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100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child

I found this on Pinterest from CreativeWithKids.com and it was too good not to share.

Tell to your child:

1. I love you.
2. love you no matter what.
3. I love you even when you are angry at me.
4. I love you even when I am angry with you.
5. I love you when you are far way.  My love for you can reach you wherever you are.
6. If I could pick any 4 year old (5 year old, 6 year old…) in the whole wide world, I’d pick you.
7. I love you to the moon and then around the stars and back again.
8. Thank you.
9. I enjoyed playing with you today.
10. My favorite part of the day was when I was with you and we were _______.

Tell them:
11. The story of their birth or adoption.
12. About how you cuddled them when they were a baby.
13. The story of how you chose their name.
14. A story about yourself when you were their age.
15. A story about how their grandparents met.
16. What your favorite color is.
17. That sometimes you struggle too.
18. That when you’re holding hands and you give three squeezes, it’s a secret code that means, “I love you”.
19. What the plan is.
20. What you’re doing right now.

Play:
21. Freeze Tag
22. Uno
23. Crazy 8s
24. Gin Rummy
25. Memory
26. Go Fish
27. I Spy- especially when you’re tired of driving and feel snappish
28. Catch

Pretend:
29. To catch their kiss and put it on your cheek.
30. That their tickle tank is empty and you have to fill it.
31. That their high five is so powerful it nearly knocks you over.
32. That you are super ticklish.
33. That you are explorers in the amazing new world of your backyard.
34. That it’s party day!  Decorate for no reason!

Try:
35. To get enough sleep.
36. To drink enough water.
37. To eat decent food.
38. Wearing earrings, or whatever makes you feel pretty.
39. Calling a friend the next time you feel like you are about to lose it with the kids.
40. Giving a gentle touch to show approval, rather than saying something.
41. Dancing in the kitchen.
42. To get your kids to bop to the music with you in the car.
43. Showing your kids that you can do a somersault or handstand or a cartwheel.
44. Keeping that sigh to yourself.  Just jump in and help clean up cheerfully.
45. Using a kind voice, even if you have to fake it.

Read:
46. A book of silly poems.
47. A book and then act it out. (Like “I’m going on a Bear Hunt”)
48. Your favorite childhood book to them.
49. When the afternoon is starting to go astray.
50. Outside under a tree.
51. In the library kids corner.
52. The comic book they love that you’re not so hot on.
53. About age appropriate behavior so you can keep your expectations realistic.

Listen:
54. To your child in the car.
55. To that Lego description, and think how important it is to your child.
56. For that question that indicates your child really needs your input.
57. One second longer than you think you have patience for.
58. For the feelings behind your child’s words.

Ask:
59. Why do you think that happens?
60. What do you think would happen if______?
61. How shall we find out?
62. What are you thinking about?
63. What was your favorite part of the day?
64. What do you think this tastes like?

Show:
65. Your child how to do something instead of banning them from it.
66. How to whistle with a blade of grass.
67. How to shuffle cards- make a bridge if you can!
68. How to cut food.
69. How to fold laundry.
70. How to look up information when you don’t know the answer.
71. Affection to your spouse.
72. That taking care of yourself is important.

Take Time:
73. To watch construction sites.
74. To look at the birds.
75. To allow your child to help you dump ingredients in the bowl.
76. To walk places together.
77. To dig in the dirt together.
78. To do a task at your child’s pace.
79. To just sit with you child while they play.

Trust:
80. That your child is capable.
81. That you are the right parent for your child.
82. That you are enough.
83. That you can do what is right for your family.

Delight your child:
84. Clean your child’s room as a surprise.
85. Put chocolate chips in the pancakes.
86. Put a love note in their lunch.
87. Make their snack into a smile face shape.
88. Make sounds effects while you help them do something.
89. Sit on the floor with them to play.

Let Go:
90. Of the guilt.
91. Of how you thought it was going to be.
92. Of your need to be right.

Give:
93. A look with Kind Eyes to your child.
94. A smile when your child walks into the room.
95. A kind touch back when your child touches you.
96. The chance to connect before you correct so that your child can actually hear your words.
97. Your child a chance to work out their frustrations before helping them.
98. A bath when the day feels long.
99. A hug.
100. You get to choose the next one!  What is your favorite way to be kind to your child?

Source: http://creativewithkids.com/100-ways-to-be-kind-to-your-child/

BACK TO SCHOOL PREP

It’s that time again, back to the real world of waking up early, while it’s still dark out, getting what appears to be zombies in motion to get their day started.  Yes, we all enjoy the summer, and now is a crude reminder of just how fast time flies.  We take for granted those long, lazy days of summer. The family vacations, trips to the beach, a drive to the mountains, or even just a day by the poolside.   However, now is the time to begin prepping for the school year.  If you haven’t already began reinforcing the Regular Bedtime Routine/Schedule, get busy.  Reminding our children how important it is to prepare for the next day the night before is crucial for success!  Ensure that you have picked up your child’s school supply list, and all backpacks, boxes of tissues, hand sanitizers, and more are all in place.  Here are a few tips to get the year off to a non-stressful start, and keep things running smoothly. I have found that during the school year, Meal Planning is especially helpful given the few hours that we actually have together in the evenings to have dinner, go over homework, bathe, and begin the bedtime routine.  Meal planning seems like hard work, but it truly isn’t, and there are plenty of websites out there to get you headed in the right direction.  Meal planning has many benefits, not only the time benefit, but in keeping your family healthy, you have time to think of what you want to prepare, instead of picking up that happy meal on impulse, there is also the smart savings on your grocery budget benefit when planning family meals. Hit the Target and/or Walmart now and stock up on Vitamin C, cough drops, aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin), Neosporin, Band-Aids, etc.  By stocking up on these items you are sure to not run out when the need arises. Get your Emergency Back Up in place.  This list includes a few contacts of family or friends that you can trust to pick your child up from school in the event that you are not able to get there immediately.  Back Up childcare is also very important, as children get sent home from all sorts of unexpected things including falls, minor playground accidents, illness, lice, school has teacher work days, school holidays, nannies go on vacations, nannies or babysitters have unexpected emergencies themselves, become sick, and/or have a sick child, daycare centers close for holidays, inclement weather, and more!  You will need to have someone in place to count on to ensure that you and/or hubby aren’t using precious pto, vacation, or sick leave in which you may need at another time.  Contact Metro Parent Relief even if you have a family member, or friend that usually assists in these situation, as you never know what may be happening with their family, work, etc., at the time of need. Never let them see you sweat!  Remember that children pick up on your feelings of stress and anxiety.  If you are feeling a certain amount of pressure in preparing for back to school, take a few moments to yourself to relax, and unwind.  Planning an occasional date night or day date each month also helps to maintain the balance within the family dynamics.  Metro Parent Relief can help in many ways, just give us a call and tell us about your unique family needs, and we will put together the perfect solution for the heading back to school rush!

Work and Motherhood- Balance

Balancing work and motherhood, does anyone really think they do it well? Is it even possible to truly balance it all? Children’s musician Laurie Berkner recently wrote a song about what it means to her. As I read the lyrics, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with so much of it.  I appreciate her putting this out there for other parents like me to relate to.

I love how Laurie is so honest in her admission that she doubts herself and feels a lot of guilt. It’s refreshing when someone openly talks about these things since it seems like a lot of moms feel that they need to appear outwardly like they have it all together.  This perpetuates the idea that we can and should be all things to all people, all of the time. It would be nice if we could let go of some of the self-doubt. Are we as moms just programmed to feel guilty and to constantly second-guess ourselves?

I share in her appreciation of those sweet moments where I’m snuggling my child on the couch and soaking her in but then my mind inevitably wanders to back to my ever-present list of things to do.  I can relate to the feelings of never being able to get anywhere on time (literally never), always rushing around and just when I feel like I’ve got things under control, everything changes. Laurie does an amazing job of succinctly summing it all up.

As soon as we become parents, the clichés start to all make sense; time flies, children grow up way too fast.  Most moms I know admit that their lives are a frenzy and they feel stressed a lot of the time but they also say that they wouldn’t change it for anything.  So we take comfort in knowing that we’re all struggling with similar issues and feelings and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.  I may always be late, always feel rushed, and am always up past 11, trying to get “just one more thing” done but I know I’m not the only one.

Balancing Work and Motherhood

The journalist asks me, “How do you do it?”
My answer is “Not very well.”
Each day is different
And when I think I’ve found a rhythm
All the plans I’ve devised
And so carefully scheduled
Get all shot to hell.

So I’ll take a taxi,
‘Cause I might get there faster
But the subway would cost me much less. . .
Ugh, the trains are delayed!
Now what if there’s traffic?
Either way, half my days
Are spent out of breath

Running from one thing
Late to another
Looked away for two minutes, and now there’s a line!
Forgot to bring lunch again
(Mine, not hers)
Slow down, slow down
Slow down
Slow
Down…
I’ll get there
Just not on time.

Talking with Brian
And planning for sitters
Who’s home today,
You or me?
That feeling of panic
That hits when I think,
“I forgot to make sure she was free.”

All my years of therapy
And yet I still cling
To the guilt I feel when I’m not there.
It’s such a cliché but I find myself thinking,
“I wish I’d been born as a pair.”

In some ways it’s easier now than it was
Lucy’s used to me coming and going.
She’s older, has friends, even tells me
“Get out Mom!” but each time it’s hard for me
Knowing
That I’ll miss some of what she was feeling that day
And I’ll miss hanging out with her too.

Time moves so fast (oy, another cliché!)
And there’s only so much I can do.

I run my own business.
I’m both artist and boss,
But pretend I’m a mom who stays home.
Then I’m gone on the weekends
Or when we’re together
Spend less time with her than my phone.

So I accept from a colleague
A derisive laugh when I say,
“Sorry, I can’t make it then.”
Because I’m picking her up,
There’s a potluck, class play
Or perhaps there’s just no school… again.

And I get to spend time with her
We read on the couch
Her body all snuggled with mine.
I breathe her in deeply
So I won’t forget
Just how good that feels
Every time.

(Then I notice that I have a pile of new messages and texts and I haven’t made dinner or taken
the dog out. When did it get to be 6:30 p.m.? When did she turn 8 years old?)

So I stay up too late
Doing work, sending email
I’m addicted to “just one more thing…”
I haven’t yet found
A different way, a better way
Or just a way
To fit everything in

I spent all that time getting ready for birth
And I think of my good friend, who said,
“Remember Laurie, this is just the curtain rising,
The real show is what lies ahead.”

Ok, so there’s no rehearsal for life
(But I’d hoped as a parent things that I’ve learned would help)
And they certainly sometimes do.
Yet often I catch myself being the child,
‘Cause I still want to be mothered too.

-Lyrics by Laurie Berkner

Check out the FREE MOBILE APP at http://laurieberkner.com/

source: Working Mother Magazine http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/2014-best-companies-multicultural-women

Check out additional support systems like a nanny or sitter, Metro Parent Relief offers assistance to parents whenever you need us!

 

5 Top Reasons to Hire a Nanny or Babysitter

5 Top Reasons to Hire a Nanny or Babysitter

Like most mother’s we are desperately in need of additional assistance when it comes to the daily care of our newborns, infants, toddlers, and older children.  Whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, the demands are non-.stop, and we are the core of our households.  Our children, along with spouses depend on us as mother’s to ensure that meals are prepared, or at least picked up, laundry is done, the babies and children have different needs throughout the day, and sometimes things can become overwhelming and crazy.

With that said, there is help out there.  The obstacle is in trusting an otherwise stranger to enter your home and get to know your family.  That in and of itself can be a challenge for most mothers.  First time moms are especially in need of additional help but often either embarrassed, or to proud to ask.  Other reasons such as not knowing where to start can complicate the situation.

Below are 5 Good Reasons to Hire a Nanny/Babysitter.  I am hoping that in focusing on the benefits and the positive aspects of hiring a nanny or babysitter, mothers who are in need of an extra set of hands for overnight newborn help, sleep training, temporary nannies for the summer, full time permanent nannies, a babysitter for a date night once a month with hubby or even just to have someone help on the weekend for a few hours while you get out.  The list below can go a long way in helping a mom be mentally, emotionally, and physically in better health.

1-     Sleep Deprivation is real.  This is the number one common complaint of new mothers. New mothers are suffering from lack of appropriate sleep which can lead to altered moods, anxiety disorders, indecisiveness, unable to think clearly, unhealthy eating, weight gain, and stress.  Sleep is detrimental to our well being, so if you do not get adequate sleep, you are risking your overall health.  Consider hiring a night nanny to care for your newborn while you get uninterrupted sleep and recuperate at a faster rate.  Once the baby is ready to sleep through the night, many night nannies can offer successful sleep training for the baby as well!

2-     Sibling Introduction can be easy the first few days, but can quickly turn into a very sensitive situation with the older sibling(s).  Once they notice the attention the new baby demands, jealousy can start to occur.  If you have a toddler, you know that they are very sensitive to their surroundings, and are in their most important developmental years.  Having enough quality time for the older child(ren) when a new baby is introduced is critical.  Hire a nanny or babysitter to come in to your home a couple to few days per week for a while gives you that opportunity to spend quality time with the older child, have a mommy and me day, while the nanny/sitter can care for your newborn.

3-     Jack of All Trades is what we as busy moms feel that we are often times.  We are required to work inside, and/or outside of the home at times, while our older children are gaining their own identity and social lives.  There are many things that happen during working hours, and/or right after work such as sports, activities, ballet, dance, tutoring, and more that we want our children to be a part of regardless of our overworked society.  In efforts to not feel stretched too thin, sometimes hiring a part time nanny, or summer nanny, can be the answer you need.  This will allow you to accomplish many things, and not leave yourself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.  While our lives are increasingly busy, having another set of hands to help juggle day to day life is becoming more and more popular.

4-     Staying Connected with your spouse can also be challenging when running a family.  Dad is stretched as well with working long hours, having projects and travel demands.  Often times at the end of the day, we end up falling asleep with an open book on our chests and the television watching us.  Keeping the fire burning and spicing up our love life becomes even more difficult to accomplish.  Prioritizing and scheduling, yes, scheduling date nights, even if just once a week, will help you and dad stay connected.  Getting away from your every day environment, having uninterrupted time to be alone is worth every penny of hiring a babysitter to work with your family on a regular basis.

5-     Give Yourself, Me Time is one of the most important reasons to hire a nanny or babysitter.  We as women naturally put ourselves last on the priority list because we have so many depending on us.  Scheduling a weekend morning or early afternoon once in a while to go to the beauty salon, or have your nails done, get a massage, go to the gym, take a yoga class, or even just grocery shopping alone can be a wonderful way to focus on you and your inner self.  There is an old saying “happy wife, happy life”.  I couldn’t agree more! 

If you or someone you know can benefit from having a nanny or babysitter to assist, please feel free to contact us at Metro Parent Relief!  We are always here to help!

This FATHER’S DAY – Take Him Out! 6 Fun Date Night Ideas

We all know that one-on-one time with your partner is important to keeping your relationship happy and healthy, but it can be tough to come up with new, creative ideas for dates. Here are some simple, low-key date ideas that are certain to keep the spark alive.

1. Too exhausted by 9pm to think about going out for the evening? How about a brunch or lunch date? You’ll save money too; lunch menus prices are usually lower than dinner. Try Indigo Landing in Alexandria where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Potomac and DC skyline while you sip a Bellini made with house made strawberry puree.
2. Errands. We realize this doesn’t sound like the most romantic date, but once you have children you can really appreciate how lovely it is to get errands done by yourself. You and your partner can talk and spend time together while you check things off of your to-do list.

3. Perils of the Lost Jungle Mini Golf at Woody’s in Herndon. This place gets rave reviews for its adventure-themed course and was rated one of the top 5 mini golf courses in the country by Newsweek Magazine.

4. Bowling. Enjoy some friendly (and flirty) competition in an old school date night kind of way.

5. Take a walk in a park. Bring a blanket and a cooler and relax outdoors; you may even fall asleep. New parents, doesn’t that sound amazing?

6. Couples massage.  Not too expensive, very intimate, loving, and shows appreciation.  Not to mention a true stress and tension reliever.  Red Door Spas throughout the area, and also Massage Envy are all offering Father’s Day specials!

Why not let Metro Parent Relief send a nanny or sitter so you may enjoy some well-deserved couple time?

SLEEP DEPRIVATION- The TOP 5 Things you MUST DO TODAY!

Are you sleep deprived?  Do you feel like a walking zombie?  Sleep deprivation is a period in most new parents lives when you literally begin craving a few hours of straight sleep.  The lack of sleep required for the body to operate and function normally can be detrimental to your health.  Sleep deprivation is serious, and can cause weight gain, stress, along with poor decision making.  There are MANY reasons a new parent may suffer from sleep deprivation, but you’d be surprised to know that it is not all of the time the new addition keeping you up.  See these 5 Tips below, that you must incorporate into your winding down routine, to assure that YOUR body and mind is prepared for bed.

  1. No Caffiene after 3pm.
  2. Follow the same bedtime each night
  3. Lower lights, noise, and stimulation
  4. Do not check emails, surf the web, or anything computer related a few hours before
  5. Try to meditate- clearing your mind of all thoughts, and activities of the day

I also ran across an article from Parents.com that has additional tips.  Again, this is about you, the parent, not sleep training for the baby.  If you find that you are unable to put these practices in place, due to a new baby, phone in help from a relative, friend, or us!  Everyone deserves a night of solid, uninterrupted sleep, even if it’s just one to two nights per week, you will find a couple of nights sleep can go a long way.  There are also experts, including some on the Metro Parent Relief nanny, sleep training lists that can help with incorporating healthy sleep habits for baby, should that be a reason for your sleep deprivation.  Our expert nannies, and night nannies, can help you get the sleep you need, to be the best parent you can be!

Check out the Parents.com article attached.  Sleep is just as important for you, the parent, as it is for baby.

http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/sleep-deprivation/post-baby-sleep-interferences/

At Metro Parent Relief- All of our nannies, night nannies, childcare experts, and babysitters are criminal background checked, sex offender checked, reference checked, have passed a written assessment, and live local in the Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, McLean, Reston, Herndon, Leesburg, Potomac MD, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Washington DC areas!  We also offer the most competitive fees, for referring the most qualified and experienced people in the area!  Metro Parent Relief 703-798-0024, http://www.metroparentrelief.com

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