Tag Archives: children

Etiquette & Manners: How to Set Yourself Apart From Other Caregivers

It’s important not only to make a great first impression, but also to maintain ongoing good etiquette and manners to keep the relationship between you and the family healthy and happy!

Here are some helpful tips to ensure excellence:

  1. The family wants to like you, so make it easy for them! Present yourself with grace and warmth, and SMILE!
  2. Be sure to look the part. Be clean, groomed and put-together, while keeping your appearance kid-friendly and comfortable (i.e., nothing low-cut, above the knees, torn, dirty or see-through).
  3. Don’t use inappropriate language or chew gum.
  4. When first meeting the parents, it’s respectful to address them by Mr. or Ms. “Last Name” until they ask you to call them by their first name. Introduce yourself with eye contact, a handshake and a smile!
  5. Follow the family rules (even when you don’t agree). If you have questions about this, ask our team and we’d be happy to help.
  6. Be aware of using the family’s things and what is permitted or off limits.
  7. When running late, always email/text that you are behind. Do not make it a habit, but we and families understand transportation can have delays.
  8. Ask in advance if you need to leave early (a week’s notice is appropriate timing).
  9. If you get sick and you are a full or part time nanny, let the family  know well in advance. If you are a sitter, email HQ and let them know so they can find a replacement.

Great nanny & sitter characteristics:

• Respectful
• Loyal
• Helpful
• Honest
• Open-minded

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

Bell Family Company Offering Virtual Sitters

Due to COVID-19, Bell Family has launched Virtual Sitters to provide childcare relief to families across America.

To book a Virtual Sitter, simply click here and fill in the form. We will then coordinate everything and get you booked!

Our Virtual Sitters can:

  1. Teach improv (read a play, act out scenes, etc.).
  2. Bake together (you provide the ingredients, the Virtual Sitter will guide the junior chef).
  3. Teach/practice another language (Spanish, French & more).
  4. Learn or practice playing an instrument.
  5. Tutor or help guide with homework and online lessons.
  6. Do yoga, ballet or another movement activity.
  7. Host a virtual book club or dance party.
  8. Organize family photos, process paperwork, complete online grocery orders, etc.

“This is unbelievably genius. A must for parent survival right now!”

Mom of 2, West Coast
Bell Family Virtual Sitter teaching session

“It worked great! I got the whole kitchen cleaned and ate food sitting down!”

Mom of 3, Midwest

We hope that you will support this small business during this difficult time, and book a Virtual Sitter for an hour or two to help with the kids. Virtual Sitter rates are $23 per hour for 1 child, and $25 for 2 children (for 3+ children please inquire about rates). The booking minimum is one hour, but the hour can be split into 30-minute sessions (i.e., 30-min morning session and 30-min afternoon session the same day). Check out this video for a short clip of a Virtual Sitter doing a teaching lesson with a child.

“You’re Going to Timeout!”

One of the most dreaded phrases as a kid is hearing, “You’re going to timeout!” The words spoken by parents to their mischievous little ones after they’ve been acting out. I remember hearing those words from my parents as a kid, and it always seemed like they came out in slow motion.

Timeouts can be a tricky business. What’s classified as a timeout? Are timeouts helpful for children? Are there better ways to discipline children?

We found an article published on Time.com, which touches on the “timeout” idea, along with other affective ways to discipline children. These tips are great to keep in mind whether you’re a babysitter, nanny, parent, or anyone working with children on a daily basis. We’ve outlined some of the key takeaways below, but encourage you to read the full article on their website here.

Let natural consequences play out. For instance, if a child is tossing their crackers on the floor, don’t pick them up. At a certain point they will learn that throwing their food on the floor means they no longer get to eat it.

Try some logical consequences. When natural consequences are not doing the trick, stepping in to create a consequence of your own can work well. For instance, removing the toy being chucked at the wall and locking it up for the rest of the day.

Guide the child to better behavior. “Discipline means to teach,” says Dr. Ben Siegel, chair of the AAP committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child & Family Health. Siegel recommends guiding children to appropriate behavior by giving them choices. For example, if a child doesn’t want to put on their jacket, a parent could say, ‘fine, but you have to carry it.’

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

The Only Toy Gift Guide Needed From NY Mag feat. Lindsay Bell

It’s that time of the year where our minds run wild trying to think of the perfect gift to give the children. Our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, teamed up with The Strategist at NY Mag, and helped to create the ultimate toy gift guide for children ages 7, 9 and 10. Read for Lindsay’s top picks and check out the full lists per age group below. Happy shopping, readers!

For your 7-year-old: Ultimate Secret Formula Lab

“This chemistry lab is mesmerizing for those kids who like to mix potions,” says Lindsay Bell, founder of the Bell Family child-care company. It comes with beakers, test tubes, petri dishes, the works, and inside them you can combine mixtures of, say, phenol red and ammonia to create invisible vapors.

For your 9-year-old: ThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game

It’s an enticing concept — your avatar traveling to an exotic land to collect “power crystals.” First you have to write a program for yourself using the included Guide Scroll to set out your pathways along the map (this mimics the step-by-step sequences that need to be followed in computer programming). Once you snatch up all of the crystals on your designed route, collecting “action” tokens along the way, you win. What might not be noticed in all the intensity, though, is just how many fundamentals of programming you’re learning (even “conditional loops” and “branches”), which is why this game is a favorite of Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company. Plus there are progressive levels of difficulty: An Amazon reviewer whose husband is an engineer wrote that even he enjoys the harder ones.

For your 10-year-old: Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit

Snap Circuits, says Rumaan Alam, a novelist and father of a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, “is one of a whole slew of toys meant to appeal to STEM true believers. I don’t know if it’ll ensure your kid grows up to be an engineer, but I do know my kids spent many a cooped-up winter day building an AM radio or figuring out how to turn a little motor.” Ruka Curate, founder of the Tiny Treasures Nanny Agency, recommends this arcade-themed kit, which is a more advanced Snap Circuits version for 10-year-olds. Another option, according to Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company, is Snap Circuits Extreme, although it’s a bit more expensive.

For the full gift guides from The Strategist at NY Mag, visit the links below.

Toy Gift Guide for 7-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 9-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 10-Year-Olds

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Parenting Tips to Make Discipline Stick

Growing up, my sisters and I knew all about what the word “discipline” meant. For us, it usually involved things like the time-out chair, stripped phone privileges (we’re talking landline phone here), weekends spent at home, or the mega, Mom uttering the words, “Wait till your father gets home.”

It seems as if over time the definition of “discipline” and the actions around it change as the generations do. I’m guessing the word meant something completely different for my parent’s parents, and will evolve again with young children today.

So, how can parents all be on the same page as to what discipline means, and how can it be implemented in parenting styles so it is successful with children?

In a recent article published by The Bump, they focus their subject around discipline. Researchers, Scientists, and Experts gathered a list of 27 tips to help parents make sure that discipline sticks with their children. Read below for a snapshot of the four discipline rules and for the full article and tip list, visit The Bump.

Rule 1: Stay calm – Showing composure will teach your child how to properly manage their emotions from angry to a calm state.

Rule 2: Teach a lesson – Turn to timeouts when your kids are old enough to potty train.

Rule 3: Set expectations – Bring up the possibility of discipline and try to articulate that specific rules are not flexible. 

Rule 4: Don’t tolerate violence – Don’t use violence. Modeling proper behavior is more practical than telling a child how they should act.

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Connect With Local Moms and Dads Through The Parent Collective

Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.
We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special.
Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective? 
A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.
Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them? 
A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.
Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:

  • Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
  • Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
  • Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
  • Session 4: Newborn care

Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?
A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.
I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.
Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible.
Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?
A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here.
Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC
Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.
Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class? 
A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.
TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!
To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age.
Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective
Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Ask Dr. Jen … We Did!

We recently had the opportunity to partner with Pediatrician Jen Trachtenberg, MD, to get some of our Pediatrician questions answered and to learn more about her latest ventures, which include great tools for parents!
Take a read through our Q&A below, and then visit her website to learn more. You’ll soon find that you are on your way to a more comfortable and confident parenting experience (it exists!).
Q: Finding the right Pediatrician can be a big decision for new parents. How early would you suggest new moms and dads to find one? And what are some good questions for parents to ask the Pediatrician when trying to decide if he/she is a good  fit?
A: Finding the right pediatrician for your family is an important task because having a physician that makes you feel confident as well as comfortable asking questions to, is essential to getting the best care possible for your baby. I recommend starting early – in the last trimester of pregnancy – to begin finding a pediatrician. Ask family and friends, as well as your OB/Gyn for recommendations. You can easily search the doctor’s credentials on the internet, but I highly recommend going for a “meet and greet” or prenatal appointment in their office so you can ask questions directly and see how the office operates. You can also come a bit early and speak with other parents in the waiting room for their opinions as well. Make sure to bring a list and ask your questions to the doctor. Here are a few important ones:

  • – Are they board certified and continue with ongoing medical education?
  • – Will the pediatrician see the newborn in the hospital?
  • – What are the office hours and who do I contact in case of an evening emergency?
  • – Do you use email or phone to return messages?
  • – What are your views on vaccines and breast and formula feeding?

Listen for how the doctor responds and see if you feel you have a connection, and your questions are answered adequately. As a new parent, there are no silly questions, just ones you need the answers to. By finding a pediatrician who listens and understands your concerns and fears as new parents, you can ensure safety and better health and wellness for your new bundle of joy.
Q: You have two published books on the shelf, 1) The Smart Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids through Check Ups, Illnesses and Accidents and 2) Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children. What can readers expect to learn in each of these books. 
A: I have written two parenting books to help decrease parents’ fears and anxiety that often comes with raising a child. By giving easy to understand information, it helps to build healthy habits and also empowers parents to advocate for their child’s health. Good Kids Bad Habits: The Real Age Guide to Raising Healthy Children, breaks down habits into small easy steps and demonstrates how making even a few changes in nutrition, exercise, stress, and safety can have a huge positive impact on your child’s long term health and wellness. My second book, The Smart Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids through Checkups, Illnesses and Accidents, is all about empowering parents to speak up and how to get the information you need to make the right decisions regarding your child’s health in the ER, during a hospital stay or dealing with a routine well visit.
Q: You provide a great video series called, Pediatrician in Your Pocket, offering parents a one-stop learning experience on all things childcare. What are some essential items new parents will takeaway from these videos, and how can people access them to view? 
A: My latest venture is my new comprehensive video guide manual Pediatrician in Your Pocket for parents that gives you all the answers you need about caring for your baby from newborn through age 2 years. It’s the only science based, mom tested, no judgement video guide for new parents.  The ultimate video cheat sheet, stacked with information new parents need to feel more confident during their first parenting journey. The bite size five minute videos are comprehensive, reassuring and easy to understand, and available to you 24/7 whenever you have a question or need answers. I am a virtual doctor-on-demand, delivering medical tips backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I discuss sleeping, eating, peeing, pooping, vaccines, common illness, developmental milestones, what to do for fever, baby proofing, temper tantrums and so much more. When you know the answer to your question, it’s as simple as one click and a video clip. New parents can take a deep breath and know someone has their back any time day or night.
jt headshot
 
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Family Fun Grows in the Garden

Gardening is an activity that families can enjoy doing together. It serves as a good way to bond, exercise, and learn about different kinds of plants. Not only that, it’s increasingly important to get kids to experience as much of the outdoors as they can, and one fantastic way to do that is to get them interested in gardening. Introducing them to growing their own flowers, herbs, and vegetables can help instill curiosity, empathy, and a nurturing instinct that is essential for a person to have.

However, it is difficult to find the time or the space to garden in an urban environment. The common lack of a garden, for starters, poses a basic problem that can seem hard to get around for this particular outdoor activity. However, there are plenty of ways to still get children interested in growing plants!

A great place to start is a potted plant inside the apartment. This can be an herb or a small flowering plant, or even sprouts! A child’s wonder at seeing their plant grow isn’t affected by the size of the plant or the scale of their gardens, but by the mere fact that they made this plant grow and change. Herbs and sprouts make wonderful potted plants, because they tend to be fast-growing and easy to take care of.

The natural progression from this may seem to be hoarding a ton of potted plants, but it doesn’t have to be. Try finding a community garden in the area! These are becoming popular in urban spaces, and can be a great way to expand your “garden”. It could even be the beginning of your child’s very own vegetable patch!

Personal Creations has put together a detailed guide that features what you can (and should) plant, and what to avoid when gardening with children. It even includes a list of kids’ gardening tools, and how to go about maintaining your garden. So grab those gloves, get a watering can, and get started!
Peronsal-Creations-garden
Special thanks to Katie Santos and Personal Creations for writing and partnering with us for this post!

Smooth Sailing Into Summertime

The transition to summertime can feel a little precarious for children and grown-ups alike. Schedules and routines may change. Caregivers and environments may be different. Familiarity may be less available. What to do?
The first step is get yourself comfortable with what’s to come. Solidify a plan, ask questions of new caregivers, reflect upon successful transitions from the past. Then support your child. I often recommend that parents, depending on their child’s age and need, use one (or a few) of the following:

  • Write a social story. This can be 4-6 pages (or so) and describes, in child-friendly language, what is ending and what is beginning. Talk about the emotions a child may be experiencing and mention the “tools” that child has for managing those emotions. Use photographs if you can to show the child in each step. For younger children, I write the story. For older children, I try to engage them in the story telling, or include fill-in-the-blank sections for them to add. There are many social stories available online as well.
  • Use a calendar. Some children love to have a calendar at their eye level that they can check from time to time. One week may show a small picture (photo or drawing) that depicts them and friends from school. The next might show the logo from the camp they are attending. You could also include photos of grandma and grandpa, or friends you may be visiting. Try to strike a balance between giving a general sense of where they are going to be and when, with giving too many details that can inhibit flexibility.
  • Write out the sequence. For many children, simply writing down what is going to happen on a piece of paper can be incredibly supportive. Recently, I used this strategy with a client who seemed to be showing some increased anxiety. Though no one was quite sure what it was about. It turned out, he had been feeling sad about leaving his current teachers but was also concerned that he would be on a bus to camp without any grown-ups. Writing down the sequence of events opened a discussion during which I explained what a counselor was and the fact that they would be on the bus.

I find that supporting transitions is helpful for all children (and most grownups too). Even when we don’t see external signs of anxiety related to transitions, children may be wondering what’s to come. Let me know how it goes!
As always, a friendly reminder that you don’t have to do it alone! Whether you have concerns about developmental delays or you’re going through some bumps you’d like to smooth out. If I can help you accomplish the goals you have for yourself and your family, please reach out. You deserve to feel competent, joyful, and EMPOWERED, when you are with your children. They should feel self-confident and have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. I can help you do that!
dana-rosenbloom
This blog has been repurposed from the Dana’s Kids website. To learn more about the writer, Dana Rosenbloom M.S. Ed., click here.

Get Crafty with the Kids for Spring

It may be hard to believe for northeasters, but it is actually springtime. A time where you normally wear a light jacket, smell fresh flowers blossoming on the trees, and spend more quality time outside. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

If you find yourself inside because all of those things are not yet achievable, then spend some time with the kiddos being crafty with fun Easter and Spring-themed activities!

Easter morning is almost as exciting as Christmas morning, so why not prepare for the Easter Bunny just like you prepare for Santa? Have the kiddos write letters to the Easter Bunny, and prepare snacks for him to give him energy to hide the eggs! These printable letters and poems will welcome him and keep your kids entertained.

Once Easter morning arrives, wake up early and place bunny footprints around the house with the bunny footprint template from Personal Creations. They come in three sizes, and all you have to do is print them out, cut on the dotted line, and sift flour on top of them to show what path the Easter Bunny took through your house or around your yard.

You kids’ faces are sure to light up when they wake up and see that the Easter Bunny paid a visit!

For all of the fun creations and activities, click here!

Personal-Creations-Easter

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, with guest contributor Katie Santos from Personal Creations