Monthly Archives: September 2016

Babysitting Tips and Tricks

Babysitting Tips and Tricks

Babysitting includes a lot of responsibility, especially with hyperactive kids. Some ideas that can help manage its different related aspects are as under:

Making Cooking Fun

It’s best to arrive early before the parents leave, so that you get the proper details about the baby and the households. Depending on the time you are required to babysit, you may be called upon to do a number of jobs for the child or children. If you happen to be taking care of them during mealtimes, or if anyone feels hungry while you are in control, it would not be a bad idea to cook up something for them. If these are school-going children, you could make this a play activity; use their help in kitchen, and take their feedback on what they enjoy at the snacking time. However, make sure that you do not allow them to handle hot pans or liquids, and that they are dressed in proper clothes. It is better to not have them in loose fitting or easily inflammable clothes. Always make sure that the handles of the pans are turned inwards on the burner, so that there is no danger of anything being knocked over. Knives, choppers, and other such materials should not be used as far as possible during cooking with children. An elder person, or an adult should operate the microwave, as well as the gas burners. Cords of appliances should also be tucked away, preferably out of sight and reach.

Feeding the Right Way

Once the cooking is in place, feeding is the next activity you have to be careful about. Kids need to be fed, even school-going ones. For toddlers, cut the food into bite-sized pieces and put them in a plate, with a spoon handy. However, some children like to try eating with their hands, so let them. Remember, you are not required to make a gourmet meal, so no creamy, messy stuff. Keep the food dry and healthy to avoid unnecessary messes. Don’t let very young children eat small things by themselves; things like candy pops, popcorn, or even grapes can cause them to choke and panic. This could really mean trouble. So, be careful. When feeding an infant, be prepared for messy throw-ups; almost one in five children eat largely by throwing up half their food. Use a bib, keep a large mound of napkins handy, and then, have fun. Feeding babies can be a sweet experience for the babysitters.

However, it is a good idea to have a visit with the family, to see the way the child is used to being fed. After that, be prepared before you fix up the child for feeding. Keep the required equipment, cups, bibs, plates, napkins, and everything else ready before you start.

In case a bottle is needed for juice, etc., make sure that you take proper instructions on bottle preparation from the parents before you start. Also, be clear on the quantity of formula the baby is supposed to be given. There should be no change in the feeding routine. Make sure that you ask about the temperature of the bottle or formula beforehand. Do not panic, and stay calm. It’s indeed not rocket science; the baby can sense your panic. If you are relaxed and enjoying feeding the baby, she will enjoy eating, too.

If you have no prior experience in feeding babies, it will be wise to attend a feeding session with the child to learn how exactly the baby has to be held and treated. Some kids enjoy listening to good music while being fed; some need to be cuddled. What is imperative is that the baby has to be held up on the shoulder and burped after the feed, or be ready for more gas and vomiting, even irritating colic.

For slightly older preschoolers, solid foods are good, but some may like it mashed. In any case, cut it into bite-sized pieces. But, at all ages, be ready for a mess at feeding times.

Personal Care

Of course, as a babysitter, you will require to help the children with toilet needs in absence of the parents. In case of toddlers, you should be able to change the diapers and clean up. For small preschoolers, this may be toilet training time. So ask, when they want to go, and then take them to the pot. They may need your help; provide it. As for any other cleaning, there should be no need to bathe the child or children unless you are specifically instructed to. If you are, ask about bath time rituals the child is used to. What temperature water, favorite toys, and favorite post-bath snack he/she prefers… everything.

Playing Tips

While playing with kids, take care about the toys being used. Their size, their material, and also, the game should be child friendly. Stuffed animals are on their way out of a child’s closet in most families because of the various hazards of having fake fur, nylon, and polyester allergies, and even loose eye-buttons. So, try to follow the family tradition in toys. Similarly, toys with sharp edges and electronic toys should also be avoided. Battery-operated toys can be used, provided that the child is under supervision. This list should also include toys with cords or long strings.

Playing outdoors should also be a supervised activity. Make sure that the children keep a safe distance from rapidly moving swings, and at all times, ensure that the child is of the correct age for that particular activity or swing. In case it is a toddler, be careful of which swings he or she can enjoy.

A good babysitter can plan good games in the outdoors on the lines of a planned picnic, too. Pretend games for school-going children, physical activity games, and even pointing the great outdoors, all ensure a useful time sending exercise, even while outdoors.

Sleeptime

It is essential that the babysitter learn in advance about the child’s sleeptime essentials, the favorite activity for calming, favorite toy, and even the favorite book or story. The child will feel relaxed with familiar activities, especially if she is not the one who feels asleep with exhaustion.

To make a young child sleep, use the routine things with the assurance that when he/she wakes up, Mom and Dad will be home for him/her. In case of a toddler, you will be required to have a calming routine; usually, a soft song, or lullaby, or just holding on the chest and patting the bottom rhythmically can serve the purpose. It helps calm the child, relax, and make her feel secure. Sleep follows soon after.

Babysitting Flyer Ideas for You

Babysitting Flyer Ideas for You

Babysitting is a great way to earn some extra money. And if you’ve decided to give it a shot, you’ll need to advertise for it. How else will people know about your services? One of the best ways to get the message across is to prepare some uniquely designed babysitting flyers. Nothing catches one’s attention like flyers. So if you want to do that and don’t know how to, I’ll say just read the following article for all the answers.

The Basics

It is important to remember that a babysitting flyer template has to include all the information that you want the people whom you are targeting, to know. Include the following things on your flyer.

Name
Your name is the most important thing on the flyer. Make sure it is bold and clearly visible even from a distance. Never let the design of the flyer overshadow your name.

Contact
This includes all the essential information regarding your phone number, email address, or any other contact number. You do not need to give your local address. But make sure that your phone numbers are clearly mentioned. Also, write what is the best time for them to contact you. A good idea for you is to make several separate chits that you can attach to the end of your flyer, so that people can simply tear of that bit and take it with them.

Characteristics
Mention your positive attributes like patience, punctual, loves kids, friendly, responsible, experienced etc.

Days and Time Availability
Make sure to mention the timings that you are willing to work for, and especially the days. Many parents would want sitters on weekends, so if you’re offering that service it would really be of a great help for many.

Courses and References
This is a very important factor to talk about when it comes to your flyer. Do not forget to mention the related courses like first aid or babysitting courses that you’ve done. So also, make sure that you mention the babysitting experience you have had. And get references from all these jobs, but only state them if they ask for it.

Payment
The form of charges you will administer and what will be your babysitting rates will also have to be mentioned. Will it be hourly, or based on days? Will you charge more for weekends and how much more will you charge per child, plus an additional child.

Creative Ideas

How to make babysitting flyers? Here are a few ideas that you can use to design your own babysitting flyer. Make sure to make maximum impact. You can also include the varied activities that you will be taking up, or when you talk to them personally, you can mention it then.

Cartoon Characters
Nothing catches a child’s or a parent’s attention like a popular character from the cartoons. Design your flyer around this character and include all this information.

Attractive Wordings
Get their attention by penning down some very catchy phrases or styles of writing like ‘Want to enjoy a night out dancing with your husband but don’t know what to do about baby Thomas? It’s Emma to the rescue!’ This will immediately get their attention.

Develop a Story
This can get a little difficult but if you have a creative bent of a mind-go ahead and show it. Make up characters, putting yourself as the superhero babysitter or the like. Make sure that this does not take away from your name and other essentials.

Comic Strip
If you are good at drawing or can get someone to do it for you, draw up a panel that shows distressed parents in the first box, then your entry and by the end of the strip the parents having some time to themselves while you take care of the kid.

Examples

If It’s Babysitting You Want, It’s Babysitting You’ve Got!

I’m Marcy Jillian
(This should be in a font that is larger than the other text so that it gets highlighted)

I’m available on the number _______ (insert number here) and _______. Call me anytime from 4:00 to 7:00.

I charge $5 per hour and 1 dollar more for every additional child.

I’m available every weekday and weekend night.

I have done ________ course and have a first aid certificate from _________. I’m fun loving, responsible, patient, and I love children.

I have been babysitting for 3 years now and have handled kids from the age group 6 months to 11 years.

I also have references that I can provide for. Contact me personally for the same.

Babysitting flyers are an essential ingredient for generating business. Once you have this done, the rest depends on how far and wide you can get those flyers out. So get to it soon and earn those extra bucks fast.

Tips on Preparing Yourself for Child Custody Hearing

Tips on Preparing Yourself for Child Custody Hearing

If you are preparing yourself for a child custody hearing (generally contested because a couple could not come to a mutual, out-of-court agreement), you are mostly aware of the impact that the outcome will have on you and your child. You are probably scared, angry, embittered, depressed or on the verge of a nervous breakdown with all the worry over the verdict a judge will give. The first important thing for you to do, before you learn to prepare yourself for a child custody hearing, is to calm yourself. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved when you are in a heightened emotional state. You have held yourself together so far, hang on for a little longer and set aside your emotional outburst for a time after the custody hearing.

Once you have rid yourself of personal baggage, put your logical and rational mind to work. Think about your child with a clear and unclouded mindset. What would be in the best interest of your child? It is easy to get carried away by feelings and come to the conclusion that because your spouse failed to be a good partner, he/she would fail to be a good parent. As far as possible, look at the situation from your child’s point of view. Then, based on what you think is best for your child.

Things to Know Before a Hearing

As any experienced single parent would know, to win a custody battle is no less than winning an actual battle and just like a general has to have a strategy in place, a personalized ‘child custody strategy’ is a must. The worst thing that can happen in a child custody is overlooking a deserving parent as an unfit parent. More often than not, the reason for this lies in poor planning of the better parent. To avoid this from happening to you, here are a few things you must know.

  • The judge, or any other person in the court, does not know you. They might know about you based on the case file, but not who you really are.
  • Your advocate is a representative, not a projection of you. Trust him/her but don’t leave everything to him/her.
  • Courts no longer grant custody to a mother automatically. They decide the custody rights based on what is in the best interest of the child.
  • Study your state laws on child custody thoroughly.
  • Research on previous cases similar to yours.

Preparation for a Hearing

Self-evaluation
Honesty is indeed the best policy in a child custody hearing. As it is, your opponent in court is going to put you through a microscope. Instead of waiting for an outsider to reopen your wounds or use your weak spots as ammunition, you might as well do it yourself. While doing this, don’t limit your evaluation to just the parenting skills. The judge is going to focus on your parenting skills and see you as an individual. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What traits in my personality are commendable?
  • Which of my personality traits leave room for change?
  • What are all the parenting skills I possess?
  • What wrong choices or decisions have I made in the past?
  • Which parts of parenting am I weak at?
  • Which of my personality traits or parenting skills did my ex claim to be wrong?
  • What all can I provide my child with?
  • What will my child be deprived of, if he/she lives with me?

Your ex (and his/her attorney) is going to pinpoint even the slightest failings on your part. While it is impossible to be perfect (we are humans and humans fail), it is possible (and advisable) to use our failings as steps to go higher. Dress up your closet of skeletons with what you have learned and how it has, and will, positively affect your life. Also, the accusations of your ex may not seem worth your time, but being prepared with a reasonable explanation to them will make your case stronger and at least lower the confidence of your opponent. What you must not do is defend your wrongs. Accept them and show how you have effectively dealt with them.

Know Your Enemy
Now move on to the part you will probably do with ease: evaluate your ex. The tricky twist here is that you have to be honest. Simply put, view the actions of your ex as an outsider would. Being impartial in your views will give you a better idea about the strong and weak points of your ex. Besides, if you are objective in your assessment, the arguments you base on them will be objective too. The judge, and your ex (along with his/her advocate), will not be able to charge you with vindictive behavior. You will come across as someone who is more focused on the future of his/her child and not someone who is bent on getting back at an ex. Questions that will help you do this are similar to the ones listed above, but with a slight variation.

  • Which personality traits of your ex are good?
    (Which of your personality traits compensate for these?)
  • What are the questionable personality traits of your ex?
    (Does he/she have issues or traits, like anger management, that would put your child at risk?)
  • What past choices of your ex reflect negatively on him/her?
    (It can be anything that is detrimental to the well-being of your child.)
  • What good parenting skills does your ex possess?
    (Do you have these skills or are there any other extra skills that you possess?)
  • What are his/her shortcomings as a parent?
    (Include instances of child abuse or neglect, if any. Do not gloat.)
  • What can your ex give your child?
    (Are these things essential for your child? If yes, can you give them to your child?)
  • What will your child be deprived of, if he/she stays with your ex?
    (Include lack of time because of busy schedule or extended business tours, residence that is at a considerable distance from the school, friends and other activities the child is attached to.)

Again, focus on the custody issues that are related to your child in some way. Don’t accuse your ex of wronging you if that action had no direct impact on your child. For instance, if your ex had an affair, mention that only if your child discovered it in a way he/she shouldn’t have chanced upon it. You can use the current partner of your ex only if his/her relationship with your child will have an adverse or undesirable effect. Bear in mind that this is a child custody hearing, not a divorce proceeding. So don’t compete or try to ‘measure up’ to your ex – you are to evaluate, not judge your ex or even yourself. Highlight the significant issues only, as having a few but important points is of more value than a huge list of inconsequential issues.

Document Evidence
For all the points you list on your behalf, and the ones that you wish to use against your ex, evidence is essential. Support all your arguments with evidence because no one is going to take your word as true and infallible, especially in a family court. It might seem a hypocrite kind of thing to prove that you love your kids or you might not want to do anything with your ex anymore, but you will have to do this for the simple reason that the court (or the judge) cannot see a person’s heart or know his/her entire life in a few court hearings. Things that you can use as evidence are:

  • Proof of personal and financial stability which includes a secure job, a good house and if applicable, a steady partner
  • Photographs or videos that show the quality time you have spent with kids
  • Witnesses and official documents that prove you were involved in the educational and medical care of your child
  • Police records or medical reports against your ex, if any
  • Witnesses and evidence of abusive or dangerous behavior of your ex
  • Written documentation of instances when your ex missed child visitation or child support
  • Proof that the child’s schedule will not be disturbed, if he/she comes to live with you like details of school and extracurricular activities

One thing to know when you go for a hearing for the first time is that, even if you have given the most relevant evidences in your file, present yourself in the court as though the judge presiding over your child custody case has not read a word of it. As for witnesses, they can be doctors, teachers, neighbors or friends who have seen and can vouch for your interaction with your child. In case of your friends and family, a judge is inclined to believe that they will support you at all costs, so choose wisely. For those witnesses that you are not sure will present themselves for the hearing, you can request a subpoena (a court order to present a person) to be issued.

Child Custody Representative
You may choose to represent yourself per se, but it is best to choose a good, recommended and experienced advocate if you are not familiar with court proceedings. In case you want to go, study your case all the more objectively. Go for a session or two of consultation with an experienced advocate. Get your evidence and other custody related documents verified by an appropriate third person. You can take someone along as a support on the day of the hearing. If you choose to hire an advocate, then you need to do include the following things:

  • Choose someone referred to you than a stranger. Take the advice and opinion of those who have gone through successful custody battles before.
  • Interview a prospective advocate just as you would interview a prospective employee.
  • Ask him/her to give you references (a good advocate should be able to give them easily).
  • Question him/her on her strategy and plan of action. An advocate is as good as his/her preparation.
  • Different advocates have different communication methods. So, be sure to know when and how you will be contacted.
  • Do not hesitate to question your lawyer – you are going to put yourself and your child in his/her hands.
  • Give an honest appraisal of yourself, your ex, your child and the entire case at all times, in all things.
  • Spend enough time in discussing the strategy and overall proceedings of your case.
  • Tell your advocate to get information on the strategy of the advocate representing your ex, and the presiding judge, based on his/her previous cases.

Your advocate can sympathize or empathize with you, but in the end, he/she is there just to follow the courtroom rules on your behalf and can only do what you allow him/her to. Provide all the information, no matter how big or small, to enable your advocate in making effective defensive and offensive arguments before the judge in the family court. Being truthful and open with yourself and your advocate will help you in tackling your fears, which in turn will boost your confidence because, you will know there is nothing more for you to face or hide.

What to Do During a Hearing

✔ Following the courtroom etiquette goes a long way in impressing a judge.
✔ Be on your guard at all times and take any suggestion only after a thorough background search.
✔ Review all the documents relevant to the case till you know them inside out.
✔ Present witnesses from the medical, educational or law enforcement fields as far as possible.
✔ It is very beneficial if your child is involved in any social activity with you (like regular visits to friends or family).
✔ Diligently obey the orders of a court ruling.
✔ Have a mock questioning of witnesses along with your advocate, before the hearing.

What Not to Do During a Hearing

✖ Do not use your child to gain information about your ex – you will harm your child more than you will benefit your case.
✖ Do not bring your child to the custody hearing until you are ordered to do so.
✖ Do not bribe or manipulate your child for any reason, in any way.
✖ Do not get your partner or a new spouse to the court unless your advocate asks you to.
✖ Do not argue in the court – stating your point firmly is enough.
✖ Do not spring surprises at, or argue with your lawyer during the hearing.
✖ Do not give any wrong emotional response to any question directed at you.

Even if you are fighting a custody battle with your ex, remember that he/she is related to the child just the way you are. Do your best for what you know is best for your child and this sometimes requires you to be a little considerate to your ex (even when you could gladly banish him/her to exile). Be aware of the child custody rights that the court grants to the mother and the father of a child. Lastly, whatever may be the outcome of the hearing, be graceful even if it’s not in your favor.

Finding Reasons for Adopting a Child

Finding Reasons for Adopting a Child

In recent years there has been an alarming rise in the number of children in foster care homes. This sad observation can be countered to a considerable extent by encouraging couples to adopt. A positive point worth mentioning is there has been a noteworthy increase in the number of child adoptions in the past few years; people are now more willing to give home to a child, with a selfless intention. You should adopt only if you are ready to take all the necessary efforts for the child, and are capable of providing the expected to the child. The following paragraphs cover the points that discuss the reasons people take to adoption.

Reasons to Adopt a Child

It is the desire of every married couple to have children and experience the joy of raising them together. But in some cases, there can be issues that might prevent the couple from having children. But if you really want the love of a child, and also want to help someone, a good decision would be to adopt a child. The points listed below are the common reasons for child adoption.

  • Fertility problems, trouble in conceiving due to a late marriage are problems that might hinder begetting. For this reason many couples adopt a child.
  • Increased focus on work is making people marry late and this, to a certain extent, affects the ability to conceive. It is quite common to see couples who marry late, adopt a child.
  • Married couples also prefer adopting a child if either partner has problems in conceiving. There are also some medical conditions that can mar the ability of the person to give birth.
  • A couple suffering from genetic diseases can prefer child adoption than opting for a biological kid. The reason being – genetic diseases can be passed to kids from parents.
  • It is not uncommon to see married couples adopting a child even if their biological clock is ticking. This generally has selfless reasons, as in this case the reason is providing a homely atmosphere, along with love and care to the child.
  • There is nothing better than raising a child and then see him/her as a grownup after some years. It will give you a sense of responsibility along with a feel-good feeling.
  • Adoption of older children is observed in married couples who do not want to go through the phase of raising kids, as it might hinder their career and family life.
  • Couples, who have one biological kid might prefer adopting another.
  • Labor can be quite painful for women and can also have serious complications in some cases, so to counter it some couples take to adoption, just for a painless experience of having a child.

There are many other good reasons that people adopt a child. Sometimes, it is the sheer love for children that makes singles adopt children. Economically rich families also adopt children to give them the love and care of a family. A couple can adopt the child of their relative who for some reason, is failing to take care of that child. For someone adopting, the reason is making a difference in the world, it can be control of population, or protecting the children in foster care homes from the harshness of the world. It is often the case that children in foster care homes fall victims to drug abuse and other crimes. By adopting you are making a difference in the kid’s life. There are couples who adopt children from developing countries. It is a painful fact that child abandonment is more prevalent is developing and underdeveloped countries. And so, adoption is definitely a positive development, and a sign of altruism. Anyone can adopt a child, although there are certain rules are regulations that govern the process, the thumb rule is – the concerned persons should be capable of taking responsibility of the child and should ensure his/her future.

More than anything else, look at the adoption process through an emotional perspective. By adopting a child you are offering him/her a helping hand and making his/her life better to a huge extent. And he/she is also giving you something in return; the super feeling of being mom/dad. So adopt a child, without expecting anything in return and shower all your love on the child. I say it again, do not adopt if you are not sure about your decision and feel that you cannot give the child what he /she deserves from you. And what the child deserves? Well, he/she deserves the unconditional love and affection of parents, and a secure future, from you…