21 Blogs Detailing How to Make Your Own Laundry Aids

laundryIt’s not cheap to continually buy laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets, but they’re necessary evils we encounter in daily life, right? But what if you could stop buying them by making your own laundry aids at home? Not only would you save a ton of money, but you’d also be able to control what chemicals come in contact with your family’s skin. These 21 blog entries tell you exactly what you need to do to prepare laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets at home, so you never have to waste money on them at the store again.


Since the main ingredient in detergent is soap, this laundry aid is not only easy to assemble, but it’s also highly customizable to your favorite scents. By using your favorite bar of soap as the base or adding in a couple drops of essential oil, you can create your own unique laundry detergent. For other tips on how to mix up laundry detergent at home, check out these seven blog posts.

Stain Remover

Instead of running to the store the next time the kids come home with a stain, whip up a batch of your own stain remover – you probably already have everything you need around the house! The trick to treating stains is determining the type of stain it is and treating it as quickly as possible after it happens. To learn more about making your own stain removers, read these seven blog articles.

Dryer Sheets

You can use anything from a washcloth to strips of flannel fabric with a little fabric softener or essential oil to make your own dryer sheets. If you would like to do away with dryer sheets altogether, try using rubber dryer balls or making your own dryer balls from wool. These solutions and more are explored in the next seven blog entries.

10 Things to Think About Before Getting a Family Pet

petThe family pet is an iconic part of the family unit, even if those pets aren’t of the traditional dog-and-cat variety. Pets are a great way to teach kids the importance of caring for another living thing, and give them a sense of responsibility. They’re also a lot of work, and their addition to the family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before you bring your newest family member home, these are ten of the things that you should consider.

  • What You Want Out of Pet Ownership – If you’re looking for companionship and a beloved family member, pet ownership might be the right route. If you’re just bending to kids demands in order to stop the pleas for a pet or you have the vague idea that you might like one, you may want to think twice about your decision to get a pet.
  • Your Family Lifestyle – Families today are busy, between work, school and activities. Some types of pets, however, require plenty of socialization and care in order to thrive. If your house is usually empty and you’re determined to get a pet, you may want to consider more independent animals over dogs and cats that need affection.
  • The Type of Pet Best Suited to Your Household – You may be harboring the lifelong dream of owning a Great Dane, but a cramped apartment simply isn’t going to accommodate a large animal. Think about what your property has to offer a pet and what drawbacks it presents, then choose your new family member accordingly.
  • Shelters Versus Breeders – Some pet owners are insistent upon purchasing from breeders, while others feel that adopting from a shelter is the more ethical choice. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to be well informed before making your decision.
  • Kids’ Ages and Maturity Levels – Many parents purchase puppies or kittens when their children are small, assuming that they’ll “grow up together.” The truth is that an animal’s growth rate will quickly outstrip that of your child, and a very young child simply isn’t always capable of treating a pet as gently as the pet requires. Rough handling and clumsy treatment at the hands of a child may be unintentional, but it can make even the most well-mannered pet bite or scratch.
  • Your Home’s Ability to Accommodate Pets – If you own a home with a reasonably large lawn and aren’t planning on moving any time soon, you may be ideally situated for pet adoption. Those that live in rental properties with harsh breed restrictions or no-pet policies will inevitably run into trouble when they’re ready to move somewhere less lenient, though. Thousands of pets end up in shelters and are ultimately euthanized because the families that took responsibility for their welfare surrendered them after moving to a new place where the animal wasn’t welcome.
  • The Life Expectancy of Your Chosen Pet – Remember, you’re responsible for your pet for the rest of its life. You will also be responsible for explaining the life cycle to your children when a pet unexpectedly dies. Before bringing an animal into the family, consider its’ projected life expectancy. A turtle can live for decades, while a goldfish may be lucky to make it through the week in its new home.
  • Financial Commitments – There’s more to pet expenses than just adoption fees and initial vaccinations. Your new family member will need to regularly visit the veterinarian, eat and have other supplies purchased for it. If money’s already tight in your household, a new pet may actually strain your budget more than you expect.
  • Your Patience Level – Young pets will require patience during training, and older ones that you adopt will need a period of adjustment. Either way, you’ll have to be patient with your new pet as he gets used to these big changes in his life.
  • Temperament and Kid Suitability – After the live action 101 Dalmatians film, animal shelters across the United States were flooded with Dalmatians. Parents rushed out to get these spotted cuties for their pleading children, only to realize that the temperamental and nervous nature of the breed is diametrically opposed to life with kids. Be sure that you have a reasonable idea of what your new pet’s temperament will be, and that you’re relatively sure he’ll be a good fit with your children after objectively appraising the situation.

18 Blogs Explaining How and When to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty

fathersonTalking with your children about puberty is never a simple thing to do, and it’s often a very stressful conversation for parents and kids alike. The most important thing you can do for your son or daughter during this kind of talk is to relax. If you explain puberty in terms that can be easily understood and you are open to answering questions, the whole conversation will be less awkward for everyone involved.  It’s also important to talk to your kids about puberty at an early age.  Because boys and girls can start experiencing puberty as early as 9 years old, you should start talking to your child about the changes that his body will go through as he grows up by 4th grade. Read through these 18 blog posts regarding puberty before sitting down to talk with your child about the changes he’s about to experience.


Discussions of puberty are often less embarrassing for boys when they are hearing the information from their father or another male authority figure. Dads have already been through these changes, and can explain how puberty was for them and answer any questions there might be.  However, if Mom has to have the puberty talk, she needs to be well-equipped to answer any questions that may come up. These six blog articles will help you get started.


Puberty for girls is a scary time, but it can be less overwhelming for girls who are prepared for the changes that are coming. Again, these talks are never comfortable to have, however, they are necessary. These six blog entries will help make having this discussion easier by guiding you through what you should talk about.

Early Puberty

Children seem to be starting puberty earlier and earlier, and there are many speculations as to what’s causing it to be triggered sooner, such as the BPA in shampoo or the hormones in meat.  To learn more about this topic, take a look at these six blog posts.

Summer Safety Gear for Bike Riding, Roller Blading and More

rollerbladingWhen the weather warms up and school lets out, active kids’ thoughts naturally turn to all of the fun and exciting activities that can only take place outdoors. Parents of kids with more sedentary hobbies may also look for ways to get their kids interested in the great outdoors, and the sunny days of summer are among the best for spurring that interest. Before you send your brood outside to bask in the rays while they expend some of their boundless energy, there is some safety equipment you’ll want to invest in to ensure that the summer is spent enjoying the great weather, rather than camping out in the emergency room.

  • Sunscreen – One item that should be at the top of your summer safety shopping list is plenty of sunblock to make sure that kids’ sensitive skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition to causing painful burns in the short term, excessive sun exposure can also increase a kid’s risk of skin cancer later in life. When you make slathering on the sunscreen part of your child’s everyday routine, you’re helping to instill a good habit that they’ll continue as they get older.
  • Helmets – Kids aren’t always big fans of wearing a helmet, but it’s a necessary evil when they’re roller blading, riding a bicycle or playing contact sports. To cut down on mutinous thoughts and kids’ tendency to shuck the helmet as soon as you’re out of sight, try to find one that’s emblazoned with their favorite colors or characters.
  • Elbow and Knee Pads – Skateboarding, roller blading and the likes are all popular activities with the younger set, and they can all wreak havoc on little knees and elbows when the inevitable spill occurs. While all kids should be wearing protective knee and elbow pads before they hit the half-pipe or strap on their skates, it’s especially important for younger skaters that are still nailing down the basics of their chosen sport.
  • Life Jackets – If one of the activities on this summer’s menu is a trip to the lake, a river or beach, you’ll want to make sure that you invest in plenty of properly-fitted life jackets for each member of the family. Boating accidents are far more common than most people realize, and failure to wear proper flotation devices is actually against some local ordinances.
  • Fencing – When you think of summer safety gear, a sturdy fence may not be among the items that initially come to mind. If you have a swimming pool or spa, however, you should make sure that one is installed before you open for the swimming season. Drowning is one of the most common causes of death in young children, and knowing how to swim isn’t always a guaranteed safeguard against such tragedies. Your pool or spa should be enclosed by a high fence that can’t be scaled by nimble little bodies, and gated in such a manner that little fingers can’t reach the latch.
  • Child Immersion Alarms – The best way to ensure that kids aren’t in your pool area without permission is to install a high fence with a latching gate. When they do have permission to swim, a capable adult should always be on hand to ensure that there are no potentially-serious accidents in the making. Even the most attentive adult can become distracted, however, and that’s where child immersion alarms come in handy. These devices are worn by your toddler or preschooler, and will transmit an alarm to the wireless receiver if it becomes immersed in water.
  • A Good Influence – Regardless of how hard you try to outfit your kids with the best and most advanced safety gear, the most effective tool in your arsenal is your own ability to model safe habits. Kids learn by watching and mimicking the behavior of adults around them, and you can’t take a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to child safety. Make sure that you wear sunblock when you go outdoors, don a helmet before sitting astride a bike and strap on your life jacket before hitting the water. In the end, your kids will be much safer for it and you’ll also be protecting yourself from the same accidents you’re hoping to help them avoid.

10 Tips for Surviving Your Baby’s Witching Hour

witchingWhat is this so-called “witching hour” that babies have? No parent needs to have it defined, because they’ve all been through it. It’s that period of time when the baby seems utterly inconsolable. There are those who would be eternally grateful if it only lasted an hour. For some it happens around the evening mealtime, for others it’s later in the evening and for others still, it may happen in the middle of the night or early morning hours. Whatever the time of day, Baby will cry and cry with what seems like no relief in sight for the upset infant or her harried parents. Parents will (and have) tried anything they can think of to end this torment, often to no avail. This is particularly frustrating for first-time parents. So what can they do? These ten tips may not stop the baby’s crying, but they could help keep your own tears at bay.

  • Stay Calm – The most important thing for parents to do is remain calm, even if it is much easier said than done. It’s probably the most difficult thing to accomplish, especially for new parents. One thing you have to do is not take it personally. Although it may seem like it, the baby is not doing this to torture you, and your inability to soothe her is no reflection on your abilities as a parent. She’s bound to pick up on your emotions, so the more stressed you get, the more stressed she will feel. Take a deep breath, think pleasant thoughts and proceed through the event calmly.
  • Be Available – If this starts happening with your baby, it won’t take long for you to recognize a pattern. Usually there’s a certain time of day that everyone is feeling tired and stressed, so this is often when the witching hour begins. Free up your schedule to make sure you’re available at that time of day. If you’re feeling rushed or distracted by other duties, then that will only make matters worse. Learn to anticipate when this is going to happen and be ready for it. This is a time when your baby needs nothing more than you.
  • Establish a Routine – Devise a series of steps to go through each time this happens. By developing a routine, eventually you and the baby may find a combination that works. If nothing else, having a plan will keep your mind occupied and less concentrated on the screaming baby.
  • Dress for Comfort – You’re much more likely to make the baby more comfortable if you are too. Get out of your street clothes and slip into something more comfortable. This will make it much easier to relax and snuggle with the baby.
  • Get Some Fresh Air – Sometimes one or both of you could do with some fresh air. Your baby may not be fazed by the shift, but a change of scenery couldn’t hurt your emotional state. Do whatever helps you stay calm and relaxed. That may be a long, brisk walk or a casual stroll around the neighborhood. Perhaps just sitting in a porch swing or deck chair is what you need to chill out.
  • Relax – A fussy baby is so stressful to parents that the baby is bound to feed off that negative energy and become even more distraught. It’s a vicious cycle that can escalate very quickly. Though it may seem nearly impossible, it’s crucial that a parent learns to relax during these episodes. Eventually, your baby will pick up on the relaxed energy and calm down.
  • Cue the Music – Playing music has a dual purpose. The first is to create an atmosphere to soothe both the parents and the baby. The other is to help drown out the constant wailing. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you play, so you needn’t torture yourself with soothing lullabies unless that’s something that works. If some good old rock-n-roll helps you calm down and relax, go for it!
  • Look for Distractions – Besides music, use whatever you can for distractions. Watch television, play video games, read a book or do whatever helps keep your mind off the constant crying. Sometimes you just have to wait for the baby to get over it, so it helps to have something to occupy the time.
  • Invest in Headphones– If the sound of the baby crying is preventing you from staying calm and relaxed, then maybe noise reduction headphones are in order. While you don’t want to use head phones with the intent of ignoring your baby, if your ears can’t take it they can be a helpful tool allowing you to meet your baby’s needs more calmly.
  • Have Patience – The final item you need in your arsenal to survive the baby’s witching hour is patience. Although it really seems like it, these episodes won’t last forever. It’s impossible for a baby to continue crying 24/7, and whatever the cause, the daily ritual will eventually diminish and come to an end. All you can do is wait it out.

Parents are quick to exchange horror stories about their baby’s fussy periods. Some can go on for months, but once they’re done, the trauma rapidly fades into a distant memory. All the sleepless nights and stress-filled days are replaced with the next stage in their little darling’s development.

5 Tips for Encouraging Kids to Practice Piano

pianoFostering a love of music in your children helps them to learn the value of beauty and artistic expression, and to appreciate the humanities in ways that kids without artistic instruction may miss. A recent study by Northwestern University published in the journal Neuroscience also shows that even a few years of musical training builds listening and learning skills that persist well into adulthood. In fact, older adults that had even limited musical instruction tended to perform better on some cognitive tests than others in their age groups that never studied music. With the benefits of musical instruction being so well documented, the only real challenge for parents’ lies within convincing a reluctant child to sit down at the piano bench for an hour every day. These tips can help you create an environment that fosters piano practice, improving your child’s ability to play and his cognitive processing abilities.

  • Set a Consistent Practice Schedule – Kids thrive under a consistent routine, and their musical practice sessions are no exception. When your child knows that he practices piano for a specified period at a set time each day, he’s less likely to resist than he would if the schedule were less defined. Rather than taking a slapdash approach to practice by fitting time in as it becomes available, try to set aside the amount of time his instructor recommends every day at the same time.
  • Use a Timer – A silent timer that doesn’t tick as it counts down is a great tool for helping your child keep track of how much time is left in a practice session. When she’s not stopping her practice every five minutes to ask you if her time is up, she can give herself over and apply her undivided attention to the task at hand.
  • Offer Rewards – There’s a fine line between bribery and a reward system, but it’s often much easier to inspire a child to take on a task that she’d rather ignore when she knows that there’s a reward of some kind waiting for her on the other side. Let your child know that successful completion of the piece she’s working on will net a trip to the park or a favorite dinner. In most cases, she’ll be so caught up in the challenge of reaching her goal that she doesn’t even think about ways to avoid practice.
  • Make a “Practice Before Television” Rule – Limiting kids’ screen time is important, especially when they have other tasks that they should be seeing to. Rather than allowing your child to blow his entire allotment of television time the moment he gets home from school, thereby eliminating an incentive to complete important tasks, establish a system of finishing homework and practice before television. With the joy of zoning out in front of the tube dangling like a carrot before him, you may find that he approaches both his piano lessons and his schoolwork with more gusto.
  • Offer Plenty of Praise and Encouragement – The sense of accomplishment that accompanies the mastery of a complicated new piece is a reward in and of itself, but your child also needs to know that you recognize his efforts and the achievement of his goals. Be sure that you’re offering your child plenty of encouragement and recognition for his efforts, as well as praise for a job well done.

Since kids that participate in music programs tend to have higher SAT scores than their non-musical peers and are more likely to graduate high school, piano and other musical instruction is an investment in your child’s future that can pay off in spades. Helping him to stick with his commitment and encouraging his continued participation is one of the best things you can do for your child.

The Importance of Well Visits in Pediatrics

wellnessAs a parent, you understand that visits to the pediatrician are essential when your child is sick or exhibiting symptoms of a medical condition. When she’s feeling healthy, however, carving time out of your busy schedule to make and keep well-child appointments can seem like a bit of a waste. There are plenty of reasons why well visits are essential, though. Before you put off that next well-child visit, these are just a few of the reasons why you might want to reconsider postponing it.

Developmental Milestones

While every child develops and learns at his own pace, it’s still important to have an idea of how he’s developing in relation to an established milestone timeline. His pediatrician will evaluate his size, overall health and emotional and intellectual development during well visits, which will either give you peace of mind that he’s coming along right on schedule, or a heads up that special attention may be required. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, a well visit is the ideal time to approach them with his pediatrician to determine what, if any, special action needs to be taken.


Though the subject of immunizations is something of a hot-button topic in many parenting circles, it’s still your responsibility as a parent to make the most informed choice you can regarding your decision to vaccinate. During a well visit, you can discuss your concerns or questions regarding immunization schedules, your motivations for considering opting out of vaccinating or your reasons for choosing to adhere to the prescribed immunization plan. Your child’s pediatrician is one of your most reliable sources of scientifically-sound information when it comes to immunization, and her opinion should not be overlooked.

Establishing a Relationship

In order for the relationship between yourself, your child and his pediatrician to be a productive and effective one, you’ll need to keep his well-child appointments. After all, how many chances will your pediatrician have to get to know you and your child if he only comes in for the occasional runny nose? Your child’s pediatrician is your first line of defense and biggest ally when it comes to preserving and maintaining his good health, so don’t neglect the importance of well-visits in terms of building that relationship.

School Readiness

Whether you’re getting ready to enroll your child in an early preschool program or are finally ready to take the plunge into kindergarten, well visits with your pediatrician will help you determine your child’s level of readiness. If there are areas in which he’ll need a bit of extra attention, his pediatrician will be able to not only point them out but also help you figure out the most effective methods of meeting those goals.

Medication Monitoring

If your child is one of the millions in America that takes daily prescription medications, well-child and maintenance visits are essential aspects of making sure that the dosage and prescriptions chosen are the right ones to meet his needs. It’s never a good idea to skip out on well visits when you have a child who requires daily medication, even if his symptoms seem to be under control and the medication is working beautifully.

Nutritional Counseling

When your child is an infant, his pediatrician can help you to find the best formula for his body or a lactation consultant to promote successful nursing. As he gets older, she’ll provide valuable counseling regarding his nutrition and dietary habits. Obesity is a skyrocketing epidemic among American kids and teens, but your child’s pediatrician can help you find the most effective ways to monitor and maintain your child’s diet so that it’s healthy, balanced and nutritious. These sessions will almost always take place during well visits, unless dietary concerns are part of the reason behind an appointment made to address a potential health issue.

When your child gets older and is able to participate more in his doctor’s appointments, well-child visits will give him the opportunity to ask any questions he may have regarding his health or the way his body works. Establishing a strong bond from an early age by keeping your well visit appointments will make it easier for him to approach her later, so don’t skip out on them.

How to Help Your Toddler Transition to a Bed

bedLeaving the security and familiarity of a well-loved crib for the new experience of a “big kid” bed can be exciting for your toddler, but it can also be a bit scary. Because kids thrive under a routine and become reliant upon the ones that have been established, helping your child to acclimate himself to spending nights in a new bed will require a bit of finesse and plenty of patience.

Make Sure the Time is Right

Unless your child is actually becoming too large for his crib or you’re expecting another child that will be using the crib, there’s no one “right” time to transition your child to a toddler bed. In most cases, it’s more effective to let your child set the pace. If he’s actively asking about a “big boy” bed, by all means start working on the transition. If he’s still attached to his crib and not ready to let go, though, there’s nothing wrong with letting him stay a bit longer. Transitions that are motivated by the impending arrival of a new baby should be started a few months before the expected birth to make sure that your toddler is fully acclimated before having to surrender his bed to a new baby. If your children will be sharing a room, it may also be more effective to move the crib and get new bedding for it so that your toddler feels less ownership over the crib and is less likely to feel displaced or jealous.

Create a Bedtime Routine

Because a toddler can get out of a regular bed much more easily than he can extricate himself from a crib, you’ll have to create a bedtime routine that allows him to satisfy any bodily needs before bedtime and helps him understand the importance of staying in bed after a certain point. In the beginning phase of the transition, you may find that it’s helpful to start preparing for bed an hour earlier than normal, talking about each step so that he knows the normal sequence. Share a bedtime story, and be prepared to send him back to bed several times in the beginning. Don’t shout or scold a child that won’t stay in his new bed, just direct him back with little to no discussion.

Work On One Milestone At a Time

Mastering the art of potty training while trying to get used to a new bed or reaching other big milestones can put too much pressure on a toddler, so try to work on one major milestone at a time. It’s generally easier to potty train a child after he’s transitioned to a bed he can easily get out of if nature calls during the nighttime hours, but trying to help him make two major changes in his life can be overwhelming and can actually cause him to regress in some areas.

Give Him the Opportunity to Take Ownership Over the Situation

A child that feels a sense of ownership over his new bed and excitement about the new arrangement is more likely to transition successfully than one that feels forced into a situation he has little to no control over. If possible, let him have a say in the choosing of his new bed, or at least the purchase of new bedding. Try to foster a sense of excitement by talking the new bed up as much as possible, and maintaining an optimistic and upbeat attitude. Remember that your child will take his cues regarding the appropriate reaction to a new situation from your behavior. If you seem anxious or reticent about making the change, he’ll almost certainly pick up on that anxiety and mirror your reaction.

Get Childcare Providers On Board

It’s important for kids to understand that their new bed is for sleeping in all of the time, not just at night. Make sure that any private, in-home childcare providers are on board with the change. Establish guidelines about afternoon naps, so that your child understands where she’s supposed to be sleeping. Napping in the crib and spending the night in a new bed is confusing for your toddler, which is the last thing she needs during a major transition.

Be Patient and Consistent

The most important part of helping your toddler to transition to a new bed is understanding that the process will take a bit of time. Some kids naturally deal with change better than others, but it’s important to be consistent. Switching back to a crib because your child is struggling to become accustomed to his new bed might gain a temporary reprieve from the stress of the situation, but will only make the inevitable switch more difficult down the road. As with so many changes and milestones in kids’ lives, consistency is key.

Your Responsibilities as a Live-in Nanny Employer

responsibilityHaving a live-in nanny is a very unique experience. Your nanny is your employee, yet she lives and works in your home too. The line between the personal and professional relationship is easily blurred and it’s hard to find and keep a comfortable balance in the employment relationship. One of the biggest obstacles many employers face is that they don’t fully understand what having a live-in nanny means in practical terms. Here’s an outline of the responsibilities parents take on when they hire a live-in.

You must provide clean, comfortable, furnished living quarters. There are no legal requirements for the living quarters of your live-in nanny. However, the industry standard is that you provide a separate, private bedroom and generally a private bathroom. Occasionally, you’ll find a nanny who is willing to share a bathroom with the children, but that is rare and the arrangement usually doesn’t last long. The furnishings don’t need to be lavish; functional and comfortable is fine. It’s a nice gesture to provide your new nanny with a gift card so she can buy some things to personalize her space. A fun rug or new comforter set will go a long way to making her feel at home when starting a new job. View the nanny’s living quarters with an objective eye before beginning your search. Is the space something she’ll be comfortable in? Does it provide her with reasonable privacy? When hiring a live-in nanny, the type of living quarters you offer is a huge factor in attracting top candidates.

You should provide all meals. Since your nanny will be living and working in your home, it’s your responsibility to provide all meals on and off duty. This doesn’t mean you have to cook for your nanny or invite her to your family meals. It does mean you should make sure she has enough food available so she can easily prepare her own meals. Remember, your nanny may have very different food preferences than you do, so she should be given the opportunity to add items to the grocery list, do her own shopping using the household account or be provided a weekly food stipend. While it’s important to make sure your nanny has food she enjoys, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Your nanny’s food list should be reasonable and affordable. Because this issue is so unique and different and people have different ideas of “reasonable,” it’s a good idea to talk about this aspect of the job before the nanny starts. This will avoid any confusion later on.

Your nanny should be welcome 24/7. Unless you hire your nanny to be a live-in only during the work week, you should welcome your nanny in your home 24/7. Live-in nannies think of their living quarters as their home, not simply as where they stay for their job. This welcoming attitude goes a long way with caregivers and helps make the nanny/parent relationship work.

It’s essential to have appropriate boundaries. It can be hard to establish and keep appropriate boundaries for both the nanny and the family in a live-in situation. However boundaries are essential to a long term, successful employment relationship. Make sure that you respect your nanny’s off time. When she’s not on the clock, you should be fully responsible for the kids. It’s easy to ask your nanny to listen for the baby during nap time so you can take a quick run or distract your toddler for 15 minutes so you can return an important work call. However, that’s unfair to the nanny. Imagine if your employer was able to pop his head in at your home during your off time and ask you to quickly look over a brief or handle a client’s problem. Your nanny needs to know that you respect her need for privacy and down time.

Treat your nanny as an adult, not an older child. Even though she’s living in your home, she’s still an adult and should be treated that way. Imposing curfews, not allowing guests and monitoring her activities are not appropriate things for an employer to do. Of course you have the right to set reasonable limits around the use of your home, but work with your nanny to find limits that work for both of you. Remember, this is the person you trust to care for the health and safety of your child. Surely you can trust in her good judgment to be a responsible and respectful part of your household.

Having a live-in nanny can be a great solution to your childcare needs. By embracing the responsibilities as well as the advantages of live-in help, you can have a successful working relationship.

How to Help Your Child Adjust to Wearing Glasses

girl-glassesThere are lots of reasons why kids can be reluctant to wear the glasses they need in order to see clearly. Glasses are easily lost, can get in the way during active play and are easy to forget when they’re still new. It’s also not easy to adjust to new glasses when other kids poke fun at them. Even good-natured ribbing can make a child resent her glasses, and it’s not uncommon for kids’ self-esteem to take a hit when they feel like their glasses make them look different. Helping your child adjust to life with glasses doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task, though. There are ways that you can support her as she gets accustomed to her new fashion accessory, even if she initially sees them as a burden.

Let Her Pick Out the Frames

Your child is more likely to embrace her glasses when she has a hand in picking out the frames. Rather than feeling like her glasses are an encumbrance foisted upon her, she may even be excited about frames she’s chosen herself. Frames can get pricey, so you may need to narrow the options down to only those that are within your budget, but it’s still a smart move to get your child involved in the process. Remember that kids are anxious to assert their independence, and that being forced to wear frames she absolutely hates will only make the experience more upsetting.

Make Sure New Glasses Fit

New glasses can be uncomfortable if they’re not fitted properly. When they’re too tight, they can squeeze at her temples and cause headaches. When they’re too loose, they’ll slide down her nose and she’ll be forced to shove them back into place every time she moves. Before you leave the optometrist’s office, make sure that the frames fit her head and aren’t uncomfortable for her to wear. Just like an itchy sweater, a binding dress or ill-fitting shoes, glasses that don’t fit will be loathed. It’s hard enough to get a child to wear glasses that don’t hurt or get in the way; when they’re uncomfortable, you’ll be fighting a never-ending battle.

Be Positive, and Keep Nagging to a Minimum

Your child will take cues from your behavior to determine her own reactions, so make sure that you don’t greet the news that she needs glasses with negativity. Keep your attitude upbeat and positive, point out cool entertainment figures that wear glasses and offer plenty of reassurances that she looks great in her new glasses. When she inevitably protests or “forgets” to wear her frames, it’s also a good idea to keep your nagging to a minimum. Creating a power struggle over the glasses will only make her more determined not to wear them, so offer friendly reminders instead of demands or exasperated comments.

Integrate Glasses into Your Child’s Daily Routine

Though it may seem deliberate, your child could actually be forgetting to put her new glasses on at first. Remember that she’s spent her entire life without glasses, and that it’s not always easy to adjust to something new. Make putting her glasses on a part of her morning routine, just like brushing her teeth or getting dressed for school. After a while, it’ll become second nature to reach for the specs before she leaves the house.

Let Her Adjust at Her Own Pace

Most big changes in a child’s life will require you to be patient, as kids don’t always latch on to new developments right away. She didn’t learn to walk overnight, she wasn’t potty trained in a day and she may need a bit more time than you realize to get used to the idea of wearing glasses all the time. Being too forceful or losing your patience with the pace with which she adjusts won’t help matters at all, so be sure that you keep your cool while she’s getting used to them. Just because you feel like she should be making the adjustment more quickly doesn’t mean that she’s able to, so let her set the pace.

Your child may be more receptive to the idea of wearing glasses if she knows that they’re temporary, so let her know that contact lenses are an option when she gets older. If she feels chained to her glasses forever, she may be more resentful than if she understands that there are other corrective options available to older kids and teens. New glasses can be a lesson in patience and acceptance for a kid, especially if you approach the situation with that in mind.