How to Not Feel Jealous of Your Nanny

jealousYou spent days combing through a pile of applicants, sat through several awkward job interviews and dealt with the hassle of running thorough background checks on the finalists in your nanny search competition. You checked references, made sure that your favorites had the right certifications and eventually found the nanny of your dreams. After all of that hard work and the elation that comes with knowing that you found the best possible caregiver for your children, you expected to be able to sit back and enjoy the knowledge that your children are happy and safe while you continue to earn a living. What you found, however, is that you’re completely jealous of your nanny and worried that she’s going to somehow take your place in your kids’ hearts.

Realize That Jealousy Could Sour Your Working Relationship With Your Nanny

It’s one thing to feel a twinge of envy now and then when you hear about the exciting adventures your nanny had with your children while you were stuck at the office, but it’s completely another to let the green-eyed monster ruin a perfectly good working relationship. When jealousy rears its head, you may very well find yourself looking for shortcomings or mistakes from your nanny, just to reassure yourself that she’s not actually perfect. In the end, though, all you’re doing is finding tiny flaws to harp on and constantly bring to your nanny’s attention. Eventually, petty complaints can become more than your nanny is willing or able to handle, which can eventually cause her to leave her post altogether. Unless you’re in a position to quit working altogether or you’re itching to start the process of finding a great nanny all over again, it’s wise to check your jealousy before it ruins the professional relationship you have with your existing nanny.

Know That Your Children Don’t Love the Nanny More

Your nanny spends the day with your children doing fun things, such as going on outings and getting involved in exciting activities. You’re the disciplinarian that comes home and reestablishes order at the end of the day, managing the schedule and making sure that everything runs smoothly. It’s easy to fall victim to the idea that your children will grow to love their nanny more than they love you, but it’s important to remember that no childcare provider will ever take the place of a parent. Even if it seems like they’re having more fun with the nanny sometimes, you’ll always be number one. 

Change Your Perspective

You can view your nanny as someone that you’re in direct competition with for your kids’ love, attention and affection, or you can choose to see her as an invaluable member of your team. The former will only inspire more feelings of jealousy and perpetuate the cycle of nanny envy, while the latter makes it easier to see her as a comrade, rather than the enemy. At the end of the day, you and your nanny have a common goal: seeing your children through the big moments in life and helping them reach developmental milestones in a happy, loving environment. The simple act of making a concerted effort to change the way you see your nanny can affect noticeable change on the quality of your professional relationship.

Be Honest With Your Nanny

As a professional, private childcare provider with a bit of experience, there’s not likely to be much that your nanny hasn’t experienced firsthand or learned about from other nanny pals. You may think that you’re doing a bang-up job of hiding your feelings of envy, but there’s a good chance that your nanny has an idea of what’s going on. Starting a frank, open conversation about the fact that you are struggling with some jealousy establishes a line of communication between you and your nanny that didn’t exist before, and may actually serve to break down a few barriers that were inadvertently built as you kept her at arm’s length as a result of those feelings. Don’t be afraid to let your nanny know how you’re feeling, especially if you have the suspicion that you were a bit harder on her than was strictly necessary when jealousy and bitterness first began to sink in.

Your nanny is open, loving and affectionate with your children because she genuinely cares for them and enjoys her work, not because she has any interest in replacing you as a mother figure. Both your nanny and your children are fully aware of the fact that you are the mother of your children, so try not to give in to those feelings of envy and fear. Instead, realize that your jealousy is actually a sign that you made the right choice, and that you found a nanny that your children are happy to spend time with!

21 Blogs Sharing the Pros and Cons of Kids Having Cell Phones

According to a survey completed by Pew Internet and Life Project, 20% of kids’ ages 6 to 11 have cell phones, whereas 75% of kids’ ages 11 to 17 have them.  How do you know when it is the right time to get your child a cell phone?  And if you do get your child a cell phone, should he have Internet access?  These are difficult questions to answer, but these 21 blog articles will provide you with the pros and cons to help you make the right decision for your child.



Being able to keep tabs on your child can keep her safer, as would the ability for your child to call you should the need arise.  In case of an emergency, your child could call the police if she has a cell phone.  While these are good reasons to have a cell phone, there are other reasons, such as cyber bullying, sexual predators and sexting, which may make you decide not to get your child a cell phone.  For these and other reasons check out the next seven blog posts.

Are They Ready?

Determining if your child is ready to have her own cell phone can be difficult.  Each child is different, so a child who is 9 years old might be ready, while another child who is 14 may not be.  You will need to take a look at these seven blog entries and determine the readiness of your child.

Phones in School

It’s easy to say that kids don’t need cell phones in school, but when the teacher tells them to look up something on the Internet and they have to wait in line for a computer to become available because they don’t have a smartphone it may not be so black and white.  Read through these seven blog posts to help you determine if your child needs to have a cell phone in school or not.

How to Get Your Child Off the Couch

The childhood obesity epidemic continues to grow in this country year after year. There are several contributing factors, including the activity level of kids and the huge amounts of calorie laden foods they eat. Both of those things take a committed effort to change, but it’s well worth the better health and happier kids the effort produces. Here are a few ways that you can increase the activity level in your child in a real and long lasting way.


Find an activity you both like and do it together. A fun way to get your child off the couch is to find something you both like to do and then make a regular date to do it together. This could be a traditional sport, like tennis, baseball, basketball or soccer, or it could be something like jumping on the trampoline, bike riding, running or climbing on the jungle gym. Which activity you choose to do is much less important than helping your child get into the regular habit of moving. Once he makes the connection between exercise and fun, he’ll want to stay active. Doing things together also helps you get in the recommended amount of exercise. Plus it’s a great way to strengthen your relationship with your child. It’s a relaxed way to connect in a way that both of you can enjoy.

Limit television, video and computer time. Electronics can be the enemy of physical activity. Most children spend hours each day in front of a screen watching TV, playing video games or surfing the net. Not only does that keep them on the couch, it provides the perfect environment for mindless eating. This double whammy of inactivity and a high calorie diet can quickly add on pounds. Limit the amount of electronics time your child is allowed and offer him healthy alternatives to keep him entertained.

Help your child find a sport he enjoys. One of the best ways to keep your child active is to get her involved in a sport she enjoys. Enroll your child in a community center sports clinic or a neighborhood recreational program to give her the opportunity to try out a few different sports until she finds something she really enjoys. Not only will she get a great workout during practices and games, she’s more likely to participate in other casual activities, like joining in a pick-up game of basketball, playing catch with a friend or taking a bike ride with a parent.

Encourage friendships with other kids. The opportunity to play with other kids is a great motivator for your child to get off the couch. Help your child connect with neighborhood kids or classmates and suggest ways they can get together and have fun. Instead of spending the afternoon watching TV, your child can meet up with his buddies and go for a bike ride, play a game of soccer or build a fort in the backyard.

Model the importance of exercise. It’s not enough to tell your child how important regular exercise is to his health. It’s your job to show him that it’s important enough for you to do too. Find some activities that you genuinely enjoy doing and share your passion with your child. Talk with him about the benefits you get from playing tennis each week, taking a yoga class before work or training for a marathon on the weekends. Your child is much more likely to follow your lead when you follow your own good advice.

Be sensitive to your child’s self-image. If your child is overweight or out of shape, he’s probably resistant to starting an exercise routine. He may be embarrassed that he can’t keep up with the other kids or that he’s carrying around extra weight. Talk with your child about these issues and let him know that you’re on his side. Work with him to find activities that he can enjoy and feel good about doing. It may take a while for him to build up his confidence, but with persistence he’ll see his body grow stronger and leaner. Feeling better will lead to a positive domino effect, the more he does the more he’ll want to do. Remember, it’s essential that you not only address exercise, but also good nutrition, especially for overweight kids. Often, overeating is the result of emotional struggles the child is having. By addressing all the pieces of the puzzle, you’ll be able to help your child get to a weight he’s comfortable with.

10 Reasons Christian Parents May Choose Not to Enroll Their Kids in Christian School

prayerAt first blush, it may seem that Christian parents would obviously prefer to send their children to a private, Christian school. After all, public schools are federally mandated to maintain complete neutrality in terms of religion, teaching a strictly secular world view and approach to education. There are, however, a variety of reasons why many Christian parents actively choose to send their children to public school over giving them a faith-based education.

  1. Costs Can Be Prohibitive – Financial considerations can be a determining factor for some Christian parents. Public school is offered for free by law. Private schools are not funded by the government, so they need to charge tuition and fees in order to pay teachers’ salaries and maintain a school that runs smoothly. The tuition can be steep, and is not always able to be waived or lessened based on income. Some schools offer scholarships, but they’re generally in very high demand and are, as such, often difficult to obtain.
  2. Course Offerings Can Be Limited – In some cases, Christian schools are not able to offer the same wide variety of courses available in a larger, publicly-funded school. Smaller class sizes, fewer faculty members, physical space limitations and spiritual objections to subject matter can all be reasons why some classes aren’t available in all private schools. Regardless of faith, many parents simply aren’t willing to compromise the quality of their child’s educational experience.
  3. Doctrinal Differences – While a school may identify as parochial or Christian, there is no guarantee that a Christian school teaches the same religion that you celebrate as a family. Denominational and doctrinal differences can be very problematic for some parents. Catholic or Lutheran schools might teach a faith that’s decidedly different from a Baptist or Methodist one practiced at home, which can cause confusion in young children. Differences can include which version of the Bible is taught and how different views are expressed or accepted, all of which can be problematic when kids are just beginning to build the foundation of their own beliefs.
  4. Uniform Requirements – From the desire to allow children to express their individuality through wardrobe choices to the added expense of purchasing specific uniforms, some parents find that the uniform requirements of a private school are simply not something they’re willing to deal with.
  5. Interference With the Parents’ Role in Kids Spiritual Growth With your child learning about their faith almost every day at school, they may not participate as openly in family faith-affirming activities. Remember, even matters of faith can become dull if they’re the only subject a child gets to talk about. Plus, you might fall into the habit of not growing together in faith because you realize they are getting a good portion of it at school already. Either way, some parents feel that a Christian education minimizes their role in kids’ spiritual development.
  6. Over Sheltering – Some parents prefer their children to live their faith-based life out in front of the world where they have an opportunity to be a good witness and share the love of Christ with others.
  7. Financial Favoritism – When parents who are struggling to cover basic tuition are ignored or marginalized in favor of catering to those that are able to make large financial contributions, it can create an unfavorable climate for parents and students alike. Even in Christian institutions, financial favoritism isn’t altogether uncommon. If there are limited selections in terms of Christian private schools in your area and all of them have a reputation for favoring big spenders, you may want to look elsewhere.
  8. You’re Looking for Behavioral Correction and Habit Modification – If enrolling your child in Christian school is a behavioral last resort for you, it might not work out the way you’d hope. Christian schools have received the reputation of “straightening kids out,” but that reputation isn’t actually always deserved.  If no other school can handle your child’s behavioral issues, there may be some underlying problems you need to address. Expecting a teacher at a Christian school to work behavioral miracles is unfair to the faculty, the other students and your child.
  9. Limited Exposure to Other Thoughts and Ideas – With some private schools, the focus is more on the religious aspect of life than other areas that may be necessary for a well-rounded education. Even though you’ll naturally want your children to learn about Christian values, they also need to be exposed to the way the rest of the world works. If they’re kept in the static environment of a Christian school for their entire academic education, the very secular world of college will almost certainly come as quite a shock.
  10. Children with Gay Parents May Not Be Able to Enroll – In this ever-changing world, the concept of same-sex couples starting families is becoming more and more common. Some denominations of Christianity are even accepting of same-sex unions, but that doesn’t mean that a privately-run school will have the same viewpoint.

The decision to place your children in private school or to maintain their public education is one that can only be made by you and your family. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, regardless of your faith. If you feel that Christian school is ultimately the wrong choice for your family, you can still make every effort to instill strong, Christian values in your children while they attend public school.

Ten Reasons Not to Spoil Your Kids

Little kids can be so funny, and so incredibly cute. Their clowning can be a healing balm to a weary soul. However, many of those cute kid antics at two and three years old can become problematic later on. The sad puppy dog eyes have a tendency to cause adults to give in to whatever whims the child has at the moment. This manipulation can have serious consequences later on. Parents don’t plan to spoil their kids, but it happens as a result of allowing of certain behaviors to continue well after the “cute” stage has passed. Discipline and setting boundaries may cause temper tantrums and temporary ill feelings on the part of the child, but the negative behavior is only temporary. It is much better to nip misbehavior in the bud than to let it snowball into a major problem. If you need a reason to put an end to some of those antics, choose one of these.

  1. You’re Hurting Your Child in the Long Run –  Everyone knows that life is not fair. There are the “haves” and the “have not’s.” It’s always been that way, and it always will be that way. Spoiling a child sets her up to get hurt later on when she realizes that in some cases, she will be one of the “have not’s.” If she has been given everything up to that point, she will be ill-prepared to handle the disappointment.
  2. Finding a Sitter Will Often be a Struggle –  Babysitters talk, and they compare notes. If your child is known to be spoiled and difficult to handle, good luck finding a sitter after word spreads. It won’t take long to exhaust your short list of available candidates. With the shortage of well qualified, available sitters, why would any of them settle for taking on a spoiled child when there are well behaved, easy to handle kids who also need their services?
  3. You Want to Maintain a Peaceful Home Environment – The simple truth is spoiled children make a lot of noise. Whether it is throwing tantrums, yelling, nagging or just constantly insisting on being served, a spoiled child’s voice is always in your ears.
  4. Your Child Needs Boundaries –  Children like to know where their limits are in terms of acceptable behavior. Setting boundaries gives them a framework within which they can work. They will always test those boundaries to see how rigid they are, though. Parents will find that some boundaries will be more flexible than others. For example crossing the street alone is forbidden. Eating candy before dinner may be more negotiable, depending on the circumstances. Either way, your child needs those boundaries to be in place, and removing them only serves to spoil her.
  5. Avoiding Manipulative Behavior –  When a grandparent looks at you and says, “My, he has you well trained,” you can pretty well assured that your child is well on the way to being spoiled. According to child development professor, Dr. David Elkind of Tufts University a 5 to 6 year old who throws temper tantrums is being manipulative. Toddlers will throw tantrums to deal with their feelings, but for older kids that behavior is inappropriate and is used as a means of engineering the outcome they want.
  6. Your Child Needs to Learn to Be Independent – A child who needs his mother or father constantly, who won’t go to bed alone or allow anyone else to keep him is headed for problems. Kids need to learn how to socialize with others and how to be okay when they’re under the care of other responsible people.
  7. To Help Your Child Learn Self-Discipline – Society is full of over-indulgent people who are ruining their lives and the lives of others by their lack of self-discipline. This is a skill learned easily enough in childhood, but it becomes a difficult task to learn later in life. Teaching your child to be self-disciplined well help her develop into an adult that can handle the ups and downs of life without turning to self-destructive behaviors.
  8. Teaching Your Child to Make Good Choices –  If you are always making choices for your child, when will she learn to make good choices for herself? Indeed, when she is very small, you make decisions for her, but as she grows older you can teach her how to make wise decisions by allowing her to choose for herself and explaining the consequences of her choices.
  9. Instilling a Sense of Self-Confidence –  A child whose parents always run to the rescue for every little thing learns to be needy and will most likely grow up feeling the need to be taken care of in all aspects. On the other hand, a child that grows up learning to do things on his own, with reasonable guidance and assistance is more likely to have self-confidence.
  10. To Encourage Contribution to the Household – If you don’t want to have a bunch of long-legged teenagers sitting around the house, waiting for you to clean up after them and attend to their needs, then you need to start early. While your kids are still small, give them simple chores that are age-appropriate. By doing this you are teaching them responsibility, and that they have roles to play in their community.

Spoiling your child is really putting him at a disadvantage which may last a lifetime. Teaching about responsibility, self-control, self-discipline and teamwork will also have long term consequences for your child’s future. Keep in mind the possibility your choice will also directly or indirectly affect your future as well. You may not want Junior still living in your basement and handing his laundry off to you when he is fifty years old.

10 Reasons to Encourage Humility in Your Kids

Many of the most admired people in the world have incredible humility. There is something very special about a person who can wield great power, while at the same time remain humble. This characteristic is becoming rarer in our society, yet it remains one of the greater virtues to be cultivated.  Encouraging your child to be humble about his accomplishments, even when they’re very impressive, is an important part of parenting for several reasons, ten of which are shared here.

  1. Because No One Likes a Know-it-All –  There are some very intelligent people in the world, and most of the more admired ones manage to keep their egos in check. Your child could end up a social misfit if she always insists on letting everyone know how smart she is, or reminding the people around her of her many accomplishments. It’s wonderful to be brilliant, but it’s even more wonderful to be brilliant and humble.
  2. Because Arrogance Isn’t Cool –  Most arrogant kids have a tendency to be rude in their behavior toward others. Rude behavior is not appreciated by anyone, especially other kids in your child’s peer group. If you would like to see your child well respected and accepted, teach him how to be humble, even if he does seem to be a cut above others.
  3. Because Humility Stands Out in a Crowd – Society is full of people who think much more highly of themselves than is warranted. These people usually get talked about and ridiculed behind their backs, and when they make a mistake or fail at something there is little sympathy. Those who have humility tend to have a higher level of respect from their peers. The humble tend to garner support when they need it, and will stand out from a crowd of kids with a false sense of entitlement.
  4. Because Teachers Appreciate Humble Students – Nowadays, teachers on every level have to deal with a variety of entitled attitudes and arrogant ideas. The humble student is like a breath of fresh air to the average educator. That can easily translate into a better educational experience for your child.
  5. Because Humility is a Sign of Self-Confidence – Someone who is confident in his knowledge and has self-assurance does not need to flaunt it, because his skills are evident. As your child gets older, teaching him to own his good points as well as his flaws will help him keep a realistic perspective on things. He will learn to have confidence in what he does know, and he will seek answers for those things he does not know.
  6. Because There are Amazing Examples to Hold Up for Your Child – When you teach your child about humility, you have some amazing role models to hold up. Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and so many others have done incredible work and managed to remain humble during the process. Teaching your children about such world leaders and their sacrifices will help instill the concept of humility despite greatness. Don’t forget to hold up the unsung heroes as well, family members, community people, friends, etc.
  7. Because Teaching Humility Also Instills a Sense of Gratitude – One aspect of humility is learning to be grateful. As you encourage humility in your children you are teaching them to appreciate and be thankful for what they have. Kids who have gone on mission trips to serve others less fortunate or those who are dealing with some sort of disaster such as a flood or tornado often return home with a great sense of appreciation for their own privileged position.
  8. Because Encouraging Humility is Encouraging Service to Others – It’s a very worthy cause to teach kids how to serve others. Learning to put someone else first is an important skill, and much needed in today’s self-centered society. Helping other people is putting the Golden Rule into action. As kids learn what it truly means to treat others as they would like to be treated, they will get a clear picture why humility is such an important virtue.
  9. Because Humility Builds Stronger Relationships – When one athlete in a team sport gets all of the attention for winning the game, sometimes he will credit his good fortune to his teammates. Such actions help foster better relationships between the members of the team. After all, it is a team sport and that single athlete could not have won the game alone, despite what the commentators would have people believe. Instilling this kind of thinking in your child will serve her well as she matures and learns how to work well with other people.
  10. Because Humble Children Are Usually Happier – The person who isn’t doing much has little to be humble about, but also little to be proud of in terms of their performance. On the other hand, a person who is achieving much and remains humble throughout all her successes is a person to be admired. As your child steps into this role, always encourage her both in her achievements and in her humility. She will learn to take pride in a job well done and how to share the limelight with those who helped her along the way, rather than pushing others away with grandiose statements designed to cover a deep-seated insecurity.

There’s a fine line between encouraging self-esteem and fostering a sense of arrogance. Striving to bolster kids’ self-esteem can backfire, as evidenced by the rise in arrogance and entitled attitudes. The air of entitlement has taken its toll while the virtue of humility and practice of humility have seemed to have fallen by the wayside. It’s not too late to turn things around, and starting with instilling a strong sense of humility in your child is a strong beginning.

15 Fundraising Ideas for Your Church Group

Whether you’re raising money for an upcoming mission trip or tuition for a student to attend a local Christian school, fundraisers are an important part of showing the community that you have an active church. They’re also a popular and relatively reliable way to fill the coffers for your next big group outing or project. These are a few options for hosting a fundraiser than can help to boost your church group’s income and bankroll future good deeds.

  1. Youth-Run Dinners – Older congregants enjoy seeing an active youth group. What better way to show them how these young people can work together toward a common goal than to have the kids serve dinner? While you’ll want to make sure that kids and teens are well supervised, especially in the kitchen area, the kids can manage a significant portion of the work. Charge a set price at the door, or set up a free-will offering system.
  2. Craft Sale – There are probably more crafters in your area than you would expect. Consider gathering their works together for a craft sale. Most are willing to donate their art for a good cause, and may even allow the church group to keep all funds raised through the event. Otherwise, offer them a certain percentage of the earnings as a show of gratitude for their hard work.
  3. Auction – No one can resist a good auction. Even secular businesses are usually willing to donate something to an auction, as it’s a way of advertising their product and business that casts them in a favorable light. The cost of the event is minimal, and usually all proceeds can be put directly toward your group’s fundraising goal.
  4. Walk-a-Thon – Host a walk or ride-a-thon, and have the participants raise money via sponsors. It gets a lot of people involved with worthy causes, and is a family-friendly activity that almost anyone can participate in. You just need a few people who are organized enough to pull together and work as a team to keep track of sponsors and participants.
  5. Pancake Breakfasts – Food is always a good way to raise money. People can’t help but show up for a delicious pancake breakfast. Pancakes are easy to make in bulk, and are sure to please the masses. Whether you charge each person or allow them to make a free-will donation, you will easily make back any money spent on the ingredients and then some.
  6. Community Yard Sales – You can tackle this as a lone group or you can combine with a local community-based group to create a citywide garage sale. During the summer months, people hunt down yard sales to find great deals. Make it easier for them by having a day or even an entire weekend devoted to yard sales for all who would like to participate. The fee for the participants could be a percentage of whatever they earn, or you could set a flat participation fee.
  7. Car Wash – A car wash is always a popular way to raise money, especially on warm, sunny days. Some gas stations will donate the water and location for the car wash, so all you’d have to provide are the soap and warm bodies that are willing to work.
  8. Golf Tournament – Coordinate with your local golf course to create a golf tournament that can take place every year. During the summer months, people look for any excuse to get out and enjoy a beautiful evening. Provide it for them by having a golf tournament where groups can sponsor teams and everyone can enjoy a bit of active, good-natured fun.
  9. Bottle Drive – Have the members of your church group go door to door collecting people’s bottles and cans to turn in to the recycling center or a scrap yard. Those few cents gathered here and there will add up in the end.
  10. Bake Sale – Again, food is a powerful motivator when you’re seeking donations. Even those who are on a diet will shell out $10 for that plate of cookies or cupcakes. Offering a few sugar-free and gluten-free goodies will also help to ensure that everyone’s able to enjoy a treat or two.
  11. Create Your Own Shirts – Tie-dyed shirts are a fun activity for everyone. Kids and adults alike enjoy picking out their favorite colors to swirl into a shirt they get to take home and keep. The supplies are affordable, and people can either bring their own shirt or buy one at the event.
  12. Raffles – Selling tickets for the chance to win a prize is always a successful fundraising move, but it does depend upon your ability to land the donation of a prize worth promoting. Speaking to business leaders and owners within your congregation may turn up some valuable leads, so don’t be afraid to get out there and start asking questions.
  13. Dinner Theater – Entertain and feed the members of your community with a dinner theater production. It doesn’t have to be anything too extensive, but you can hold auditions for the parts and practice a few times a week before putting on a family-friendly, faith-based show. Those who do not make it in auditions or who would rather not be “on stage” can help with making and serving the dinner, or collecting donations at the door.
  14. Seasonal Festival – This takes quite a bit of organizing and planning, but can become a beloved annual event. Volunteers can be recruited to help run booths and suggest activity ideas, which can generate far more money than you realize. With every passing year, your event and your proceeds will grow.
  15. Talent Show – Kids have a lot of talent, whether they know it or not. Host a talent show for the youth in your church group, and be guaranteed to have a crowd. Their friends and family will all pile in to witness the apple of their eye on stage, putting more ticket money in the collection plate.

Let your mind go and use your imagination to come up with new and exciting ways of raising money to fund your group’s good works. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or more expensive than is worthwhile. With creativity and fun, you can raise funds successfully for your project.