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Make A Difference Day!
National Make a Difference Day is on October 22nd this year! Celebrate this day with your future world-changers by going the extra mile. Modeling kind, selfless behaviors for the next generation will inspire future leaders who make a difference everyday!
A Little Thank You Goes a Long Way
Bring out the crayons, construction paper, and collection of stickers and write thank you notes with your little ones to the people in your lives! Thank your bus drivers, landscapers, housekeepers, and delivery drivers with this surprise note to show your appreciation and support. Go a step further and surprise them a gift card with their note!
Show Animals the Same Love They Show Us
Call your local animal shelter and ask how you can support them. Have your children gather up the blankets they’ve outgrown, lying around the house, and deliver them to your local shelter. Take a field trip to the pet store and pick up a few bags of food and a pack of tennis balls. Better yet, is your family looking for a new four-legged family member? Put in an application to adopt your children’s new best friend to make a difference in an animal’s life!
Care For Your Community
Take pride in your local school, street, and parks. Go for a walk with your children and pick up trash along the way; rake leaves in front of the elementary school or for your neighbor; pick up branches and sticks on trails surrounding your local park. They will love the fresh air! Make a game out of picking up trash and have a race to see who can pick up the most!
Raise Money For a Cause
Host a bake sale and have your children make delicious treats with you or open a lemonade stand in the front yard and use the proceeds to donate to your favorite charity. Write down you and your families favorite organizations on little pieces of paper and pick out of a hat which one you’ll donate to. Think of things that mean the most to you; the animal shelter, the food bank, or the children’s hospital could be excellent options to give back to.
We hope these ideas help you and your family make a difference today, and everyday!
10 Ways to Thank Your Nanny!
A nanny is so much more than just a caregiver! They are the light in your life that makes things run smoother in your household and they make the world a better place for our children. It’s National Nanny Recognition Week (September 18th-24th) and this is the perfect time to celebrate your nanny and show them your gratitude and appreciation. This is also an opportunity for your children to say thank you to their nanny for being a positive role model in their lives. Remembering to say thank you is so important, and we are sharing some ideas on how you and your children can show them your gratitude. Here is a list of the top 10 ways to thank your nanny!
A SPECIAL MEAL
Food! Yum! Treating your nanny to a special meal is always a great way to honor someone for National Nanny Recognition Week! Prepare their favorite meal for them and have your child(ren) act as servers to make it fun and extra special. If cooking is not your thing, you can also order take-out from DoorDash, Grubhub, or UberEats, and have food delivered right to their homes quickly. You could also make a reservation for your nanny and a special friend to have dinner at their favorite restaurant and pay for it!
SURPRISE PAID TIME OFF
National Nanny Recognition Week is a wonderful opportunity to offer an extra day of paid time off to your hardworking nanny. It can offer them some extra time for those errands they haven’t been able to get around to or maybe they would like to just hang out at home and watch Netflix all day. Remember to give the nanny a little notice on this one so they can plan for a special day. Either way, you cannot go wrong with this fun surprise!
NANNY PAMPER DAY
Caring for kiddos can be physically and emotionally demanding. A gift card to a nearby spa or nail salon is a wonderful way to say thank you and may be just what your nanny needs to relax in her free time! Another option is to invite a masseuse or nail technician to your home and make it fun for the kids and nanny!
MAKE A MEMORY BOOK
Your nanny probably spends many long days with your little ones and each day creates special moments big and small. Put together some photos or take some new photos to put together for a memory book that your nanny can hold special to their heart! Shutterfly has some great options and it’s so fun to relive these moments. Kids grow up so fast!
A NANNY BONUS PARTY
Celebrate your amazing nanny by throwing them their own party and giving them cash. Try decorating the house, making a fun treat to share, and putting on some of their favorite music to celebrate how amazing they are to your family! This little or big bonus will be truly appreciated.
The gift that keeps on giving! Write a letter of appreciation to your nanny and then gift them a class they have been wanting to take. Maybe they’ve been saving up to advance their newborn skills with a course through Newborn Care Solutions or a membership to the INA so they can build community. What about this amazing Positive Discipline for Nannies course through Sproutable?
WORDS OF KINDNESS
Thank your nanny and tell them how wonderful they are and highlight some of their best qualities. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things about yourself! Words of kindness go a long way and can really make a person feel appreciated. Above all, words of kindness make the world a better place! Read some of our testimonials and the kind words our families have said about their nannies here.
A SMALL GIFT
Who doesn’t love to receive a small gift as a token of appreciation? Maybe they love coffee, or jewelry, or could use some new gear for camping? Another great option may be a Target gift card that your nanny can use for whatever their heart desires!
A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET
No matter the occasion, a bright and cheery bouquet of flowers is always a great way to put a smile on someone’s face. Send a vibrant arrangement from your local florist and be sure to add a sentimental note to let your nanny know how much you appreciate them! Here’s one of our favorite florists La Petite Gardenia in Los Angeles.
THANK YOU TREASURE HUNT
This is a great activity to also get your children involved in! You can have them make sweet arts and crafts or hide small gifts that you want to surprise your nanny with. Be sure to write clues or even make a treasure hunt map to go on an appreciation hunt together.
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR EDUCATED NANNIES FOR NATIONAL NANNY RECOGNITION WEEK!
Back To School: Sleep Routine
Does anyone else feel like they blinked and it’s already back-to-school season? If so, you’re not alone. Summer has flown by! Let’s discuss how to best prepare our kids for a successful transition into more structured school days after, what we hope was a summer full of adventures and probably a few late nights. In this blog, we will discuss what it looks like to build a sleep routine that supports the adjustment back into school.
It’s common knowledge that sleep is essential to growth and cognitive function. Quality sleep influences mood stabilization, focus and is a crucial component to the ability to form memories and retain information. How do we build an environment that encourages quality sleep for our children? Studies suggest that a bedroom should be dark, quiet (or have soothing noise), and cool (approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit ) for optimal sleep conditions. Keeping a fan in your child’s room can double as cooling and soothing noise. Having a sound machine or radio that plays music without words can help encourage feelings of calmness and relaxation as children drift off to sleep. In some circumstances, a night light may be necessary, so having one that can be set to a timer that shuts off after your child falls asleep is ideal for good rest.
Create a Sleep Schedule
While it varies from child to child, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that children ages 3-5 need around 10-13 hours of sleep; children ages 6-13 need about 9-11 hours of sleep, and teenagers need approximately 8-10 hours of sleep per night. One helpful way to maximize a sleep schedule is to use a ladder system leading into the first week of school. On weeknights, try having the kids go to bed and wake up 15-20 minutes earlier until you arrive at the desired bed/wake time. This gradual progression will help make the adjustment easier as it is a smaller increment of time. This is especially ideal with ages that may be more difficult to get to stick to a sleep schedule throughout the summer (let’s be honest, the FOMO is REAL). And as always, have an open dialogue with your kids about the importance of being well rested in the new year!
Teaching our kids healthy ways to wind down for bed is the key to training their bodies and minds to produce the hormones necessary for quality sleep. An hour before bedtime, try to restrict or completely eliminate screen time. Many studies have shown that blue light from screens blocks the brain’s ability to produce the “sleep hormone” melatonin, making it harder for our bodies to recognize we’re tired. It is also recommended to not schedule extracurricular activities or exercise at least two hours before bed as well. Instead, try a warm bath, special quiet time (like cuddling and talking about the day together), or having a cozy designated reading area where they can relax before bed.
We hope you find these tips helpful and that they make the transition back to school a dream!
Sproutable & Positive Discipline Education for Nannies and Families
Educated Nannies is so excited to introduce our clients and nannies to our new partnership with Sproutable! Sproutable provides the tools to help set up your family for success by teaching families and nannies how to discipline in a positive way so that children feel connected and supported to grow and become independent, responsible, resourceful members of their communities. We hope this education will be one more way to provide peace, happiness, and confidence in your home.
What is Sproutable?
Sproutable is an educational program created by Julietta Skoog, Alanna Beebe, and Casey O’Roarty to help parents and nannies learn and become certified in the Positive Discipline Method. They have created a very easy-to-follow online course that lays out all the tools and techniques to help navigate these childhood challenges for the children in your life.
Who created Positive Discipline?
Positive Discipline is a parenting and discipline style developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen. This approach is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. This method is researched and based on both psychology and child development expertise.
What is Positive Discipline?
Positive Discipline teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. It is based on Adlerian Theory that focuses on connection before correction that is both connected and firm at the same time for each particular situation. Positive Discipline Theory believes there are no bad children; only good and bad behavior. The main idea is to build mutual respect, effective communication and problem solving skills and focus on solutions rather than punishment.
There are five main criteria to learn in Positive Discipline:
- Disciplining Kind and Firm at the same time. Being kind is respectful to the child, while being firm is respectful to the needs of the situation. An example of this is to say to a child, “I hear that you want ice cream and we still need to have dinner first. Would you like to have grilled chicken or pasta first? You decide.”
- Creating Feelings of Belonging and Significance. Belonging means that I matter, I can contribute. Belonging means that I am connected to others. Through feelings of belonging and significance, children develop a sense that they are capable and have personal power and can contribute to society. Some ideas of this include having chores or teaching and allowing a child to dress themselves.
- Using Positive Discipline tools that work long term, rather than punishment that is a short term fix. This is helping find solutions for misbehavior and empowering children with knowledge and practice.
- Teaching valuable social and life skills to create good character. Positive Discipline will help teach problem solving, self soothing, thinking, listening and communication skills.
- Focus on encouragement rather than praise. Encouragement means that you are connected as a parent and value their effort. Praise has implied judgment of doing something well by your standards. Positive Discipline teaches children to find intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation. An example of teaching encouragement and intrinsic motivation is to tell a child “I have faith in you. Keep trying. You’ll get there.” While praise is extrinsic motivation stating, “You are the best artist.”
While there are a variety of disciplining methods to choose, Sproutable does an amazing job of teaching the Positive Discipline method through education and real life practical videos that are bite sized to go through at your own pace, allowing users to gain understanding quickly and easily so parents and nannies can put the tools into practice right away. Sproutable also offers support with all of their programs to ask ongoing questions and support with any nanny or parenting situations you may need help with.
The Impact of Nature on Mental Health
Summer is upon us and while the temperatures are high, there is an invigorating shift that comes with the heat waves. Evidence of the positive effects of spending time in nature is bountiful, so today we’ll discuss the impact of nature on mental health and ways to incorporate more of it into your daily life to improve your family’s well-being.
The Healing Power of Nature
Much research has been done on the healing properties of spending time outdoors. The benefits have a broad range of physical, cognitive and emotional improvements. Significant shifts in focus, memory and behavior can be attributed to exposure to nature. In one study conducted in Denmark, children that had abundant access to green spaces were 55% less likely to develop mental illness when they got older. Spending time outdoors is shown to produce feelings of awe and happiness, which in turn makes us more productive and impacts how we show up in social situations. Those who feel happy and connected to life tend to be more generous and cooperative. The oxygen intake from walking outdoors is shown to increase serotonin production, boost heart and bone health, and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Did you know that when the sun hits our skin, it actually uses the cholesterol in our skin cells to convert that energy into Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for our immune health? Even the sounds of nature are shown to reduce stress and improve focus. All of these benefits and more can be experienced with just two hours per week of time outside.
Ocean or Mountains?
The perks of spending time in green spaces (i.e. land abundant in trees and other foliage) and blue spaces (i.e. land with abundant aquatic spaces like oceans or lakes) are shown to have similar effects. A nice walk or bike ride for 20-30 mins a day could be just what you need to get a fresh perspective for your day. Instead of tv or a podcast as background noise or visuals, try a nature sound compilation video on YouTube or whichever streaming services you use most. A weekly visit to your favorite local park or hiking trail could also be rejuvenating. Even time at a public or private pool can serve as a great way to get outside!
Bring Nature to You
Some of us may have limited options for outdoor exploration, but there are several great ways to bring nature to you. Pinterest has tons of great resources for starting a balcony, windowsill, or raised bed garden for your patio. Low-maintenance houseplants are also an awesome way to fill your home with greenery, and teach your children the value of nature. There are so many lessons to be learned by caring for plants or tending to a garden that will encourage us and our kids to value life outside of ourselves. Chromotherapy or colorology studies the effects certain colors can have on our mood and productivity as well. These studies show that there are even benefits to just having the color green, blue or yellow in the decor we use in our homes. Color-changing light bulbs, the paint on the walls and the images we hang around our house can have a similar effect as spending time outdoors.
We hope you found this information helpful, and it inspires you and your family to spend some quality time in the great outdoors this summer!
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