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Winter Family Time!

Winter Family Time!

Oh what a wonderful time of year it is?! What a wonderful timeeeeee!

Hello family dinners, cozy socks, snuggle time and chilly weather!

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First, let us disclose a couple of things about the Excellent Nanny Service. We are based in Savannah, Georgia but service different cities all over the United States, so our nannies are accustom to various weather conditions. It is our mission to provide honest, trustworthy nannies that share the same values as the Excellent Nanny Service.

Having fun as a family is vital, but creating an everlasting bond takes importance. Without being able to forge those bonds, winter time activities have no substance. Keeping that in mind, here are a couple of suggestions that will make the winter a memorable one for all of the family members involved.

Christmas movies! Grinch me please! Watching endless Christmas movies, paired with some good food, hot chocolate, blankets, and all the family around the tv is a perfect way to spend some days (and nights!) with the family. Here is a list of Christmas movies on Netflix: https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/g22716075/best-netflix-christmas-movies/

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Christmas lights! Please please please! Haven’t you ever wondered who has the best lights in the city? Drive around and look at all the decorations and don’t forget the car snacks along the way.

Baking! Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, frosted pretzel rods, and even fruitcakes are the way to go. Instead of buying gifts for people this holiday season, try giving out baked goods to grandma and grandpa.

Create an event calendar! Giving your children something to look forward to every day is a great idea, not only that, but making it together will give you that bonding time you’ve been looking for.

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Visit Santa! Heyyy Saint Nick! Go to your local mall to see when Santa will be there and pose with him to make a great holiday card. There are even local Christmas parades to go and see Santa in all of his glory. Pssttt! He might even have some elves with him.

Host a holiday party! Do I hear ugly Christmas sweater theme? Go ahead and host the holiday party that gives everyone a chance to get together. Have contests, sing, laugh and exchange gifts. It’s the perfect time to see everyone at once and spread that seasonal love.

Volunteer! Don’t forget to give back into the community during this joyous time in the year. Giving back is a great way to be reminded that everyone doesn’t have the same things we sometimes take for granted. Go volunteer at your local soup kitchen, donate clothes, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, register people to vote, organize games and activities for children in hospitals or homeless shelters, and why stop there?! The opportunities are endless!

Make homemade presents! DIY hot-chocolate kit? Yes! Need we say more? Here is the link: http://lovegrowswild.com/2015/11/homemade-hot-chocolate-mix/

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Helping Your Child Recognize Their Feelings

Not too long ago it was thought that the conventional wisdom was that babies were pretty much blobs who didn’t think or feel much before they could speak in words around the age of two.  Such an idea that a six-month-old could feel fear or anger, no less sadness and grief, was preposterous.  But thanks to an explosion in research on infancy in the last 30 years, we now know that babies and toddlers do feel deeply. Starting in the earliest months of life, well before they can use words to express themselves, babies have the capacity to experience peaks of joy, excitement and elation. They also feel fear, grief, sadness, hopelessness and anger—emotions that many adults understandably still find it hard to believe, or accept, that very young children can experience. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions—also known as self-regulation—is one of the most important factors for success in school, work and relationships into the long-term.So the critical first step in helping your child learn to cope with her feelings is not to fear the feelings, but embrace them—all of them. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are what they are. Sadness and joy, anger and love, can co-exist and are all part of the collection of emotions children experience. When you help your child understand his feelings, he is better equipped to manage them effectively.

One major obstacle in doing this which I see quite often in my work with parents is that they are operating under the assumption that having a happy child means he needs to be happy all the time. Muscling through difficult experiences, mastering struggles, and coping with sadness and grief builds strength and resilience, and is ultimately what brings children a sense of contentedness and well-being.

What can parents do?

  • Starting in the earliest months, tune in to babies’ cues—their sounds, facial expressions and gestures—and respond sensitively, which lets babies know their feelings are recognized and important. This might mean stopping a tickling game with a four-month-old when she arches her back and looks away, signaling she needs a break. Or taking a nine-month-old to the window to wave good-bye to Mom when he is sad to see her leave for work.
  • Label and help toddlers cope with feelings. Emotions like anger, sadness, frustration and disappointment can be overwhelming for young children. Naming these feelings is the first step in helping children learn to identify them and communicates to children that these feelings are normal. This might mean acknowledging an 18-month-old’s anger at having to leave the playground, validating a two-year-old’s frustration at his block tower repeatedly falling or empathizing with a three-year-old’s sadness that his grandparents are leaving after a long visit.
  • Don’t fear the feelings. Feelings are not the problem. It’s what we do—or don’t do—with them that can be problematic. Listen openly and calmly when your child shares difficult feelings. When you ask about and acknowledge feelings, you are sending the important message that feelings are valued and important. Recognizing and naming feelings is the first step toward learning to manage them in healthy, acceptable ways over time.
  • Avoid minimizing or talking children out of their feelings. This is a natural reaction—we just want to make the bad feelings go away. “Don’t be sad. You’ll see Joey another day.” But feelings don’t go away; they need to be expressed one way or another. Acknowledging a child’s strong feelings opens the door to helping her learn how to cope with them. “You are sad Joey has to leave. You love playing with him.  Let’s go to the window to wave goodbye and make a plan to see him again soon.” When feelings are minimized or ignored, they often get expressed through aggressive words and actions, or by turning them inward, which can ultimately make children anxious or depressed.
  • Teach tools for coping. If your 18-month-old is angry that playtime is over, guide her to stamp her feet as hard as she can or to draw how angry she is with a red crayon. Help a two-year-old who is frustrated at not being able to get the ball into the basket brainstorm other ways to solve the problem. Take a three-year-old who is fearful about starting a new school to visit his classroom beforehand to meet the teachers and play on the playground so that the unfamiliar can become familiar.

Our children’s emotional reactions trigger our own emotional reactions, which can lead to a knee-jerk need to rescue or “fix” whatever is causing our child distress. But it’s important that we manage our own feelings and avoid this temptation, as it creates a missed opportunity to help children learn strong coping skills. Instead, see these experiences as teachable moments to help your child learn to name and manage the emotions—positive and negative—that add depth and color to our lives.  Show your child that a full, rich life means experiencing both the ups and the downs. Feelings are not “good” or “bad”—they just are. You are your child’s guide in sharing the joys and coping with the challenges. And it starts on day one.

Moms Have the Hardest Job Ever! Here’s Proof

By Maura Hohman on November 05, 2015


If you’re a working parent, then you’re likely well-aware that balancing your career and the needs of your children is one tough job. Of course, your kids come first, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to leave the office in the middle of the day to pick up your sick son or to skip the piano recital because of an important meeting.

But the good news is more parents, especially moms, have jobs outside the home than ever before, so you have more emotional support than working women of previous generations. In fact, a new study from Pew Research Center found that both parents work outside the home in 46 percent of two-parent households in 2015, compared to just 31 percent in 1970.

The downside? Working parents may be the new norm, but workplace and federal policies have yet to catch up to their needs, leaving them just as stressed and overworked as ever. Through phone interviews with 1,807 parents with kids under 18 from all 50 states, the Pew study found some harrowing stats about achieving work family balance today.

Mothers in most households do the lion’s share of childcare regardless of whether they work full-time, part-time or stay at home.
More than half – 56 percent – of all working parents say it’s difficult to balance their professional and family responsiblities.
One in five moms who work full-time say balancing work and family is very difficult, compared to 12 percent of dads.
Forty-one percent of working moms say having kids makes it harder to advance their career, as opposed to just 20 percent of dads.
Striking a good work-life balance affects how parents feel about parenting overall; of the parents who struggle with work life balance, only 36 percent say parenting is enjoyable all the time, compared to 50 percent of parents who have a good work-life balance.
Thirty-two percent of parents who struggle with work-life balance say parenting is stressful all the time, compared to 15 percent of parents who have a good work-life balance.
Four in 10 full-time working moms say they always feel rushed and feel they spend too little time with their kids.
These numbers prove how much work there is to be done for all working parents to feel supported, but the study found some positive trends, too. For example, dads spend fewer hours at work and take a more active role in childcare and around the house than dads of previous generations. And in over half of working households, both mom and dad are equally focused on their careers.

Until policies reflect how many working parents there are, it helps to know some tips and tricks to balancing a job and family. You should never be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from friends, neighbors or even your boss. Try to establish boundaries and set aside time each day that’s just family time. And be flexible and forgive yourself when things don’t work out.

For tips, visit our Facebook page and post your questions.

 

 

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