for the child – If you are comfortable giving the sitter permission to give your child prescribed medication in your absence, make sure that you tell her everything she needs to know about it and provide her with written instructions to follow, as well.
  3. Asthma medicines – It is vital for the sitter to know when to administer asthma medication to your child since it may not be at a specific time, but rather when symptoms occur. Knowing when to use an inhaler or nebulizer is critical to the health of your child. Make sure your sitter is comfortable in giving these medications.
  4. Ibuprofen – For children older than 6 months, this medicine is another common fever reducer and also helps with pain. Let the sitter know the proper dosage for the child and at what time the dosage should be given.
  5. Epinephrine injection – If your child has a condition or allergy that makes it necessary to give an epinephrine injection in an emergency, your sitter will need to know. Teach the sitter how to give the injection and impress upon her the importance of giving it when the symptoms warrant its use.
  6. Topical antiseptics – For scrapes and minor cuts, the sitter should be able to use topical antiseptic to keep infections at bay. Hopefully your sitter has had first aid training and knows how to clean and dress wounds. Make sure she knows where the first aid kit is in the case of an emergency.
  7. Eye drops – If your child needs eye drops, inform the sitter of the necessity of keeping the dropper clean and making sure that nothing touches the dropper nozzle. You may need to show her how to work with your child to effectively get the drops into the eye.
  8. Ear drops – Sometimes a child needs ear drops administered. Make sure the sitter is aware of how to properly put in the drops without shoving the dropper in the ear.
  9. Vitamins – Since many kids’ vitamins are tasty, it is important to remind the sitter to put the vitamins out of reach of the kids after using.
  10. Saline spray for the nose – Some families use saline spray for congestion and runny noses. This is another medicine that you will want to teach your sitter how to use properly so that the dropper nozzle does not get placed too far up your child’s nose.

Giving medicine to children is an enormous responsibility. Any babysitter entrusted with this duty must be trusted and trained to give the correct dose. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure the medicine is safe, not expired and that the babysitter knows exactly how to administer it to the child.

10 Popular Cartoons Kids Shouldn’t Watch

March 17th, 2012 by admin

When I was a kid, cartoons on television were primarily watched by kids. There was no such thing as an adult cartoon, because grown-ups didn’t spend their time watching animated shows unless they watched them with their kids. Now there are a number of adult cartoon shows on television and I wonder what that says about our current culture. The days of “cartoons are for kids” are long gone and parents need to be careful about what their kids are watching. Even some cartoons targeted towards children can be harmful. I’ve compiled a list of 10 popular cartoons that kids probably shouldn’t be allowed to watch.

  1. Family Guy – Featuring the dysfunctional Griffin family, the Family Guy cartoon is not something young children should be allowed to watch. This show is filled with sick, twisted and politically incorrect content that is passed off as humor. It’s obviously intended for mature audiences and not something kids should be exposed to.
  2. South Park – I know there are people who think the popular program South Park is funny, but I’ve never seen an episode that made me laugh. I somehow failed to see the humor in “Christmas Poo” or Kenny being killed over and over. The adult content in South Park is not intended for children and I doubt they would find any humor in it either.
  3. Beavis and Butthead – The adolescent boys depicted in Beavis and Butthead are just plain creepy. They have no morals and somehow everything they see or hear is turned into a dirty joke that only they get. Skipping school, watching TV, causing trouble and being stupid are not very good role models for young boys. The only time you should let your kids watch this program is to show them what not to be like.
  4. Jimmy Two-Shoes – This Canadian/American television series was so bad it was cancelled after 2 seasons. Jimmy Two-Shoes lives in a horrible town called Miseryville filled with monsters and demonic creatures. Even though this show was intended for young viewers, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  5. American Dad – The dysfunctional family in American Dad is depicted as politically charged stereotypes that really aren’t appropriate to expose children to. Unless you want your kids to acquire an intolerant view of people and learn to distrust their government, I would find something better for them to watch.
  6. Robot Chicken – Any show featured on Adult Swim should be your first clue that it’s not a show for children. Robot Chicken is a popular animated series that focuses on mocking pop culture and the mature content would be inappropriate for young viewers. Any show that ends with the host committing suicide is not something kids should watch.
  7. SpongeBob SquarePants – This popular cartoon may be alright for older kids, but the fast pace of SpongeBob SquarePants is thought to cause short-term attention and learning problems in children 4 or less. With episodes ending in the whole town of Bikini Bottom destroyed, this cartoon also seems a little dark for young children.
  8. The Simpsons – Many people enjoy watching The Simpsons, but you may hesitate to let your kids watch a show that usually portrays authority figures in an unflattering or negative light. Do you want your children to think that government is always corrupt and police are just plain stupid?
  9. Ren and Stimpy – The off-color, toilet humor, sexual innuendo and violence in The Ren and Stimpy Show is definitely not something kids should watch. The raunchy content of this cartoon has created controversy and censorship with whole episodes being banned.
  10. Rocko’s Modern Life – The predecessor to SpongeBob, Rocko’s Modern Life aired for 4 seasons and ended in 1996. That’s just as well since the adult humor, innuendos and double entendres really weren’t appropriate for young viewers. Rocko and his weird friends should just go back to Australia.

I sure miss the good old cartoons that were actually just supposed to be funny and not educational or for learning life lessons. I guess people now can find fault with Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote, but that age of innocence is long gone. There’s nothing I hate worse than watching a show that is supposed to be funny and never finding the humor. I certainly don’t want to expose children to adult content or political stereotypes in an animated format. So make sure you screen these cartoons before allowing your kids to watch them. They may be learning more than you would like them to.

10 Most Annoying Habits of Some Babysitters

March 10th, 2012 by admin

Though most people that we encounter throughout the day have the potential to irritate us with their methods and habits, few have the ability to aggravate parents like a babysitter. Bringing someone, especially someone young and relatively inexperienced, into your home while you’re away can open the door for lots of possible annoyances; here are ten of the most common you’re likely to encounter.

  1. Not Cleaning Up After Themselves – Coming home to a disaster area of your childrens’ making is irritating enough; realizing that a significant amount of the mess was created by the babysitter can be infuriating.
  2. Eating Everything in Sight – Most parents expect the babysitter to eat a meal in their home; they may even offer to order pizza or other takeout to make sure that everyone, including the babysitter, is fed. However, coming home to find that the babysitter has eaten everything in the cupboard because of a bottomless teenage appetite can be a huge annoyance.
  3. Being Glued to Their Phone – Today’s teens and young adults regard their mobile phones as an extension of their arm; they can’t even bear the thought of being parted from it. When texting and talking to friends takes precedence over keeping your home under control, those phones quickly become an irritant.
  4. Sneaking Friends (or Boyfriends) Into the House – Though it’s an age-old tradition, most parents forget their own days of sneaking a friend or significant other into the house after the kids are in bed. Finding out that the babysitter had guests can be infuriating, even if we have to admit to doing it too.
  5. Telling Scary Stories – Babysitters are a notorious source of bad dreams; whether scary tales are told with the intention of providing spooky-but-well-meaning fun or are designed deliberately to frighten, parents who lose sleep due to these stories aren’t likely to call the babysitter responsible for those sleepless nights back again.
  6. Exposing Kids to Questionable Language – Every household has their own guidelines regarding acceptable language. Many teenage babysitters assume that simply not using curse words is enough to stay within the parameters of acceptable speech; if words and phrases like “stupid” and “shut up” are not allowed in your home, finding out the babysitter taught them to your kids can be a deal-breaker.
  7. Letting Kids Stay Up Too Late – Whether the babysitter lets the kids stay up due to a soft heart or inattentiveness to the clock, when kids are cranky the next morning due to a lack of sleep, it’s easy to be peeved.
  8. All-Around Inattentiveness – Even the best teenage babysitters can be inattentive on occasion; whether they’re distracted by other children in the family or something less worthy, being distracted while they’re entrusted with the care of your children can be a problem.
  9. Allowing Kids to Watch Forbidden Television Shows – Similar to questionable language, every family has their definition of acceptable television programming. When a babysitter allows your children to watch something that they know isn’t allowed in your home, it’s likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
  10. Breaking House Rules – Teenagers, even those with mostly good intentions that are largely well-behaved, can have a rebellious streak. When that natural rebellious instinct kicks in and causes them to deliberately break your rules, it’s one of the most infuriating things they can do.

When hiring teenagers to babysit, it is important to remember the typical issues related to that age group. You may find yourself reinforcing some concepts and rules that you didn’t expect to. However, if the habits aren’t curbed with a stern warning, it may be time to look for a new babysitter.