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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Hire A Nanny?, Here Its Tips

In some parents’ eyes, daycares are less favorable than a nanny. Some parents feel the personal attention a nanny can give to their children is a valuable service many daycares are not capable of providing due to the number of children in their care. Another reason that families choose nannies is for the convenience of having the childcare available outside of standard daycare operating hours. A nanny will become an integral part of the family so choosing wisely is an important step to selecting the best nanny for your children.

What should you consider then?

1. Do you want a live-in nanny, day time nanny, full-time, part-time or on call? What is your budget? Will you want the nanny to clean the house, cook meals or transport your children to after school activities or play dates? What other responsibilities are you looking for in a nanny?

2. Will you allow smoking or visitors in your home during the care period? Do you care if the nanny speaks your native language or any other language? Au pairs are commonly younger women from foreign countries; is it important to you to have a caregiver from your locality?

3. What is the rate? Before you start looking for a nanny you should find out what the local rates are and determine if you can afford the care you are looking for. Perhaps making arrangements with another family to share a nanny will better suit your budget. If you choose to share a nanny you will also need to make a clear agreement with the other parents as to the responsibilities you both require.

Nannies can be found through agencies, personal references and by posting an ad in the newspaper. Wherever you go to find a nanny you will want to ask them for references (make certain that you are able to contact the references), a driver’s license or other ID, criminal check and child care experience or education depending on your personal requirements. Asking for a nanny with First Aid or CPR is also common.

It is better for you to ask the agency about their background and work experience. Arrange to meet the candidates in person and don’t commit to a hiring until you’ve had the chance to interview them.

 

Suggestions for Teaching Your Child about Life and Death

Talk With Your Children About the Cycle of Life – Consider discussing death with them at a time that you can naturally incorporate it into part of your conversation. Consider for example when the leaves change colors in the fall, and then die off only to grow back in the spring. Remember to keep things light and easy initially, offering your children ample opportunities to ask questions.

Acknowledge Your Own Feelings – In order for your children to accept death you must first come to terms with it. Children are very sensitive and likely to pick up on your emotional cues about death and dying, thus if you are uncomfortable with the subject they are likely to be too. Take some time to examine your own feelings and become comfortable with the subject before broaching it with your children.

Be Open and Honest About Feelings – Many parents have a natural instinct to shield their children from the grief associated with death, but this can actually be damaging. It is important that you allow your children to understand that death can be sad, and let them know that you are sad if it happens. It is important that children learn to express themselves openly and honesty and learn how to release their emotions when necessary.

Remember when teaching children about death and dying that their initial reactions may be very different from what you would expect.

Rather than focusing on the spiritual or emotional aspects of death they may want to know more about the technicalities, such as how someone is buried and where they go.

Remember that this is perfectly normal. Address each question honestly and age appropriately when they surface, and your children will come to have a healthy understanding of the death and dying process.

 

Tips to Teaching Student Drivers

Set A Schedule. Keeping teens on a schedule can be nearly impossible as they juggle their busy lives with after school programs, work, homework, socializing, etc., but it is something that you must do. Find a time that works for the both of you and go out no more than one hour each time for your lessons. Oh, by the way, make sure your driver in training has his or her driver’s permit on them at all times.

Simple Start. Keep the first lesson or two simple. Backing in and out of the driveway and driving around the neighborhood first are good starts. If you live on a busy road, then you should drive the car to a less busy area before allowing your student to take over. At the very beginning, avoid driving on days when pavement is wet – dealing with water on the road is a separate lesson for the more experienced student.

A Good Beginning. Thirty years after I first received my license, I remember in my lessons being told that there were four things that a driver must do before even starting the car: door, seat, seatbelt, mirror. In other words: close and lock the doors, adjust the driver’s seat for your personal settings, fasten your seatbelt, and adjust side and rear view mirrors. Then, put the key in the ignition, start the car, look all around, engage the transmission, and slowly step on the accelerator and get moving.

Moving Forward. Once your driver has a good feel for the car – no jackrabbit starts or hard breaking observed – step things up and start practicing using hand and turn signals, parallel parking, how to negotiate turns and curbs, etc.

Stepping Out. After several lessons of driving locally and practicing safe driver habits, it is time to take the student out onto a busy road. Keep this lesson short to allow the nervous student time to adjust to driving in traffic. At least initially avoid rush hour traffic, highways, and areas with excessive pedestrian traffic. Make sure your student understands road signs, traffic signals, stopping/yielding, and the myriad of other rules of the road. Repeat lessons as needed to help your student grow accustomed to driving in traffic. Once your student builds up their confidence, take them out on the highway.

Study and Review. While behind the wheel lessons are extremely important, knowledge about driving rules and regulations are important too. When driving down the road, point out road signs and ask your student what they mean. Discuss the fines and points that can be assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles {DMV} for violations. All of these things will be on their written test.

Defensive Driving. If you live in a more northerly climate, learning how to drive on ice and snow is essential to being a safe driver. Even if your student learns how to drive and secures their license in warmer months, insist on getting back in the car with them when wet leaves, snow, and ice are on the ground. Also make certain that your student understands how alcohol can impair judgment, how a radio, cell phone, or other passengers can distract them, and how to drive around pedestrians, bicyclists, mopeds, etc.

Check Fluids. An important lesson apart from actual driving and preparing for the written test is maintenance of the vehicle. Your student should be familiar with looking under the hood, checking fluid levels, hoses, belts, etc. Also show your student how to check tire pressure, do a visual check of turn signals, headlights, and all other lights. Familiarization with the exhaust and suspension systems is important too.

Ready, Set, Test! Once you are certain that your student understands all the rules of the road, is exhibiting safe driving practices, and is a confident driver then take the test. Do not let a pending birthday or special event drive that decision as you want to produce a safe driver, not a reckless one.

Once your student has passed their test make certain that the information on their license is correct, your car’s registration is up to date, your insurance has them covered, and the car that he will be driving is road ready before allowing him to drive by himself.

Remember, driving is a privilege and not a right. Good driving habits are formed early on, but so are bad habits. Nip any problems in the bud early to ensure the safety of your student and everyone else who is out on our roads.