Tag Archives: children

BFC Inside the School Community

Greetings, all!

It’s a new year, and Bell Family wants to get involved with your child’s school!

Do you have a winter or spring gala, or perhaps another school event coming up? Are you looking to offer additional benefits to your families? Well, Bell Family Company would love to help!

Here at BFC, we love to get involved in the School Community! We have worked with a number of schools in the past, and provide services such as event staffing (Gala’s, family night, etc.), to donating to auctions. A few of the schools we have worked with include Grace Church, Absalom, Temple Israel and Hunter College Elementary. Bell Family can provide any of the following services to your school and family community:

1.  Sick day babysitters, and emergency last minute coverage
2. Donate towards a silent auction
3. Provide guest speakers or experts in the field
4. Family concierge – we offer high touch family care services through our staffed licensed therapists, certified coaches, and former nannies here, or we’re available to help with any childcare challenges (e.g., children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g., communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship.

For more information on our participation, e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell and Sitter Services Coordinator, Meredith Hamler!

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children

Greetings, all!

In a recent seminar hosted by BFC, we had the privilege of listening in on Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. He taught us that 1-2-3 Magic is simple, but not always easy. The easy part is the basic structure of the program. The hard part is the fact that the first step in disciplining kids is to discipline yourself.

Below you will find further tips that we pulled away from the seminar.

Tip 1: Think of parenting as a three step process:

Step 1: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior
Step 2: Encouraging Good (Start) Behavior
Step 3: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Tip 2: There are two basic kinds of behavior problems:

STOP BEHAVIOR: arguing, whining, fighting, teasing, tantrums, yelling, etc. For this minor obnoxious behavior you will use the 1-2-3, or “counting,” method.
START BEHAVIOR: eating, going to bed, getting up in the morning, homework, cleaning rooms, practicing, etc. To encourage good behavior you will have seven tactics. You may use one or more of them simultaneously.

Tip 3: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior

The “counting” method: two brief warnings (“That’s 1,” “That’s 2″) followed by a “rest period” or time-out alternative if the child hits three. No talking, no emotion. No explanations afterwards unless absolutely necessary.
What to do in public? Get 1-2-3 rolling at home first, then use it in the grocery store the same as at home. Beware of the threat of public embarrassment!

Tip 4: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Try these four things: shared one-on-one fun, avoiding over-parenting, sympathetic listening, and solving problems together

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Make Travel Hassel-Free!

Greetings, all!

Unfortunately for parents, the word “travel” has become synonymous for “nightmare.” This blog post is dedicated to parents traveling with children this holiday season and a few easy tips on how to make the experience better.

Preparing for your trip:

1. It is important that your children are prepared for your trip physically and mentally. Make sure children know the vacation itinerary, how they are getting there, and how to behave in the airport, plane, train, or car. It’s also good to have an emergency plan in case they get separated from you in transit.

2. Get them excited for this adventure by enthusiastically introducing them to your vacation spot and method of traveling through photos, books, bedtime stories, and maps. Physically prepare them by stopping by the pediatrician for a check-up and verification that all vaccines are current before departing. If you are anxious about traveling with your child, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.

3. If your family is flying, be sure to read up on your airline and airport prior to departure. Some airlines, such as JetBlue, offer pre-boarding for families with small children, making settling in for your trip easier. Familiarize yourself with the airport and TSA guidelines, while packing in order to avoid any confusion, frustration, or delays in your trip

4. Look into creative luggage options for kids such as the “trunki,” a carry-on sized suitcase that your child can sit on and be wheeled through the airport (great for tired or cranky children!).

The Day of:

1. With your introduction to the travel itinerary, emergency plan, and exciting adventures that await, your child should be eager for your vacation.

2. If your flight, train, or bus is early, pack breakfast—this will allow them to wake up later, and give them something to do while waiting to leave.

3. On that note, make sure to wake children (and adults) up early enough to get dressed and out the door. Don’t cut it close—arrive at the airport or terminal at the recommended time or earlier to ensure you have plenty of time to make it through security with your rugrats as well as leisurely make it to the gate with all of your cargo.

4. Dress yourself and your children in comfy clothes, and most importantly, shoes!

Bottom Line: Travel doesn’t have to be frustrating! Prepare in advance, get excited, and just relax. Even if you have a long day of travel, just remember all of the relaxing days of vacation ahead! Bon voyage!

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell!

Slopes for the Family

Greetings, all!

With the winter season creeping in, we all have fun snow activities on the brain. Everyone loves the traditional snowman building, toboggan shoot, and one of our personal favorites, skiing! We researched some ski resorts in the northeast, and found some that looked perfect for a fun family adventure. So grab the kids, and start practicing the act of wrapping them up in their outerwear, because nobody wants a Randy (from A Christmas Story) situation on their hands.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Macaroni Kid got this one right with their post on New Hampshire ski resorts. One family wrote, “It’s like Vermont meets Colorado.” Its accolades include their uncrowded, unspoiled, and wide open spaces. Stay nearby at the Indian Head Resort, or go more upscale at the Omni Mount Washington.

Okemo, Vermont
Parenting.com provided a glimpse at this 20-year family owned resort. It offers a day care, ski school, a Kids’ Night Out (to keep them entertained while parents go play), and for the older kids, the Rampage Teen Center has an indoor skateboard park. Okemo also makes it easy on the wallet, too, with kids under 12 staying for free!

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
If you are all about those family activities, then this resort is a great fit for you! Whether you and your youngster sign up for a unique ‘Mom & Me’ lesson, or teaching your ‘Little Rascal’ to start skiing at age two, Smuggs’ has thought up the most innovative instruction in snow country. Parenting.com supported us with this one, too!

And to all of the Santa’s out there – it’s not too late to add a knit hat into all of the stockings this year!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Thanksgiving Fun for Kids

Greetings, all!

It’s the week that many people love, but turkeys could deal without. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Thanksgiving! Since the Thanksgiving holiday often involves little ones running around, we thought we’d provide some fun activities to keep the kids entertained, and to keep you sane. So, take some of the ideas below and enjoy all that this family-filled holiday has to offer.

1. Craft Time: How about some jazzy Thanksgiving-themed hats? Try out a turkey, or a classic pilgrim style hat.

2. B-I-N-G-O: Who doesn’t love a quality game of bingo? Try out one themed for this holiday.

3. Coloring = Classic: Print out these fall festive images and bust out the crayons!

4. Snacks: The kids can even help put this turkey snack tray together, and then nibble. The adults will probably want to nibble, too.

5. Mad Libs/Word Search: Print these ones out for the kids, too. Maybe you can even give a treat to the one who solves all the riddles!

 

I hope all of our readers have a great Thanksgiving with their loved ones – from all of the girls in the Bell family.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Village OB – Pregnancy at Ease

Greetings, all!

Village Obstetrics blends vast clinical expertise with a strong passion for helping you have your best birth. Our founder and president, Lindsay Bell, had the pleasure of sitting down over coffee and croissants with Dr. George Mussalli and Dr. Jaqueline Worth, to learn more about their mission. Their happy demeanor and wide experience is your guide throughout pregnancy, bringing you a deep sense of ease knowing that you are in the best of hands. Read Lindsay’s first hand experience below, and fall in love with Village OB just like we did!

I first learned of Village OB through a client, and became curious. A few weeks later, another client mentioned them to me. As an expecting first time mom, the birthing process completely terrifies me. Village OB provides a level of medical care I haven’t come across before. Their two doctor practice is a combination of of a 24/7 concierge with your own pseudo mom and dad available. They are always available to answer your questions on items regarding expecting and the birthing process.

My favorite aspect is the 24/7 concierge. I understand firsthand how hard running a 24/7 service can be! For a company or practice to offer that level of care and service, you know they are passionate, dedicated, and love what they do – they are ready to answer your questions at any time!

The uniqueness of each family is taken into account in order to cater your specific needs. Their philosophy is based on trust, joy, care, dependability, excellence and fun! Your doctor will guide you smoothly through each milestone appointment with ease. They provide a simple calendar for you to follow throughout your pregnancy, so that you know your appointments upfront and can plan in advance. As a fellow planner, this immediately takes away some of the anxiety of pregnancy.

Village OB delivers at Mount Sinai Hospital, where birth plans are supported. The practice has a high vaginal birth rate, including moms who have had a prior C-section. Village OB strongly support doulas as an important personnel, especially for those who desire unmedicated birth.  They can also help facilitate a number of techniques such as hydrotherapy, meditation, and hypnosis. It’s unhurried, safe birth, and a low c-section rate.

If you are interested in speaking with a member of their team or would like to speak with one of their past clients on their experience, please feel free to contact: info@villageob.com.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell!

Fresh Organic Sleep

Greetings, all!

Yes, you read that title right - fresh organic sleep. It seems like everything these days is going organic – from foods, to dry cleaning, salons, and now even your mattress! Today’s post dives into the idea of the organic mattress, and what it brings for you and your family.

Your baby or toddler spends over one-half of his/her life sleeping, which many adults also wish could be the case. During this time, your toddler is in close contact with the mattress and the chemicals within it. It’s because of this, that many parents are opting for an organic mattresses.

Lucie’s List put together a great, short list of organic mattresses, and we are loving them!

1– Lullaby Earth (Naturepedic): Manufactured without the use of known allergens found in many other mattresses, such as latex, wool, soy, and without polyurethane foam of any kind.

2– Naturepedic (Naturepedic): This mattress is made with organic cotton fabric and fill, as well as steel innerspring.

3– Pebble Pure/Pebble Lite (Nook Sleep Systems): The “Pure” boasts a certified organic coconut core layered with 1” of natural latex foam.

4– CocoMat/Spring Mat (Naturalmat):  Uses 100% renewable and sustainable sources such as organic lambs wool, coir (coconut), mohair, and latex.

To read more information on the mattresses listed above, click here.

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Expecting Mom vs. Baby Brain

Greetings, all!

We recently checked in with one of our moms who just found out she is expecting her first child this spring! She was able to share her build up to receiving the exciting news, and some of the things she has done to prep for the newest addition to her family. Here is what she had to say…

“Baby Brain” to many expecting mothers is a term to define a block in your ability to think clearly. To me, it means trying to cram my brain with as much knowledge and awareness about becoming a new mom. I think it is important for moms to be, to not set unattainable expectations on themselves. For many, this is a once in a lifetime experience, and if you think like me, everything will fall into place accordingly. So, sit back and enjoy the ride!

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. My husband and I have been trying for several months, and resorted to a form of fertility treatments. I am in my late 20′s, but the dreaded biological clock seems to be knocking on my door, even though technically there is still plenty of time. I took a couple of weeks to enjoy the news fully and not think about how I should start preparing. That time soon came to an end, as I could no longer keep all of the baby thoughts outside of my brain. Luckily for me, my husband is in the healthcare field, so together we started doing a lot of research online. I made copies of text from his medical books and printed probably 265 lists of things to do/get. Not to mention, I will be a working mom, so I immediately visited my company’s HR site to review and print maternity leave forms. My binder is beginning to resemble a copy of the Old Testament.

At the end of the day, my husband and I are competent people with an amazing support system. I know several expecting moms, and that brings me a sense of solace. Though, it is great to have a reference book with colored tabs and highlighted areas, the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. Don’t be afraid to ask other moms and resources questions along the way. I find other moms to be the “holy grail” of baby knowledge and a great support system.

Also remember ladies, there is always wine at the end of this journey!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

A to Z of D-Toxing

Greetings, all!

Using clean, toxic free products in a family’s household is something that is important to many people. With great work from Sophia Ruan Gushee, author of A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures, she dives into tips for reducing toxic exposures in every day life. We did a short Q&A with Sophia, to learn more about her and her great achievement.

1.  What inspired you to spread awareness and empower people by writing your book A to Z
of D-Toxing
?

I really disliked the way that I was learning about upsetting information that was important to my children: accidentally as I skimmed reading materials late at night, followed by hours of online research to see if credible sources could verify alarming claims; then hours more research to identify alternative products. After “conquering” the latest chemical of concern that I had learned about, like BPA, I would then feel defeated as I accidentally learned about another chemical of concern, like phthalates, parabens, and more. Feeling like the list of specific chemicals of concern may be endless, and tired of having no control over when I would learn more upsetting information, I became determined to take control of my education on this important topic. So I dived into the topic to empower myself with facts and to prepare myself as alarming headlines would surely populate the news.

Also, I started learning about this topic at a time during which I had an infant, with hopes of having more children. So I wanted to learn as much as I could to help my young, growing family.

Having a full-time job outside the home that I loved, I was really demoralized that there wasn’t an easier way for me to get informed about toxic exposures from within my own home. Studying this topic became my night job. Eventually, I decided to resign from a career that I loved (my day job), partially to be more involved in providing my children with a healthier childhood and to create a practical strategy to reduce my children’s unnecessary toxic exposures.

As I learned details about how interconnected we are, I became more convinced that I need to spread awareness to engage more people in this topic. There is so much that we, individually, can do to reduce unnecessary toxic exposures. However, we can only do so much alone. Significant positive change will come from more awareness and collective efforts.

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I cared about our environment because it seemed irrelevant to me. Now, especially as a mother, I understand how relevant it is to each of us because our inner environments reflect our outer ones.

2. Eight years of research is much dedicated time, how was it writing a book and juggling/raising a family during those eight years?

It was really hard. The past eight years have been an extraordinarily busy time in my personal life with three daughters that are now 8-, 5- and 3- years old. In addition, growing families in NYC usually involve expansion of real estate or renovation projects. Plus, there were several nursery school and kindergarten application processes to go through. Lots of other things going on too.

But, that context should communicate how important this book was for me to create. I was fascinated to discover a wealth of scientific studies on this topic that is relevant to everyone, especially children. I felt compelled to research it, organize it, and present in a practical reference book that will be useful for me and my family life. I hope it’s also useful to others.

3. How do you hope to promote your book? Will you be speaking around the city?

Above all, my goal is to create awareness, empower people with relevant facts, and to inspire change. So, I’m working in various ways to promote the book, including working with a PR firm to secure media coverage. I have a few select speaking engagements around the city and welcome invitations as stimulating productive dialogue is another key goal. People can visit my website to learn the latest news and events: NontoxicLiving.tips.

A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures Book Launch

A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures is available now on Amazon.

Toddler Tips

Greetings, all!

We’re spinning off of our October blog, “Infant 411″, by bringing you some every day tips to keep in mind with your toddler(s). You can thank the toddler master, Mama Bell, for her first-hand experience through her five children.

1. Cut food into small enough pieces to prevent choking.

2. Make sure steps are blocked with gates or obstacles to keep them from falling.

3. Watch that all toys are age appropriate as they put everything in their mouths.

4. Door knobs of rooms that are unsafe for children to enter should be covered.

5. Kitchen cupboard doors and drawers need to be safeguarded as there are many unsafe things to get into. Things on countertops need to be put out of their reach–move back towards the wall.

6. Keep toilet seats down.

7. Make sure when putting them to bed, all toys and extra blankets are removed.

8. When put into high chairs, strollers, or anything else, make sure the straps and buckles are secure.

For additional tips, check out some of our older posts on the BFC website–bedtime routine and teething toddlers.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!