Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Do You Enjoy Doing Most for the Winter Holidays?

What Winter Holiday Does the Family You Work for Celebrate?

Does the family you work for decorate a Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols, or perhaps they light the candles on a menorah during Hanukkah, or maybe they eat sweet tangerines and light the seven candles of a kinara for Kwanzaa.

Many people celebrate different winter holidays. Nevertheless, several of these holidays have a lot in common: They are a time for friends and families to gather together; they are a time to make special foods and desserts; and often gifts and cards are given as reminders of how much people care about one another.

Most winter holidays revolve around an important object of light: the Christmas lights on a Christmas tree, the nine candles on a Hanukkah menorah, the seven candles on a Kwanzaa kinara, the sun during the Winter Solstice, and the four candles on a Christmas Advent wreath.

There is much anticipation and preparation as the excitement for the winter holidays draws near. Many families make special foods and drinks such as eggnog, potato latkes, Christmas cookies, and hot apple cider. Often, friends and families will gather together for a feast and celebration of their holiday.

For Hanukkah, children may spin the dreidel and eat yummy potato pancakes called latkes. For Christmas, children may hang stockings, decorate Christmas trees, and eat plum pudding. For Kwanzaa, children may eat delicious fruit and make special bracelets and necklaces for family and friends.

All of these holidays have traditions that have been passed down from one generation to another. Hopefully, in the future, you will continue to pass down your family's customs to your own children.

The winter holidays are a time to be creative, generous, and thankful. It is also a time to look forward to good times ahead.

What Do You Enjoy Doing Most for the Winter Holidays?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving Survey for Nannies and Au Pairs

It's officially holiday shopping season. If you work as a nanny or au pair please help other in-home caregivers by taking our holiday gift giving survey by clicking here.

Some of the questions you will be asked include:

If you work as a nanny or au pair do you purchase holiday gifts for the children? Do you purchase gifts for the parents? Do you give just one gift for the entire family?

If you purchase holiday gifts for the children how much do you spend per gift?
Under $30 per gift.
No more than $50 per gift.
No more than $75 per gift.
No more than $100 per gift.
More than $100 per gift.
I have no budget, I just buy what I think they will love.

What gifts are you planning to give to the kids, parents, or entire family this holiday season?

To be quoted in our monthly poll please complete the survey by clicking here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free Letters From Santa

Product Review Sunday for Nannies and Au Pairs

Relight a Child's Belief in Santa this Christmas, Create a FREE Letter From Santa

Imagine the excitement on a child's face upon receiving a Personalized Santa Letter! Santa can personalize details specific to a specific child including: the child's name, gender, age, hometown, accomplishment, present, and best friend's name!

There are Five FREE unique Santa Letters to choose from, great if you want Santa to write to more than one child in a household! You can even choose between five background templates! This web site offers a choice of a Free Printable Letter from Santa or a Free Santa Letter email. It couldn't be easier!

You can pay for a decorated envelope or simply create your own for free.

Click here to get started.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Cooking With Kids

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Most kids love cooking and baking, and I think most nannies do too! For the past two-weeks, building up to Thanksgiving, we discussed how to help kids be grateful and thankful for all they have. One of our suggestions was to get the kids involved in holiday gift giving (not just receiving). What could be more fun than making holiday gifts for their friends and loved ones?

Get kids into the kitchen whipping up gorgeous treats, cakes, party food, and edible decorations for the holiday season with Christmas Cooking With Kids by Annie Rigg. The book is designed with clear recipes in a step-by-step manner that makes it kid friendly. Some of the recipes are suitable to make with small children, saving the adults trying to dream-up projects for the family during the holidays.

Additionally, the photographs are included with every recipe which both helps with preparation and seeing the end result entices participants into the project. It's great that not every photograph reflects perfection. The picture of the shortbread includes one cracked piece. The fudge isn't all cut into perfect squares.

There is a solid index in the back of the book to help locate any recipe, along with a conversion chart for weights and measures so translation from American into Metric or Imperial is handy.



Recipes include more than 50 recipes from around the world — all simple enough for children under 11 to make with minimum help from adults. Little Treats & Gifts are for giving to friends, teachers, and family. Everyone loves a box of homemade Fudge or Chocolate Truffles. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by getting the kids to make their own Edible Decorations? Snowflake Cookies and Popcorn Garlands will look great on the Christmas tree. Cakes & Desserts like Marble Cake and Fruit Jellies will impress everyone at the dinner table and when guests are coming round, let the kids help with the Party Food, such as Pumpkin Soup and Christmas Morning Pancakes.

Stop by tomorrow for Product Review Sunday and next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Are You Shopping Today?

Surviving the Holiday Gift Glut

Now that Thanksgiving is over and its Black Friday, (the busiest shopping day of the year), it doesn't mean we should stop teaching kids to be grateful for all they have.

When buying holiday gifts this season remember that many Americans are out of work. If you have a job be grateful. Holiday shopping season is the perfect time to be frugal, limit holiday spending, while showing how grateful you are for all you have.

Limit extracurricular giving. Determine a reasonable budget on how much you can spend on gifts this holiday season and stick to it. Make a list of who you must buy a present for and purchase only one gift for each person. It's easiest to shop online because once in the department stores you will be tempted to buy more gifts, but stick with your list.

Take the big day slowly. Instead of one huge gift-grabbing frenzy, have family members open presents one at a time. That way, you have a few moments for appreciation built in.

Stash 'em. Put half of the gifts away and pull them out as rainy day surprises throughout the year.

Downplay the presents. Put more emphasis on celebrating -- making cookies, attending your house of worship, decorating the tree, lighting the menorah, visiting relatives.

Take them shopping. Children get immense pleasure out of giving gifts and seeing you express gratitude to them.

Reference: To see original article please click here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Living a Grateful Life

Celebrating Thanksgiving
By Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

In our journey to Thanksgiving we've been discussing how to teach kid to be grateful. Here are some suggestions from familyeducation.com.

How can we give thanks every day?
Keep "gratitude journals;" set aside time for family prayer; try to be more physically affectionate with one another; make an effort to express your appreciation and encouragement (the dinner table is the perfect place to do this). Giving your thanks daily establishes gratitude as a priority in your family.

What do we take for granted that we might express thanks for every day?
We all need to open our eyes and appreciate our daily gifts: food, shelter, clothing, good health, friendship, the beauty of nature, and the kindness of others. Talking about ways to increase our awareness of these daily blessings is productive.

Is doing for others a way of expressing gratitude?
Discuss how helping others is gratitude in action. You might not only prepare and/or help serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter, but also talk about how your family can make a commitment of time and service to this shelter on a regular basis. Expressing thanks by actively helping others in an ongoing way can be one of your family's "gratitude goals."

What attributes do you possess that you are thankful for?
This self-examination encourages self-gratitude, helping us pause to appreciate our skills, talents, and personality traits. If we've lost sight of our special gifts, this gives family members an opportunity to point them out to us: "You are the best listener." "You always manage to cheer us up when we're down." "You can fix anything that's broken."

Who has treated you with kindness and generosity, and how would you like to thank that person?
Gratitude can take many forms - a homemade gift, a thank-you card, a phone call, a spontaneous favor. Remembering those who have made us feel special and valued encourages us to become more aware and appreciative of human kindness. You might discuss ways to show your gratitude by passing on a person's kindness through your own acts of generosity.

Teaching children by example how to make their gratitude known is at the core of teaching them how to appreciate and celebrate the abundance in their lives. These are lessons learned throughout a lifetime, not merely discussions we have at Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

The Last Working Day Before Thanksgiving

This is your last working day before the Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you used some of our suggestions over the past few days to help kids appreciate all they have. If not, there's still time to check out our Eight Days of Thanksgiving series by looking over our posts from the past two-weeks.

The Internet is full of free Thanksgiving projects and activities to do with kids. Most of those activities are actually a great way to get kids to think about what they are grateful for. We suggested starting out by making a TURKEY DAY DIARY or an I AM THANKFUL FOR...BOOK. Click here to see those easy, yet thoughtful activities.

I love doing activities like these with children because it makes them stop and think about the people and things that matter most to them and why.

When you first ask children what they are thankful for they may just rattle off a list of all the toys and things that they own. But, even being thankful for material possessions is a good thing. They ought to be grateful for toys. Just be sure to help them balance the list out by pointing out the people in her lives that they love too.

As they develop characteristics like empathy and sympathy, they will gain gratitude. Teaching a child to be thankful, generous, and kind is a lifelong process, and one that involves many friends and family to help.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Watch PollyAnna to Teach Kids to See Good in Everything

Eight Days of Thanksgiving

With only two more working days until Thanksgiving, we suggest using negative experiences to teach children the value of being grateful.

The Walt Disney movie, "PollyAnna" is a great example of making good out of bad situations. In the movie, PollyAnna plays the "Glad" game. In this game she found many things to be grateful for in every situation she encountered. Renting this video, watching, and discussing it with children would be a great, gratitude building, quality time activity.

As you go through your day show children the wonderful events going on behind the scenes that we usually take for granted. Things like the police who protect us, the crossing guard who keeps us safe while crossing the street, and the clerk at the grocery store doing her job to help us get our food.

Remember saying, "thank you," to everyone during your daily activities is the easiest way to role model appreciation that children will learn and emulate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The 8 Days of Thanksgiving

The Importance of Manners to Show You are Thankful

We have been discussing how to teach children to be thankful in the days before Thanksgiving. With three more working days until Thanksgiving let's teach kids that using good manners shows respect towards others. Saying, "thank you," is an easy way to show others our appreciation.

Begin teaching children to say, "thank you," as soon as they're able to talk. Once they can talk well enough also have them say why they are thankful. Have them tell the librarian, "Thank you for reading me that story," or say to a friend's mother, "Thank you for inviting me over to play."

Help children send thank you notes. If they cannot write yet, have them draw pictures and mail them as a thank you for nice deeds or gifts.

Show children the value of a thank you by saying it to them. Express gratitude when they behave well, put their clothes away, or treat their siblings well.

At first, the words may just come out of a child's mouth out of force of habit or because you are prompting them by saying, "What do we say?" But, eventually kids will grasp the meaning behind the words. Talk about why telling someone, "thank you," is important. Point out a time that someone said "thank you" to him and how that made him feel good inside.

Stop by tomorrow to learn how to teach kids to see good in others.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Great Thanksgiving Dinner Game

Product Review Sunday
Thanksgiving is Thursday. So, for this Product Review Sunday we recommend the Thanksgiving Box of Questions by Box Girls. Your Thanksgiving will be even more festive with these clever, engaging, and entertaining conversation starter question cards. A Thanksgiving Box of Questions also makes a special holiday hostess gift that doubles as a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.

The Box Girls started in 2002 when BFF moms Cece Feiler and Heidi Hadda were at a restaurant with their hungry husbands and six kids and the service was slow.

To avoid a mealtime meltdown, the two moms started asking questions to engage their kids and what was potentially a disastrous night turned into a magical night of bonding and sharing. That night the first game in the successful Box of Questions original series was launched.

Hundreds of thousands of boxes in this successful series have been enjoyed by families and friends across the globe. These clever, age-appropriate, party, and holiday themed question-games instantly unite any group while re-establishing the art of storytelling. Since the first game was sold, The Box Girls has donated a percentage of their profits to charitable organizations.

Thanksgiving Box of Questions



The decorative gift box is 5" diameter x 3.25" tall and filled with 82 glossy cards printed with Thanksgiving themed Box Girl question cards.

The game has Thanksgiving themed conversation starters like:
What are you most thankful for this year?
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
What is your family motto?

Don't forget to stop by again next Sunday for another Product Review Sunday for nannies and au pairs.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Trip to the Library for Thanksgiving

Check out 175 Easy-To-Do Thanksgiving Crafts by Sharon Dunn Umnik. This book has Thanksgiving Day crafts with clear and concise directions with color photographs. Many of the supplies needed for the projects can be found at home. Craft projects include fanciful turkeys, wreaths, Pilgrims, garlands, and holiday-table accessories.



Click here to see directions to make a Thanksgiving votive candle. For our reviews for other children's books about Thanksgiving please click here. To see how to make a pilgrim hat and bonnet click here.

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Product Review Sunday and next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving: Praise, Be Appreciative, Don't Demand Thanks

Show Children You Are Grateful for Them

We have been celebrating the eight working days before Thanksgiving. With the Eight Days of Thanksgiving (and with only four more working days before Thanksgiving) we hope to inspire thankfulness in children by showing your appreciation for them and making sure we praise and scold children appropriately.

Children don't come into the world hardwired to be appreciative. They learn to be grateful over time. Before kids can show concern for other's feelings they have to feel loved and cared for loving attention enables them to develop empathy.

Beside TLC, you can cultivate gratitude by tuning children into the pleasure of being appreciated. For instance, you might tell your charge, "I'm so happy to care for a little girl like you," to express how thankful you are to have her in your life.

Praise and Scold Appropriately
When a child does perform an act of kindness, be sincerely appreciative. Say things like, "I'm so proud of you for sharing the toys at preschool." More than anything else, kids want to make you happy, so when she does, shout it from the mountaintops. As she gets older, she'll still appreciate your support, but will behave in a generous fashion because it makes her feel good. At the same time, if the preschooler behaves selfishly, be sure to let her know. "It makes me and your friend sad when you grab toys away. Why don't you take turns?"

In an article entitled, "How to Teach Children to be Thankful," on ehow it reads, "Reward children with your time and love and not always a material object. Plan a special cooking time, or an hour of your undivided attention as an incentive for a wonderful gesture or thoughtful action your child performed."

Don't Demand Thanks
Instead of scolding or shaming a child when he isn't courteous or grateful, praise him when he is. Practicing being thankful takes time, so be patient.

References:
Amanda Rock, About.com Guide
Ehow.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gratitude Attitude

5th Day of Thanksgiving

We have been sharing ideas on helping kids learn to be grateful each working day until Thanksgiving.

It is important to be grateful for the things done for you or given to you. It is equally as important to show your appreciation with an acknowledgment.

So where do we, as a society, go wrong? Why do our children embrace entitlement, thinking that they should automatically be handed everything without thought or any appreciation at all?

Children must be taught certain behaviors. By providing children with their every heart’s desire we have failed to provide them the proper attitude in which things should be received. Instead of appreciating what they have, children of all ages want – and expect -- the latest iPods, an American Girl doll with a full wardrobe, and cell phones.

In the long run, we should forget the laptops and cell phones and instead equip our children with the attitudes that will benefit them for a lifetime – and that includes gratitude.“Giving your child a sense of gratitude means she will be happier, healthier, and stronger now, and in the future,” says Doris Jeanette, Psy. D., from the Center of New Psychology in Philadelphia, adding that the best way to do this is to model the attitude yourself.

The best way is the basic – start by counting your blessings. If you start the day with vocal appreciation, the children will follow suit. “Each day, have them name at least one thing they are happy to have in their lives today,” she suggests. “They may say they are grateful for something we might think is silly, but to them it is important. Respect what they say.”

From that lesson, they will be more likely to feel gracious for gifts they have been given and kind words spoken to them, but, more importantly, they will understand how blessed they are to have life’s simplest pleasures – a home, food, clothing, and the love of family and friends.

Reference: Kaboose

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching Kids About Needs Versus Wants

6 More Working Days 'Til Thanksgiving

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving next week. In our journey to the holiday we are suggesting ways for nannies and au pairs to encourage an attitude of thankfulness in your charges in our 8 Days Until Thanksgiving.

Today we recommend you try to help kids put things in perspective by determining needs and wants.

Naturally self-centered creatures, it's hard for preschoolers to grasp that there is a big world and it isn't orbiting around them. Do your best to explain that just like he does, people everywhere have different things that they need. Without being too heavy-handed, talk about how some people need warm food to eat and clothes to wear and how it is very nice when other people help out by buying these types of things.

Separating needs and wants isn't as easy to do as it sounds. Plenty of adults struggle with making impulsive purchases all of the time.

Here are some ways to teach kids the difference between needs and wants:

1. Start with a Discussion Over Dinner
Talk about the difference between needs and wants — between your need to pay for healthy food, shelter, and clothing – versus their desire for ice cream, a castle, and designer duds.

2. Play Store
While pretending to shop for the family is a great time to teach kids to think about what they are buying and why. While you are playing store ask the child, "I really want this green bubble gum ice cream, but we really need cereal for breakfast. What should I buy?"

3. Set a Great Example
Avoid making impulsive purchases yourself. Bring a list whenever you go shopping for the family and stick to it. We must think before we act and we must think before we purchase. A child has to start learning the survival skill of thinking first if his desires need to be instantly gratified or not. While foremost a money lesson, this will also later on develop in him the crucial values of sacrifice and giving way to a greater good. So, take time outs. We must teach kids to think about whether something is a want or a need.

4. Let Kids Use Their Own Money
Have conversations with kids about money without putting them on the defensive. Your teachable moments should be as positive and interactive as possible so that the child can be truly interested in the process of making a smart buying decision. When she tells you she wants something, respond with questions like, “Really, tell me about it? What does it do? How does it work? Do any of your friends have it? Do they like it? Do they use it? Do you know where to buy it? Who has the best price?” If she can answer all of the questions and still wants the item, then she has likely made a responsible, educated decision that this item is worth it to her.

5. Give Rewards When They Save Instead of Spend
When kids feel good about doing something, they stick with it longer.
Do your charges ever use their own money to buy the things they want?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Helping Raise a Thankful Child

Setting a Good Example of Generosity

With only seven more working days until Thanksgiving, today is a great time to talk to children about why generosity it is so important.

The best way to do show kids how to be generous is by being generous yourself. Being a good role model is especially important with preschool-age children who often do best learning a new idea when it is modeled for them.

Working as a nanny or au pair you may be spending more waking time with children than their parents. Therefore, you are an important role model. You should demonstrate to little ones the notions of thankfulness, kindness, and generosity and why they are so important.

Showing generosity through random acts of kindness takes little preparation or time. It can happen at anytime, any day, just step in and help whenever you can. If the kids see you engaging in generous behavior, they'll want to do the same thing.

Scholastic also recommends getting kids involved in a charitable activity. It's an ideal way to teach a child values such as generosity, compassion, and gratitude and prevent them from coming down with an annual case of holiday"the gimmes."

When selecting an activity, consider the child's interests, and let them help choose so they feels that it's something they want to do instead of has to do. Spend some time brainstorming together: Outdoors or indoors? Working with people or animals? Also consider their physical ability, sensitivity, and attention span — shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor is great for an older child, but perhaps not the best idea for a six-year old. To find more options and specific opportunities in your neighborhood, visit volunteermatch.org.

Whether you are buying food for a local food drive or donating clothing to a church, let the preschooler know what you are doing and why. You aren't showing off or patting yourself on the back, you are demonstrating generosity in action.

References:
Amanda Rock, About.com Guide
Scholastic
volunteermatch.org

Monday, November 15, 2010

The 8 Days of Thanksgiving!

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Teach Kids To Be Thankful

There are seven days of Kwanzaa, eight days of Hanukkah, and 12-days of Christmas. Why not incorporate the next eight working days until Thanksgiving teaching kids to be thankful?

Use your next eight working days to teach kids about kindness, compassion, and gratefulness. If you don't work Monday thru Friday then simply incorporate as many days as possible between today and Thanksgiving to help the children learn to be thankful.

TURKEY DAY DIARY:
Today, start a Turkey Day Diary. Purchase a notebook or journal for the family to pass around each day until, and including, Thanksgiving. Having each member of the family take the time to jot down what they're thankful for gives each family member a quiet time to reflect on the past year. Letting younger family members dictate their thoughts, and giving older kids colored pens to add their personal flair add other elements to the family's Turkey Day Diary. This will likely become a family tradition year after year, when the entire family can all can add their thankful thoughts to the diary and recollect what they noted the year before.

I AM THANKFUL FOR... BOOK:
For younger kids you can make a book they can illustrate, especially if they cannot write yet. Use regular printer paper or construction paper in the color of their choosing. Take at least four sheets of paper and fold them in half (so you have at least eight pages). On the bottom, or top of each page, you should write, "I am thankful for ____ because it means ____."

Staple the left hand seam of the book or use a hole punch along the binding and string yarn or ribbon through the holes to make a pretty book. Then allow the child to tell you how to fill in the blanks and allow them to illustrate their book.

LIST WHAT YOU DISLIKE:
If the kids get stumped about what they are thankful for, you can also ask them what they dislike. We all know someone who has had a terminal illness or long hospital stay, who is grateful for each day they have. We don't have to scare kids or have them worry about terminal illness to learn to be thankful. But, children can understand the concept that if they dislike being sick because they can't play with their friends, that they are thankful for being healthy so they can play with their friends.

Overall, this activity of thinking about what you dislike, gets kids thinking about the aspects of their life that they most complain about and putting those into a positive light. We ought to realize there are people all over the world who would be grateful for having a bed to make, a house to clean, and food to clear off of the table.

Reference: Thankful Tots: Creative ways to teach children to be thankful By Gina Roberts-Grey

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Toys to Help Teach Time

Product Review Sunday for Nannies and Au Pairs

Last week we discussed how to teach kids to tell time. It's not an easy concept to teach and requires much patience. Yesterday we reviewed books to use with kids when teaching time. Below are some products to use to help teach kids to tell time too.

Farmyard Tales Telling the Time Flashcards by Steven Cartwright



These flashcards are a great way to help children learn how to tell the time. Look at the clock hands and read out the time in words and numbers on one side of the card. Turn the card over and read about what's happening at the farm. Fill in the answers on 15 wipe-clean cards, using the pen included in the box.

These telling time flashcards are recommended for children ages 3 and up. The Flashcards box measures 4 1/2 x 6 1/8. It includes 50 flash cards.

Telling Time Game by Constructive Playthings



By moving the hands on the four clock faces to match the digital time cards, this game progresses to become familiar with numbers and time. Different levels of difficulty are represented by different color cards allowing for varying developmental levels. For children four-years old and up.

Bingo Telling Time by paper.com



This hands-on learning activity emphasizes listening comprehension and math skills, as well as edge-of-your-seat anticipation. All time bingo games are fun, but they aren't all alike. This is perfect to help kids learn to tell time.

Click here to learn about Telly the Teaching Time Clock.

Click here to see the Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock (see photo above). This would make a great gift for te holidays for a nanny to give to her charge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Did Your Nanny Agency Train You to Be a Nanny? Does Your Nanny Agency Pay You Your Salary?

An article was just posted on Article Storehouse entitled, "Why You're better off Using a Nanny Placement Service" By Mark Etinger of http://www.ajaxunion.com/

The author makes good points about nanny agencies being experienced in background checks and knowing what questions to ask in an interview.

But I disagree with two points he makes, at least for American nannies and American nanny placement agencies. The author claims, "Most nanny placement services train their employees before sending them out to work in the field..."

He also makes an error by stating, "Employee salaries are settled by the nanny service, which means you won't have to deal with figuring out the intricacies of employee taxes and benefits."

This might be the case in another country, but I haven't seen this occur in America in my 17-years nanny work experience. There are a probably a handful of agencies that might train nannies if they pay extra for the training. But, I have never been trained by a nanny placement agency.

The parents are the ones who pay us directly, not the nanny agency. The parents provide the benefits. The parents pay us under-the-table or on-the-books. The agency does not pay us directly.

I have always negotiated my own salary. The agency will tell me the range the parents are willing to pay. But the parents and I have always set the wage and I personally must insist on being paid-on-the-books myself.

If you work as a nanny, were you trained by a nanny placement agency before they sent you to a job? Did the agency set your salary for you?

Books to Help Teach Kids to Tell Time

Wipe Clean Telling Time by Roger Priddy

Review by D. Lowery: In general, I don't get excited by workbooks. They're static, I've yet to see one that is way fun, and what do they really teach? However, this book allows your little learner to figure out an answer, redo a page, or create his or her own response.

Telling time is not an easy concept for kids to learn, and many do not really get the abstract concept of time until they're nine- or 10-years old. But this book helps a kid learn to recognize an analog clock, a digital clock, and written time.

Priddy breaks down the concepts into little chunks per page: if the clock shows 10 o'clock, the child writes down "10 o'clock"; or if the words say 4 o'clock, the child draws the hands onto a clock. Then they get to practice what "one hour later" is. Then it's on to half past, quarter after, quarter 'til.



Each page allows the child to practice over and over what those times are on the clock or in writing. Another page connects the child to "what time do you eat breakfast," or "what time do you go to school," allowing the child to think about what that time might look like and fill in the correct what is for them the correct time. The last page has blank clocks to fill in other important times for events of the day.

This book gives excellent practice. The wipe-clean format is an awesome creative tool for this kind of book. If your child is ready to practice some basic concepts about time and is expressing an interest in time (Mommy, you said we'd go to the pool at 4:00. Is is 4:00?), then get this book. If you child isn't quite ready, then at least wait for the 5+ years recommendation on the cover.

Clockwise: A Time-Telling Tale by Sara Pinto



Thomas's family is always late for things. Thomas thinks that if he only knew how to tell time, he could help his family get where they need to be. Then Thomas meets a clockmaker, who gives him a very special clock and some tips to help him learn to tell time. Award-winning designer and artist Sara Pinto shares what Thomas learned in this beautiful and unique book that teaches kids how to tell time in a unique way.

This book is a great tool to use when helping little ones learn how to tell time. First, read the book to enjoy the story. Then, reread it in sections to reinforce time-telling skills.


Stop by tomorrow for Product Review Sunday for our favorite toys to help kids learn to tell time. Stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Teaching Kids to Tell Time for Nannies and Au Pairs, Step 5

Discussing the Second Hand

The second hand is easy for kids to learn, since it's similar to the minute hand. To reinforce that one-minute equals 60-seconds, stand next to a working clock with its minute hand pointing to an hour or half-hour, and with its second hand pointing to the 12. Have them count to 60 with you, clapping once after each number to keep pace as the second hand moves around your clock. Point out how the minute hand moves forward one-minute in the time it takes the second hand to go all the way around the clock.

Explain some of the uses of the second hand. Let's say you're timing a very short race, or how long it takes an object to drop from your hand to the floor. Give the kids some examples of things that usually take less than a minute, such as chewing a bite of food, sneezing, or posing for a snapshot. Encourage them to think of other possibilities.

If the kids have developed a firm grasp of how minutes and seconds work, you can show them how to time a minute with the second hand by starting from anywhere on a clock and then waiting for the second hand to go once around the clock and return to that same starting position.

Once the kids master telling time, have them put their new skills to use. As an exercise, have them keep a schedule of all their important activities for one day -- what time they start each one and what time they finish it. Then you can help them figure out how long it took them to complete each activity.

Learning to tell time gives kids confidence and a sense of independence. They feel more grown-up when they can see for themselves that it's time for lunch, or that it's an hour past their usual bedtime. And you'll feel a sense of satisfaction too -- that of sharing your expertise. The parents will be thrilled too!

MORE WAY TO TEACH KIDS TO TELL TIME:

Thanksgiving Turkey Time Game: Print out this turkey with a large round belly. Make a clock face on the belly. For the hour hand, make a feather shape as a spinner. As you spin the spinner, sing the chant. Click here to see this game.

Time for Time Web Site: Time-for-time has a printable clock face complete with attachable big and little hands to offer kids a hands-on learning experience. Click here for fun, interactive telling time games on this site.

Education World Web Site: Education World offers excellent hands-on lessons and printable worksheets and games (including a fun BINGO game) to help kids practice telling time. Check out It’s About Time: Teaching Students to Tell Time.

About.com: Mathematics Web Site: About.com offers a comprehensive list worksheets to download and use to help children practice telling time (on the hour, half hour, quarter hour, and random times). Click here to see these printouts.

Apples4theteacher.com: Apples4theteacher.com provides two online interactive time telling games for kids to play, located at the bottom of the page.


Click here for reference.

Stop by tomorrow for our Weekly Trip to the Library and a book to help teach kids time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do You Think Nannies Should Unionize?

Tough road to domestic workers' union, report says

The Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights prompted the report, which shows that including domestic workers under the State Employment Relations Act “is a critical first step in the organizing process.”

By Daniel Massey

The Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights that Gov. David Paterson signed earlier this year assured nannies and housekeepers of three paid days off per year after 12 months on the job and included them under basic discrimination laws. It didn't, however, give them the right to join a union.

But the law did compel the state Department of Labor to study the feasibility of domestic workers bargaining collectively. And in a new report, the DOL lays out potential paths for domestic workers to unionize, though it acknowledges the process won't be straightforward because of the industry's special circumstances.

The report—required under the Bill of Rights—shows that including domestic workers under the State Employment Relations Act “is a critical first step in the organizing process.”

The state's 200,000 domestic workers and their advocates had hoped the Bill of Rights would bring domestic workers under state laws governing collective bargaining, but it did not go that far. And benefits usually obtained at the negotiating table—like paid sick days, paid holidays, notice of termination, and severance pay—were not included in the final version of the bill.

“This is an industry where people lack a lot of rights or they are not aware of their rights,” said Colleen Gardner, the state's labor commissioner. “Domestic workers are isolated from one another and it's difficult for them to advocate on their own. We want to encourage the process, to begin to help shape the way they go as far as improving standards in the industry,”

Even if state labor law were changed to include domestic workers as employees, it's still not clear how they would organize, the report notes. Because domestic work is highly decentralized, with employees working at different worksites, for different employers, it's not apparent how bargaining units would be determined or with whom those units would bargain.

The report also mentioned other potential ways for domestic workers to improve conditions, including hiring halls, legislation requiring written contracts of employment for domestic workers, and ways to expand health insurance.

“The DOL's findings echo what we know can now be possible in the domestic work industry,” said Priscilla Gonzalez, director of Domestic Workers United, an advocacy group that fought for the Bill of Rights. “Granting domestic workers the right to collectively bargain is a critical next step in our efforts to ensure stability and workplace standards and to end abuse and exploitation in this industry.”

See entire article by clicking here.

Should nannies have a union?

Teaching Kids to Tell Time, Step 4

Explaining the Minute Hand in Single Minutes

When the kids are ready to move beyond the tidy fractions of an hour, you can start adding on a few odd minutes here or there. Have them start by adding single minutes to multiples of five-minutes.

First demonstrate that there are five-minutes between each number on the clock. Most clocks have lines for this purpose.

Next, let's say the clock reads 7:36. The kids can tell that it's after 7:00, after 7:30, and close to 7:35, and since the minute hand points to the minute mark just past the 35, the kids should be able to figure out that the time is 7:36.

Note: It may be easier for kids to subtract single minutes from (not add them to) the multiples of five-minutes on a clock. For example, 3:49 is only 1 minute shy of 3:50. Some kids will prefer to subtract one-minute from 3:50 while others will prefer to add four-minutes to 3:45.

It's more fun if you can use an older sibling to help practice. Partner them up for this exercise: Have one partner choose a time that ends with a five or a zero (such as 6:30 or 7:25) and write it down. Have the other partner choose a number between one and four and write it down. Now let the child try to add the smaller number to, and then subtract it from, the original time the first partner chose. Check their math and then have them draw clocks corresponding to both answers.

Click here for reference.


Stop by tomorrow for the last step in Teaching Kids to Tell Time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teaching Kids to Tell Time, Step 3

Explaining Minute Hand Increments

Once kids are confident reading whole hours, they can learn to read all the minutes in between. Show them how to read half hours and increments of 5, 10, and 15 minutes before you teach them to read individual minutes. This will discourage them from trying to count out every single minute on a clock, and will also help them visualize multiples of minutes as fractions of an hour.

Use a pizza, a pie, or a picture of either to explain how objects can be cut into equal parts, or fractions, which are smaller than the whole. Cut it into halves and then into fourths. Then draw a clock and divide it with lines to show how it, like a pizza or a pie, can be divided, first into halves and then into fourths. Explain it can also be divided into sixths and twelfths.

Here are the divisions of an hour that you'll need to teach them:

Half-hours. Teach kids to read half-hours in much the same way that you taught them to read hours (see Step 1). Show them a clock (or several pictures of clocks) with the minute hand on the half-hour, and the hour hand between each pair of hours. Ask them to read each time. Then have them draw in the hands for specific times on several clocks. Explain there are 30 minutes in a half-hour and 60 minutes (twice as many) in a whole hour.

Quater of an hour. Show the kids that when the minute hand points to the three, it's 15-minutes past the hour. When it points to the six, it's 30-minutes past the hour, and when it points to the nine, it's 45 minutes past the hour. Also explain that one-fourth of an hour is 15-minutes long.

Fives and tens. Teach them to count up to 60 in increments of five and ten, or review this material if they've already learned it. Point to and count out first the fives, and then the tens of minutes, on your demonstration clock.

When you teach kids to read the minute hand, you should anticipate one common source of confusion: As the minute hand moves around the clock, the hour hand moves accordingly. So if a clock reads 10:50, and the hour hand is much closer to the 11 than the 10, kids can easily make the mistake of reading 10:50 as 11:50. Point out where each hour begins and ends and explain that it isn't the next hour until the hour hand points directly to the next number, or moves clockwise past it.

Be patient, understanding the minute hand is difficult.

Click here for reference.


Stop by tomorrow for the next step in Teaching Kids to Tell Time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaching Kids to Tell Time for Nannies and Au Pairs

Learning About the Hour Hand

Since an hour is the largest unit of time a clock measures (aside from an entire day), the hour hand is the best one for kids to learn first.

Explain to children that the hour hand keeps track of things that take a long time, then give a few examples -- like watching a movie, driving to Grandma's house, or sitting in classes at school. Ask them for other examples.

Another good way to show kids how hours pass during the day is to list a schedule of events for a typical day. Write down times (sticking with whole hours for now) when they might start each activity, such as waking up, eating breakfast, going to school, eating lunch, eating dinner, and going to sleep.

A fun variation on this exercise is to string a clothesline and pin up several pictures or small objects representing daily activities. Ask the kids help you organize them into a logical order.

Next, teach them to identify each hour on the clock's face. Draw 12 different clocks so you'll have a picture of each hour (with the minute hand on the 12 in each one). Click here for a printable clock face.

You can also use a stopped clock to point out what each hour looks like, as long as you can turn the hour hand easily. Have the kids try to read which number the hour hand points to in each case. After they make a few guesses, repeat which number the hour hand does point to.

Once the kids can read each hour on a clock, teach them to draw them for themselves. They should learn to draw in the hands on a numbered clock and also learn to fill in the missing numbers and hands on partially numbered or blank clocks.


Click here for reference.

Stop by tomorrow for Step 3 of Teaching Kids to Tell Time

Monday, November 8, 2010

Teaching Kids to Tell Time

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Help Kids Learn to Tell Time

There's a time for everything. There's a time to go to school, time to do homework, dinner time, bedtime, and the list goes on. If you want to keep kids on schedule, teach them how to keep time, show them how to read a clock and you'll only have to answer that age-old question, "Is dinner ready yet?"

It takes consistency, patience, and some fun kids learning games to teach kids the concept of time.

This week we will show how to teach kids to read a 12-hour analog clock. Learning to read digital clocks is much easier and relying on them may discourage kids from learning how to read a clock with hands. That's why it's best to focus on reading an analog clock first.

While most five-year-olds are ready to learn basic concepts of time, they probably won't fully master the details until age seven or eight.

Half the battle of teaching kids anything is to keep them interested, so make your lessons interactive and memorable by incorporating art, music, poetry, physical movement, and visual aids when you can.

And keep in mind that kids will learn best when they can see how a lesson relates to their own daily lives. Most kids quickly learn when recess and lunchtime are, since these events are so important to them.

Step One
Explain the Clock's Face:


Until they learn to read a clock, most kids only have a vague understanding of what time is. Anything that doesn't happen instantly seems to take either a long time or a very long time. An analog clock gives them a visual way to interpret time and understand how they spend it every day.

The hands. Start by showing them that the hour hand is the thickest, shortest hand on the clock, the minute hand is longer and not as thick, and the second hand is the skinniest and moves very quickly around the clock's face. Avoid referring to the "big hand" and the "little hand," since kids often find these terms confusing.

The numbers. Point out each number starting with 12 and moving in order clockwise. Ask the kids to read these numbers aloud with you for a second and third time. (They may be puzzled that 1, a number much smaller than 12, is not the first number on the clock, but repetition will help them remember the right order.) Now point out that the clock's hands always move in this same direction.
Next, using several pictures of clocks that are either missing some of the numbers or not labeled at all, have the kids fill in the missing digits. Demonstrate how to start numbering a blank clock by filling in the 12 and then working to the right as you circle around the clock.

What the clock measures. Explain that it takes 12 hours (half a day) for the hour hand to travel around the clock's face, and when the hour hand has traveled all the way around the clock twice, a whole day has passed. Tell them the first half is a.m. (morning) and the second half is p.m. (afternoon and evening). To reinforce this concept, you can read through all the numbers on the clock again (yes, again!), this time twice in a row.

Click here for reference.

Stop by tomorrow for Step Two of Teaching Kids to Tell Time

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Telly The Teaching Time Clock

Product Review Sunday for Nannies and Au Pairs

Last night Americans turned their clocks back an hour to end Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings Time is to make better use of the daylight in the evenings. With the extra hour why not teach kids how to tell time with The Learning Journey Telly The Teaching Time Clock .

The Learning Journey Telly The Teaching Time Clock is a great product to help child learn to tell both analog and digital time using two quiz modes. In the learning mode, Telly teaches time in five minute increments by moving the hands and updating the LCD screen. In the quiz mode, Telly asks children to move the hands on its face to match the time displayed on its screen. Telly also features a real working clock, night-light, and comes with a fun digital watch. Learning to tell time has never been so much fun. But, this product isn't for children under three-years old since it is a choking hazard.



Click here for another great product to help kids tell time.

Do you have any tips on teaching kids time?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saving the Daylight Why We Put the Clocks Forward

Weekly Trip to the Library

Before going to bed tonight we turn our clocks back an hour.

Saving the Daylight by David Prerau tells the remarkable story of daylight saving time (summer time) — the intriguing and entertaining tale of our attempt to regulate the sunlight hours. It chronicles how the revolutionary idea of putting the clocks forward originated in Britain and then spread around the world — to be observed today on every continent and by well over a billion people.

Full of funny anecdotes and remarkably quirky individuals, and written by David Prerau, who has been called the world's leading expert on the subject, Saving the Daylight tells the fascinating story behind the movement for DST in Britain, the United States, and throughout the world.



The goal of daylight saving time—to use daylight to its maximum advantage—is generally recognized to be of universal benefit. But few people understand how surprisingly controversial this deceptively simple idea has been.

American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin first advocated changing the hours of human activity to make the best use of daylight. But it was an Englishman, William Willett, who had the grand idea of accomplishing this objective by putting the clocks forward for several months each year.

Many luminaries play a part in the story. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an early endorser of daylight saving time. A young Winston Churchill campaigned vigorously for it. Kaiser Wilhelm first employed it. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt fought for it. Such proponents of DST have proclaimed its benefits, including saving energy (especially during wars and energy crises), reducing deaths from automobile accidents, providing more daylight for outdoor activities, and many others. But DST also has had many detractors—from Scottish farmers to parents of schoolchildren—who have waged contentious battles against it.

For several months every year, daylight saving time affects a good portion of the world. And yet most people switch their clocks forward and back without ever understanding where the idea came from and without ever realizing that DST affects everything from Mid-East terrorism to the attendance at London music halls, voter turnout to street crime, gardening to the profits of radio stations. Saving the Daylight tells all of these tales and a great deal more.

Have a book you think nannies and au pairs would like? Send your review to Stephanie @ bestnannynewsletter.com. Then, stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Truth About Nannies

Nine Caregiver Myths Debunked
By Candi Wingate of Nannies4Hire.com and Care4Hire.com

If you just read the headlines in American pop culture, you could get the wrong idea about nannies. Books and movies like The Nanny Diaries, lawsuits between celebrity couples and their nannies, and affairs between nannies and husbands (or wives), are enough to make anyone avoid the option altogether. But the truth is that millions of families enjoy working with nannies — scandal-free. You can too.

Myth #1 Nannies are only for the wealthy.

Click here to read more about this topic.

Myth #2 A nanny must work full-time.

Click here to see more on this topic.

Myth #3 A nanny must make a year commitment.

Click here to read more about this topic.

Myth #4 A nanny is not safe.

In a study by Healthy Steps for Young Children, a Commonwealth Fund and Boston University program co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading factor in childhood injuries was the composition of the family, not the nanny. For instance, children of unmarried parents were the most likely to be injured. Another study that compared children who received home care, center-based care, and other forms of out-of-home childcare found that the rate of minor injuries was highest in center-based care, but there was not a significant difference among the three types of care for severe injuries.” (PEDIATRICS Vol. 122 No. 5 November 2008, pp. e980-e987)

Myth #5 A nanny will only take care of the children (no housework, or cooking, and so on).

In most cases, a nanny will be willing to help your house run more smoothly, though it’s important not to burden a nanny with so many non-child-related activities that they distract from the nanny’s primary responsibility: the care of your child. 77% of the nannies who responded to our first survey in 2009 were doing child-related household activities (homework, errands, birthday parties, housework, laundry, and meal preparation), while 19% are involved in duties benefiting the whole family. To break it down even further, 34% did housekeeping for the family, 59% did housekeeping for the children, 77% prepared meals for the children only, and 20% prepared meals for the whole family. In 2010, 79% are doing more than just watching children. When you’re considering nanny candidates, ask each how she or he could help your family as a whole.

Myth #6 If I hire a nanny, I won’t know what is going on in my own home.

If you establish good communication systems at the start of your relationship with your nanny, you will know everything that your child does in a given day. We recommend keeping a nanny journal, a daily reporting book where your nanny records important milestones, successes and challenges of the day. But the best measures of your nanny’s performance are your child’s happiness and whether or not your home is in order when you return at the end of the day.

Myth #7 With a nanny, your child will not socialize with other children.

One of a nanny’s major responsibilities is to supervise your child’s interactions with other kids, from play dates with friends to birthday parties, organized sports activities, and fun at the park. If you make it clear that encouraging your child’s social development is important to you, your nanny will prioritize it, too.

Myth #8 Hiring a nanny is too complicated.

Click here to see more on this topic.

Myth #9 If I hire a nanny and am not happy with the relationship, I am stuck.

Working with a nanny should be no different from your relationships with employees you hire or manage at your workplace. As the employer, you have goals and expectations for your nanny. One way to be clear about those expectations from the beginning is to develop a written job description and draw up a written contract that you both sign.

Click here to see entire article.

From The Nanny Factor: A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Right Nanny for Your Family by Candi Wingate. Copyright © 2010 by Candi Wingate. Excerpted by permission of Nannies International Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do You Have a Hard Time Getting Kids to Follow Directions?

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Help Children Follow-Through

This week Maria Lopez, a nanny and former second grade teacher, has agreed to answer questions nannies have about helping children do well in school.

Reyna Horowitz, a nanny in New York asked Be the Best Nanny Newsletter what she can do to help her young charge follow directions better. She says the teacher says he isn't following directions and she knows first hand he forgets to do what he is asked at home.

Ms. Lopez explains, "It's very common for children to be easily distracted, making it difficult for them to follow directions."

"The biggest mistake I have seen caregivers make when asking children to do something is giving children directions that are too complex and not specific enough," says Ms. Lopez.

"Children have short attention spans and need very specific directions," explains the former teacher.

She continues, "Just consider all the steps it take just to put everything they need each day for school in their their backpacks or how many steps are required to clean up a playroom full of toys."

"There are so many steps required for all of these chores that it can even be difficult for adults to keep organized. So be patient and appreciate the difficulty in learning to follow directions," advises the nanny.

Here are Maria Lopez's Steps to Helping Kids Follow Directions:

1. Get the child's attention before giving directions.
2. Wait until the child is looking at you to give directions.
3. Speak slowly, clearly, and use a kind tone.
4. Give simple directions, and keep them brief. For example, "Put the book on the book shelf. Pick up the stuffed animal and place it on your bed."
5. To help the child follow through remind the child what will happen next. For example, "Once the doll is put away you can get out the play dough."
6. Check that the child understands your directions by asking him to repeat or summarize them. Ask, "So what are you going to do next?"
7. Work on two-step directions by having the child repeat the directions aloud: "Once I put my plate in the sink, then I will wipe off the table."
8. Encourage the youngster to ask questions when he doesn't understand your directions.
9. Positively reinforce good follow-through.
10. Try not to show frustration when the child misunderstands directions.

How do you get kids to follow directions?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Helping Children Listen Better in School

How Nannies and Au Pairs Help Kids Thrive in School

Be the Best Nanny Newsletter has received several questions from au pairs and nannies about helping their charges with homework and behavior issues at school.

To help answer in-home child care provider questions, Maria Lopez, a former second grade teacher and nanny working in Miami, FL shares her suggestions to help in-home caregivers tutor and teach their charges.

The first question is from Debbie Thompson, an au pair from Germany working in the United States. The au pair contacted Be the Best Nanny Newsletter for advice about helping her charge that talks too much in class.

She continues, "It's frustrating to hear the boy I care for talks too much in class yet I don't know how to help him from home. Do you have any advice on how to teach my charge to become a better listener and talk less in class?"

Ms. Lopez's suggests, "First, you must explain that listening in class shows respect for the teacher and other students. Then, I suggest you model proper listening skills. Then, teach the student through play."

To model good behavior Ms. Lopez recommends, "Make sure you yourself do not interrupt. Hearing what a child says improves their listening skills by encouraging them to not interrupt," she explains.

She continues, "Just like adults, children can see when you are not listening. You need to be attentive and honest in your listening by not tricking them into thinking that you are listening."

She suggests, "Be patient when listening. You cannot expect a child to be patient and listen to you when you cannot be patient yourself. Understand that children take longer then adults to say what they want."

Ms. Lopez also suggests modeling proper behavior at mealtime. She says, "Make a rule that only one person may talk at a time when sitting down to eat."

"If the child interrupts, gently remind him to wait until the other speaker is finished. When it is his turn to speak give him your full attention," says Ms. Lopez.

"For example, make sure you make eye contact with him while he speaks, make sincere comments about what the child is discussing, no matter how trivial the topic may seem to you, so he feels heard and understood," says Ms. Lopez. "

Ms. Lopez also recommends playing school with the child and while playing school be sure to model proper student behavior. "Make sure the child raises his hand before asking questions of you, the teacher, while playing school," says the nanny.

Other activities the former teacher recommends to encourage listening skills are reading to the child and have them tell you their understanding of what was read.

She suggests encouraging kids to listen non-verbally. Often children can get distracted and do not pay attention, so have them maintain reasonable eye-contact with the person who is talking and where appropriate have them develop other non-verbal skills such as facing you and not fidgeting.

She also recommends, "Throughout the day, when you say something to the child, ask him to repeat what you said."

Finally, the nanny recommends using positive reinforcement when children use good listening skills, rather than punishing them for interrupting.
Do any of your charges have trouble listening in school?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did You Remember to Vote Today?

It's Election Day

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 37 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.

If you forgot to wake up early and vote before work this morning simply ask your employers if you can go vote during the day. Children love pushing the buttons for you. Just remember to bring some hand sanitizer to use on their little hands after voting.

There are many reasons to vote today. According to the Daily News Online, people who consistently vote in elections are the ones to whom politicians give the most attention; they are the ones who are actively sought after, whose opinion matters most in elections. They are the decision-makers.

Nearly every politician has a list of targeted voters, based mostly on voting lists. It's simple math — they go where the votes are. It may sound cynical, but it's more like simple political science. If you are seeking to win, it makes sense to spend your time winning over those who persistently go to the polls.

How do you get on that list? You vote, in local elections, state elections, and presidential elections. Your voting matters. It empowers you.

Did you remember to vote today?

Monday, November 1, 2010

November To-Do List

Something You Positively Must Do in November - BE POSITIVE!

Adopt, accentuate, and exude a positive attitude. Being positive with yourself, the kids, and parents helps get positive results.

Do not be a downer, a drama queen, or a complainer. It is so easy to fall into a rut when petty annoyances become out sized problems. You do not have the worst problems in the world so do not act like you do. Resolve or accept your issues at home and at work, and move on.

Avoid negativity as much as possible. Stay away from negative web sites, negative people, and negative activities.

How we perceive events is important. If the doctor says you have an 85% chance of cure, you feel good. If the doctor says you have a 15% chance of death, you feel bad.

How you present options to the world make a difference. Staying positive helps your attitude, your health, and your "brand." We are positive about that.