Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Find a Summer Nanny Job

Many parents need extra help while the kids are out of school for the summer -- making it a great opportunity for college students, teachers, or out-of-work career nannies to make extra cash working in the summer. Although typically just a temporary job for two- or three-months, summer nanny jobs may include traveling (perhaps even abroad), swimming, and a lot of fun outdoor activities with kids.

A great summer nanny will still need a resume and stellar job or personal references. Be sure to share your willingness to travel, that you have a passport, and be sure to emphasize that you are CPR/First Aid certified and if you like to swim.

The summer nanny should still sign a work agreement that spells out what her working hours and regular schedule will be, her hourly or salaried pay, and her typical job duties. Click here to see nanny worker rights.

Parents will still need to perform comprehensive interviews, diligent background checks, criminal checks, and personally call the nanny candidate's references before hiring them.
The summer nanny and her employers will still need to pay taxes.

But, summer nannies won't typically negotiate job benefits, such as health insurance, as it won't be a long-term job.


In a Be the Best Nanny Newsletter survey in 2010 we found most nannies find jobs today using nanny web sites. When using a nanny web site no one has pre-screened the parents posting jobs online. Anyone can post a job on a nanny web site and it's easy for the poster to lie.

The very first thing you should do before signing up with a nanny web site is to create a new email address to use specifically for looking for nanny jobs. Use this email address that doesn't publish your contact information anywhere else online.

Never post your phone number for potential employers online. Only share phone numbers once you are certain you are interested in meeting the family. Phone numbers can easily be used to find your address by using a reverse phone directory.

Choose what you publish wisely. Do not divulge private details about yourself online. The information that you must include in your profile should contain your detailed work history but do not include phone numbers or names of former employers for the general public to read.

Check the family's references (a former nanny or babysitter) and google their name before arranging an in-person interview.

For your first meeting with a potential employer always meet in a public place. Always inform a family member or friend when you plan to attend an interview you have met online. Provide details about the venue and the time of the interview. That way you can be easily found in cases of emergencies and accidents.

If you follow these simple safety precautions when using nanny web sites to find nanny jobs, you can initiate contacts via email and only talk to the families that appeal to you.


The benefit of using nanny placement agencies is that an experienced agency knows what specific questions to ask parents and nannies to find the right fit for the job. Agencies can help the parents tailor a job description attractive to prospective nannies and help them with every step of hiring a nanny from interviewing to screening. A reputable nanny agency will contact your references personally. Most nanny referral agencies make a concerted effort to protect the privacy of both the employer and the nanny.

The best news, which those who aren't career nannies might not realize, is that nanny candidates do not pay a cent to receive the help of a nanny agency! The parents pay all the fees.

Working as a summer nanny can be a great way to make some cash while working with kids. If you can swim or like to travel market those skills and desires to find the perfect summer nanny job for you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nannies, How Many Paid Holidays Do You Get Each Year?

Nannies Should Have a Paid Day Off for Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to remember the soldiers who gave their lives in service of their country. All (non-essential) government offices and banks are closed. Most nannies are allowed the day off with regualr compensation.

The New York State Legislature passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, making New York the first state in the nation to provide new standards of worker protections for more than 200,000 employees in an industry which has gone unregulated for decades. Part of that law gives nannies six paid holidays, including Memorial Day.

Do you have today off as a paid holiday? How many paid holidays do you get each year?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have You Ever Lost a Kid? Review of Child Locators

Products Nannies Love

Every nanny and au pair knows there isn't anything more scary than when you think a child is right next to you, but suddently you realize you can't find them anywhere.

That's why for the past few Product Review Sundays we have recommended child identification bracelets, IDs for shoes, and even tattoos. Today, we take keeping track of the little ones a step further by recommending the use of child locators. Let us know what child locators you have used and what you like or dislike about them.

GPS Child Locator Watch by BrickhouseThis functional, water-resistant 12-hour or 24-hour digital watch is designed for children ages three- to 12-years old. The exclusive Web platform allows you to locate your child from the convenience of your laptop or smartphone just by clicking "Where Are U." You can also find the child by texting "WRU" directly from your phone. By setting GeoFence parameters (designated map areas on the Web platform), you can be alerted if the child exits or enters a certain area. You will also be alerted by text message and email if the watch is tampered with or removed. This new-and-improved child locator can last an entire day on a single battery charge (on normal tracking settings), so you won't be bothered by the device dying while the child is still at play.

Spark NanoThis is the smallest GPS tracker. According to BrickHouseSecurity.com, “This extremely sensitive device features superior receiving ability for real-time location updates on any computer with Internet. Its enhanced GPS sensitivity using GPRS and GSM networks, allows it to work in places where traditional GPS Trackers fail. You will get an accurate GPS location to within 15-feet under open sky where the device can get the greatest GPS satellite readout. Even if your tracker moves indoors, you will get an accurate location update before the GPS Tracker enters a building alerting you where the GPS Tracker is located. Based on your personal preferences, get instant alerts via e-mail or text message the moment your GPS Tracker goes outside of a designated area.” A panic button is available on the device and can be pressed continually to send multiple alerts. Offers real-time GPS location of your child. Panic button included. Works indoors and outdoors and you control range. Rugged, durable, water-resistant construction protects device. But, who has a personal computer handy when out and about? Well, cell phone tracking costs extra, as does the optional panic button service.

Mommy I'm Here Child Locator
Clip the bear receiver to the child's shoe or belt and you keep the key chain transmitter. If you lose track of a little one just press your button and the receiver will sound a high-decibel beep, leading you to the child. Works at distances up to 150-feet, even through concrete walls. It is water resistant, with low power indicator. Batteries included. Choose pink, blue, or brown.

Giggle Bug Child LocatorThe Giggle Bug looks like a large, cute ladybug and attaches to a child’s clothing or backpack with a clip. It comes with a hand-held unit for the caregiver. To find the child, the nanny presses a button which activates the Giggle Bug to emit a loud beeping sound until the child is found. The Giggle Bug has a range of 75 – 100 ft. indoors and 100 + ft. outdoors, depending on the environment and obstructions in the area. Should the Giggle Bug become dislodged or is removed from the child's clothing and the clip closes, the unit will "beep" and flash until the clip is opened and reattached. It is easy to use, tamper-resistant, and you can use multiple Giggle Bugs at the same time for multiple kids because they operate on different frequencies. But, it does not provide real-time GPS tracking like more expensive locators. It cannot be worn directly on the child, instead it attaches to clothing, which could be removed without activating the alarm.

Levena CT Child Tracker Watch
This gadget works similar to the Giggle Bug but offers some additional features. The tracker is a wrist watch worn by the child with a receiver for the parent. It allows you to choose between three different range settings so it is adjustable for younger and older children. The receiver beeps faster and the LEDs blink faster when your child is close, and they slow down when your child is far, which can assist you in finding the child. A charger is included. It has a belt clip on the receiver so the caregiver does not have to carry it. Watch can be worn directly on the child instead of clothing. Expandable to allow up to four watches per receiver so you can track multiple kids. Offers choices for range settings. But, it does not provide real-time GPS tracking like more expensive locators. Can be removed from child without activating the alarm.

Family GPS Tracker
Family GPS Tracker is a free app for android phones that helps you track children's status and safety. Location-based, Family GPS Tracker lists registered sex offenders living in your neighborhood. It also tracks the location of your loved ones who have phones or GPS devices of their own. Keeping track of family members involves installing the app on their phones and sending an invitation to link to your phone from the app home screen. Once linked, you will be able to see the locations of your loved ones. They can "check in" when they arrive at a location by tapping a green check on their main screen which shows up on your map screen as "safe." The app also comes with a panic button. Tapping this button sends a text, email or phone call to your designated contacts created on the "Emergency Messenger" section of life360.com.

Stop by next Sunday for more reviews of products nannies love.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Children's Books for Memorial Day

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Memorial Day Surprise
By Theresa Golding, Alexandra Artigas (Illustrator)

A mother tells her son that there is a "big surprise" at the Memorial Day Celebration. As the boy watches the parade, he asks if each part of the parade is the "surprise" - from the marching band, to waving flags, to children riding their bikes with red, white and blue streamers, and to firefighters in their truck. Mother always tells him that the real surprise is even more special. At the end of the parade, people stand and applaud. The boy then sees his grandfather, a veteran, being pushed in a wheelchair. His surprise is realizing that his grandfather is a hero.

The Wall

By Eve Bunting, Ronald Himler (Illustrator)

A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to find Grandpa's name. What makes "The Wall" so moving is that instead of answering questions it will get children to ask them. A great book to open discussion with the class about war and it's consequences.

Let's Get Ready for Memorial Day
By Lloyd G. Douglas

A girl's class prepares for Memorial Day by learning about the holiday from their teacher and making flags, and later she goes to a war memorial with her father to honor those who died.

Do you have a favorite book you want to share with nannies and au pairs? Simply email Stephanie@BestNannyNewsletter.com with your suggestion. Stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Are You Treated Well By Your Employers?

Taking Care of the Person Who Cares for Your Child

Taking care of someone’s children can be a thankless job, but it doesn’t have to be.

By Angela Jordan-Chetcuti
Click here to read entire article.

Taking care of other people’s children has sometimes been a thankless and difficult job. Parents can be pretty obnoxious. There, I said it. The truth has set me free! I have had more problems with parents than I have ever had with the children. Over the span of 13 years, you can imagine that I have worked for some interesting families. Some were horrible and treated me as a second class citizen. Others were so amazing that I still keep in contact with them to this day.

If you have a nanny, babysitter or daycare provider, consider this a crash course for how to treat them. Lesson one; the three titles I listed are not the same job.

A nanny is someone who has chosen to take care of children as a career. They have taken child development courses, studied child psychology and want to be a part of your family, in your home. She will be someone who will possibly be with your family from the birth of your child until they start kindergarten or later. They will do your child’s laundry, cook them meals, clean up after them and love them like your child was their own. Part of a nanny’s job is to play a supporting role in your family. Anything that a nanny can do to make a family run more smoothly, should be done. That being said, your nanny should not be mopping your hardwood floors or dusting your bookcase. That is a job for you or a housekeeper.

A babysitter is usually someone younger who comes to your house on an occasional basis to care for your child/children while you have a date night, run errands or to play with your child while you get some things done around your house. They may have taken a babysitter training course or first aid and CPR. They should never be asked to do anything other than maybe feeding your child a meal (which you have already prepared) or cleaning up after a meal or play time. They are really only there to watch your child for a short period of time.

A daycare provider is comparable to a nanny, but provides care outside of your home - usually at a daycare facility or in their own home. Like a nanny, they will feed your child, do activities with them and love them. But they will not be in your home to do the laundry, run errands or play a supporting role in your family. Daycares have more children to care for, so there won’t be as much individualized attention as a nanny would provide.

Please don’t ever call your nanny or daycare provider a babysitter. Your nanny has chosen this as their career, and to call them a babysitter demeans what they have worked so hard to accomplish. I’m not saying that babysitters don’t deserve respect. I’m simply saying that the 14 year old next door neighbor, who pops in to play with your child for a few hours, is not the same as the nanny/caregiver with a B.A in Early Childhood Development.

No matter who you have taking care of your child/children, you should, above all else, respect them. They have taken on the job of caring for another human being. Your child’s life is in their hands. That is a huge responsibility. They take on the parenting role when you are not able to be there.

Here are just a few things that you can do to show your caregiver that you respect them and appreciate them:

1). Tell them. Nothing is better than hearing “thank you.” When you acknowledge that they did something that really helped you out or that you appreciate that they love your child, it’s nice for your caregiver to hear it.

2). Be on time. There is nothing worse than sitting and waiting for a parent to come home at the end of what can sometimes be a very long day, and have them be late. I can appreciate that sometimes there is traffic or your boss stopped you in the hall and talked your ear off. It happens. But at the very least, you should make a phone call letting her know that you are running late. And please don’t forget to apologize. We do have our own lives after work and even though your day has ended, ours doesn’t until you get home.

3). The gift of time. How about surprising them by letting them off an hour or two early? Realistically, it will only cost you an hour or two of pay, but to your caregiver, it could mean so much more. She may be able to go and get a pedicure or actually hit the grocery store before the rest of the after work-crowds.

4). Holidays and occasions. Please don’t forget them on their birthdays or holidays. A nice present or a bonus is always appreciated. Chances are your caregiver gives your child/children presents on their birthday or holidays, so please don’t forget to do the same for them.

No matter who you have caring for your child, please realize that they have a rewarding but sometimes difficult job. Think about how your children make you feel sometimes and then realize that they love your child without even giving birth to or being related to them! So please help to make their job slightly better by respecting them and understanding just what they mean to you and your family.

I have always said happy parents, happy children, but I also believe if you keep your child’s caregiver happy, your children will benefit tenfold!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heroine Nanny Saves Toddler, She is Critically Injured

Heroine Nanny Saves Child, Nanny Critically Injured

Nanny Hailed for Saving Toddler from Path of Sanitation Truck
Chicago Sun-Times

This is a tragic story about a nanny who is a heroine. Below is just a small part of the article. Click here to read entire article.

When nanny Jennifer Anton saw the white pickup truck careening toward her on the downtown sidewalk Saturday [May 21, 2011] afternoon, she instinctively pushed away the stroller carrying her 20-month-old charge.

Little Tyler Jones was hospitalized but spared critical injuries because of her caregiver’s quick actions.

Anton was not as lucky.

“She’s an angel on this earth,” said Hugh Jones, Tyler’s father. “There’s no question that from the eyewitness accounts she pushed the stroller away and took the rather colossal hit herself.”

“Basically [Anton’s] bones from the waist below were shattered,” Scaduto said at Washington’s [the driver] bond hearing Monday morning.

“This young nanny, she saved the girl’s life, and then she had the presence of mind at the scene to tell the fire department to go to her cell phone and how to get ahold of Tyler’s mother,” said Dan Kotin, Anton and Tyler’s attorney at Corboy & Demetrio. “It’s amazing what she did.”

Kotin said Anton fractured her pelvis, hips and legs. Skin tissue was torn off her legs, he said. She had “hardware” put in her body and is currently in traction, he said.

Click here to read entire article.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Nannies and Au Pairs Need to Know in an Emergency

Have You Ever Had an Emergency with a Child in Your Care?

Could you recall vital information about your charge's health in an emergency? Many doctors suggest that parents and caregivers keep a record of their kids' important health facts handy. This can help a medical team make a better and more rapid diagnosis when time really counts.

Be sure the kids' medical records have this information:

This is especially crucial if a child is allergic to any medications — penicillin, for example — or other antibiotics. Food allergies can come into play, too, so make note of anything the child has had a reaction to. Kids who've previously been hospitalized may have developed latex allergies. This information can sometimes help emergency personnel find a cause for problems such as breathing difficulties and hives.

Your handy medical record should list any medications, including their dosages, that the kids currently take. Some medications react badly when taken together, so the paramedics and doctors need this information before they give a child anything. You'll need to know when a child took the medication last and how much was taken.

Pre-Existing Illnesses
It is also extremely important for emergency personnel to be told of any health problems or illnesses the child has had. For example, does the child have diabetes, a bleeding disorder, or asthma? These pre-existing conditions can have a huge impact on which tests and treatments are administered in an emergency. Consider having any child who has one of these chronic health problems or a known allergy wear an identifying tag on a necklace or bracelet. This kind of rapid notification can help doctors who are providing emergency care, especially if your child suddenly becomes ill at childcare, school, or a friend's house. Don't forget to include the dates and types of operations a child has had — this can be important to the course of treatment in an emergency.

Keeping a clear and up-to-date record of the kids' immunizations can help doctors do a better job of diagnosing a problem in an emergency. If the doctor suspects that a child has an infection, for example, it may save much time to know that the child has had a particular immunization. The staff at your doctor's office can help you compile information on your kids' immunization status.

There may not be time to weigh a child in an emergency. Having a recent weight handy can help doctors calculate dosages of any medication that may be needed.

Reference: Click here for KidsHealth Article

Have You Ever Had an Emergency with a Child in Your Care?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Have You Ever Lost a Child at an Amusement Park?

What to do if You Lose Sight of a Child at an Amusement Park

1. Before you go, explain to the children what they should do if they get separated at any time from you. Typically they should stay put. Never run. Their nanny or parents will retrace their steps and look for you where they have already been. Attach identification to children that cannot remember your phone number. We recommend using: Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, or Tig Tagz identification bracelets.

2. Although kids should stay-put, they should try to tell a uniformed park employee and explain to them that they have been parted from their group. Make it clear that it is NOT okay to ask or follow strangers for help, even if they do look friendly. Have them explain to the employee (or security officer) their name, your names and where they got lost.

3. Use your camera or cell phone and take a picture of the children when you arrive at the park. This way you will have a current picture with you.

4. Make sure everyone in your group, including parents and older siblings, are wearing the same bright, recognizable clothing. Bold orange or yellow shirts will work fine for this purpose. Avoid wearing dark colors as these will make you and your children blend in easily with the crowd, and avoid putting your child's name on it. This will make it easy for strangers to call them out and take your child with them.

5. Bring along a way to communicate with the kids. You can give older siblings a cell phone (just make sure they know your number). Younger kids can benefit from the use of a walkie-talkie to keep in touch with you should they get lost. Show them how to use it and explain that it is not a toy, but a way to reunite if you do get separated.

6. Amusement park entrances are not a good idea to select as a place to reunite.Find a place to designate as your 'meeting spot' if someone from the group is separated, once you arrive at the amusement park. Crowded, commonly designated areas like the front gates of the park or at a bench next to a popular attraction are not good meeting spaces as they will be very crowded at all times of the day and relatively unsafe for a young child to be sitting at alone. Instead, choose a less popular area to meet up, like at the security booth or next to the restaurant where you plan to eat. This will make it easier to find a lost child.

7. Remember to stay together at all times. You probably won't mind letting older kids go off on their own for a while (as long as they keep in touch via cell phone), but younger children should hold your hand and stay with you as you walk through the park. Keep a firm grip to prevent your child from slipping away. In especially large, crowded amusement parks (i.e. Walt Disney World), it might be better to safely fasten your child in a stroller or carrier instead of allowing them to walk, lessening the chances of being separated.

8. Don't panic, in the event that a child does get lost or separated. This may sound like a cliché that is sometimes impossible to remember, but if you panic you are only worsening the situation.
9. Stay collected and focused on what you need to do next. Also, keep in mind that the child may not really be lost. They may have simply slipped out of your grip and are following behind, or are stopping to look at something. If you have looked everywhere around you and absolutely cannot find them, continue to the next step.

10. Find the nearest employee or security officer, and explain that the child is lost. They will radio the security office to inform them that there is a lost child in the park.

11. Give the employee or officer a complete description of the child: what he or she looks like, what he or she is wearing, etc. This will make it easier for them to locate the child. Tell them if there is a specific area that the child might be likely to go to, such as a favorite ride or activity, or a pre-arranged meeting location.

12. Cooperate with the park security. Panicking or disagreeing with the security may land you in more frustration than you are in already. They are experienced professionals trained to deal with this type of situation. In fact, they see similar situations hundreds of times a year.

13. Stay where you are, unless the park security instructs you otherwise. The child may be nearby, just hidden in the crowd, and will most likely come back to you if they see where you are.

14. Check the park's Lost & Found center, and see if you can find the child or young group member there. Many amusement parks have stations like these where employees who find lost children take them. There are usually some activities there to keep your child occupied until they can be reunited with you/their group. In most cases, your lost child or group member will be found by now if you have given the security a good description of them. If hours pass and your child is still not found, they will contact the local authorities.

Reference: Click here to read article.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Velcro Child Safety ID Bands

Products Nannies Love

For the past few Product Review Sundays we have recommended identification products for children to wear in case they get lost. So far we have recommended trying Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, and Tig Tagz identification bracelets. Today we recommend having the children wear Velcro Child Safety ID Band when you go out in public.

We like these Velcro identification bracelets because they are adjustable. They can be worn as a bracelet. But, if a child doesn't feel like wearing it on his or her wrist you can easily attach it to their shoe instead.

Simply write valuable information on the bracelet such as a name, phone number, and medical information. These ID bracelets eliminate the need for engraving. You can easily update of your information at any time and they are designed to withstand the demands of everyday use.

Stop by next Sunday for more product reviews.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Nanny Review of Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing a Large Family by Kim Brenneman

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Any nanny, au pair, or mother of any faith might learn how to organize the running of a busy household from reading Large Family Logisticsby Kim Brenneman. But, it is written for Christian, stay-at-home mothers, and in particular, mothers that home school. If you are a faithful Christian looking for spiritual guidance in running a home, the discussion of "the Proverbs 31 woman" won't bother you. The first half of the book includes scripture readings and how they relate to family situations. If you aren't looking for scriptural inspiration, you won't relate to the bulk of the book.

I do like that in Large Family Logistics, Kim Brenneman recommends organizing the household work load into seven days. Day One is Laundry Day, Day Two is Kitchen Day, Day Three is Office Day, Day Four is Town Day, Day Five is Cleaning Day, Day Six is Gardening Day, and Day Seven is Sabbath Day. Although I don't need to read about Gardening Day or Sabbath Day I have found breaking down chores in this manner helpful for my nanny job.

For example, while the author does laundry most days (like I do), on Laundry Day she devotes that day to finishing her ironing and her mending.

On Kitchen Day, she cooks up some beans in the crock pot and then freeze them to use them later. Like the author, I have found this the best way to organize a menu for my employers for my nanny job. On Monday, I plan my menu, go grocery shopping, and make large batches of food, some to eat this week, some to freeze for another time. Like the author, I cook every day, but focus on menu planning and shopping primarily one day per week.

I also like the two chapters devoted to Cleaning Day and how to easily keep the home clean for the family.

The suggestions for Gardening Day and tips on making the Lord's Day go more smoothly are not relevant to me.

I would highly recommend this book for Christian, stay-at-home mothers, and Christians that work as nannies, or work as au pairs looking for spiritual guidance in managing a household. For mothers, nannies, or au pairs of other faiths, a few tips are practical, but the bulk of the book might be a waste of time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Have You Ever Experienced Sexual Harrassment at Work?

Workers have the right to be free from sexual harassment at work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1991, victims of sexual harassment are entitled to damages for pain and suffering, as well as to lost pay.

If you experience sexual harassment or witness it, you should make a report to the appropriate official. Before you report a problem, you might want to try some self-help techniques, using the DO’s and DON’Ts listed below.

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Sexual Harassment

Admit that a problem exists
Tell the offender specifically what you find offensive
Tell the offender that his or her behavior is bothering you
Say specifically what you want or don’t want to happen, such as “Please call me by my name not Honey,” or “Please don’t tell that kind of joke in front of me.”

Tell your nanny agency immediately

If it doesn't improve, leave the job as soon as possible

Blame yourself for someone else’s behavior, unless it truly is inoffensive
Choose to ignore the behavior, unless it is truly inoffensive
Try to handle any severe or recurring harassment problem by yourself -- get help.

Tell Your Nanny Agency Immediately
If an employment agency helped you find the job, call them for support immediately. It's important that they know about your problem so they can consider the risk of placing another nanny candidate with the family.

Leave the Job as Soon as Possible
Your placement agency will be happy to help you meet other families if you handle yourself professionally. Post your resume on online nanny web sites and start interviewing immediately. If the harassment is severe stay on a friend's couch if necessary. You should always feel safe at your job.

You have the legal right to work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment.

You also have the right not to receive retaliation for making a charge, testifying, or participating in an investigation into the charge.

Where to file a charge?

Some web sites state that charges must be filed with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before a private lawsuit can be made. But, in a domestic worker relationship you may be able to contact an attorney immediately. Charges can be filed at an EEOC office or through the mail. You can find information on your nearest office through their website at eeoc.gov.

Some areas have local agencies called Fair Employment Practices Agencies, which also deal with claims and work in agreement with the EEOC.

Taking a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace is important for everyone. Helping to identify problems and expose violators will increase awareness of the situation and make the work environment safer for us all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have You Ever Found a Boss Attractive?

The scandal that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with his housekeeper is all over the news. Rumors suggest that the relationship was consensual.

I am not implying that any domestic worker that reads our blog or subscribes to our newsletter would ever have a romantic (or sexual) relationship with an employer, but would like to know how domestic workers deal with being attracted to an employer, and are able to keep the relationship strictly professional.

Have you ever been attracted to an employer? If so, how did you deal with those feelings?

What advice to you have for a nanny or au pair that has a crush on their employer?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lost Child Safety Tips

If you work as a nanny or au pair your priority is to keep children safe. We have been recommending children safety identification products to protect children in case they get lost. But, we also must prepare children to know what to do in case you are ever separated.

Here are some Safety Tips:

1. Tell children not to go out alone.
2. Have children always tell an adult where they are going.
3. Instruct them to say "NO" if they feel threatened and then tell an adult.
4. Talk with children about strangers and how to identify them.
5. Encourage your children to talk to you about friends and activities.
6. Instruct children on the importance of, and how to dial 911.
7. Identify "Safe Houses" of trusted neighbors where your children can go in an emergency.
8. Tell your children to listen to their internal alarm system and follow their instincts. If they feel funny about a situation - leave the situation.
9. Instruct children to refer trusted adults or officials . Show them their child safety information on their Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, or Tig Tagz identification bracelets.
10. If they are in a store or closed area do not leave.
11. Look for personnel or staff in a uniform. (Preferably police or security guard first)
12. Let them know you are lost.
13. Give them your first and last name and your parent’s name and show them their child safety information on their Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, or Tig Tagz identification bracelets.
14. Be prepared to give them your address and phone number and show them their child safety information on their Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, or Tig Tagz identification bracelets.
15. Tell them whom you were with prior to becoming lost.
16. Be prepared to give a description of what they were wearing.
17. Don’t panic, listen to each question, and speak clearly and slowly.
18. Give as much information as possible that you feel may help in locating you parent or guardian.
19. If abducted teach kids to pull off and drop the Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, or Tig Tagz identification bracelets in an easily found place to leave a clue for law enforcement officials.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do the Kids Know What to Do if They Get Lost?

Safety Information Every Child Should Know

We have been recommending child ID safety tags for kids. In case the child you care for is lost or injured in an accident, safety tattoos, bracelets, and tags can be the vital link to quickly reunite you.

Sunday we recommended Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, last week we reviewed Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, and Tig Tagz identification bracelets the week before that.

Ask the children in your care the following questions. See if they can answer them quickly and completely without prompting from you. The information asked for below is information that would be critical in an emergency situation. After the quiz, review the questions and answers with the children.

1. What is your Mom's and Dad's and your nanny's or au pair's name?
2. What number(s) do you call to contact them?
3. Who should you call in an emergency if your parents are gone? (Full name)
4. What is your home phone number?
5. What is your home address?
6. What is the name of the place your parents work?
7. What is the name of your school / daycare?
8. Do you know what number to dial in an emergency?
9. Do you have any allergies or medicines you take on a regular basis?
10. Who are "Good Strangers" to talk to in an emergency?

1. What is your Step-mother's name?
2. What is your Step-father's name?
3. What is your Grandmother's name?
4. What is your Grandfather's name?
5. What is your Mother's, Father's home phone number?
6. What is your Grandparent's home phone number?
7. What is your Mother's cell phone number?
8. What is your Father's cell phone number?
9. Does your Mother or Father have a pager?
10. What is their pager number?
11. Do you know how to page them?
12. What is your Mother's work number?
13. What is your Father's work number?
14. What is the location of their work? (What branch or area of town)
15. What days and hours are they gone to work?
16. What is your Mother's home address?
17. What is your Father's home address?
18. Who is and where is a safe house in your neighborhood?
19. What is the name of your after-school program?
20. Who takes you to school and who picks you up?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Which is More Important To You - Your Child or Your Pet?

Child ID Challenge Mission

Which is more important to you - your child or your pet? Strange question? Not really, when you consider these statistics:

* 60,000 pets are reported lost or stolen each year and 90-percent wear ID
* 700,000 children - more than one each minute - are reported lost for more than one-hour each year and only two-percent wear ID
* Most lost children are age seven and under, age two is at greatest risk.

Why do 90-percent of pets wear identification and only two-percent of children? When was the last time you left the house without your identification? When a child is lost, how will they find you? How will they get the love, comfort, and protection they need?

The Child ID Challenge is a national effort by the Laura Recovery Center and Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, to provide a personal ID to 500,000 children this year and educate parents to the vital importance of ID.

When a child is lost or hurt in an accident, every minute counts. A child is lost every 40-seconds. The longer they are away from their parents, the more distressed they and the parents will become. There is more chance for them to become injured and abducted. The only safe place for your child is with you!

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Laura Recovery Center, Klaas Kids Foundation, and Danielle's Legacy all support protecting your child with a discreet personal ID.

It happens once every 40-seconds and one of every four children will go to the emergency room. Are you willing to take a chance that it will be a child in your care? Or are you going to take action and for less than the price of a movie ticket - protect your child every minute.

The terrible heartbreak is, the F.B.I. receives over 2000 missing child reports every day.

Yesterday we recommended Who's Shoes Child ID Tags, last week we reviewed Safety Tat Child ID Tattoos, and Tig Tagz identification bracelets the week before that. We will continue to recommend child ID products each Sunday in the weeks to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Have You Used a Child Safety Shoe ID Tag?

Products Nannies and Au Pairs Love!

You turn away for only a moment and your charge is gone, lost in a sea of people, it could be a store, amusement park, or airport. Over the past two weeks we recommended safety tattoos and safety bracelets that include immediate, up-to-date information for police should a child in your care go missing.

For Product Review Sunday this week, we recommend another form of identification for children to wear on their shoes.

Who's Shoes Child Safety Shoe ID Tag lets authorities or a trusted adult contact you directly to quickly reunite you with the child in your care. Who's Shoes also helps ensure that only the parent or caregiver claims the child when lost -- authorities can check your ID against Who's Shoes Child ID™ information.

Most toddlers cannot identify who they are or who their parents are. Who's Shoes Child ID™ will protect the child and give you and your child peace of mind.

Personal information is protected inside Who's Shoes Child ID™ so no need to worry about a stranger calling out your child's name.

You are traveling with your family and a child becomes lost use an extra Who's Shoes Child ID™ to provide local information with hotel, resort numbers, and cell phone numbers.

The Who's Shoe ID band is made of high-quality Velcro® and a water resistant information label. Shoe ID Tags (ID bands) fits over laces, Velcro®, boot loops, and sandals. Kits include a set of two -- one for the fight shoe and one for the left shoe.

Click here to visit the product web site.

Have you ever used a child safety ID tag?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Children's Books About the Playground

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Higher! Higher! By Leslie Patricelli

When her dad pushes a young girl in a swing, she goes "higher, higher," until she reaches fantastical heights and meets an airplane, a rocket and even an alien! Who doesn't remember loving going higher and higher on a swing?

Maisy Goes to the Playground by Lucy Cousins

Maisy goes to the playground. She slides on the slide, she swings, wades in the pool ,and plays in a sandbox. Children love happy Maisy while they learn the names of the playground objects. They will look forward to playing and recounting their playground adventures.

Stop by tomorrow for Product Review Sunday and stop by next week for another Weekly Trip to the Library

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why One Nanny Loves the INA

Have you heard of the International Nanny Association (INA)?

Here is one nanny's reasons for loving the INA!

Caring for adorable infants, toddlers, or children of any age can be a great joy! I consider my bonds with the children that I have nannied, as well as my relationships with their parents, to be as important as those with my own family. This profession of nannying allows me to nurture my young charges while serving their family as a whole. And, I totally love the work that I do each day!! That said, all jobs have special challenges and there is a downside to this line of work as well.

Click here
for the entire article.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You Attending the INA Conference or Nannypalooza?

Conferences for Nannies

2011 INA Annual Conference

Thursday, May 12 8:00 AM - Sunday, May 15 12:00 PM
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
2900 Bayport Drive
Tampa, Florida 33607
(813) 874-1234

Nannypalooza 2011
November 5th and 6th, 2011
Turf Valley Resort
Ellicott City, MD

Nannies from all over the U.S. will gather for a weekend of learning, fun and networking. Workshops this year to include topics such as the importance of play, working with families, and children affected by autism, encouraging readers, the wellness of nannies and many more!
More than 14 workshops to choose from with a “learn today, use tomorrow” approach.

Early bird pricing starts at just $100 but ends JUNE 1st!

For more information please visit their web site at http://www.nannypalooza.com/Nannypalooza/Home.html

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do You Know a Nanny Working in Nearly Slave Conditions?

A Union for Nannies: Domestic Workers United

I love this article The Nannies' Norma Rae by Barbara Ehrenreich from The New York Times Style Magazine. If you know a nanny or housekeeper (as I'm sure you do) who works for a family who doesn't respect labor laws or the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights I urge you (and all domestic workers) to learn more about Domestic Workers United. Please click here to read the entire article.

It’s the most intimate class divide in human civilization, or at least in such relatively civilized places as Manhattan and Park Slope, Brooklyn. On the one side, there is the professional couple bringing in six figures a year; on the other, the nanny or maid without whom the couple wouldn’t be able to practice their professions. Conditions of employment are as variable as the individual employers are — from respectful and considerate all the way to criminally abusive. On average, a domestic worker is likely to get less than $15 an hour, no benefits and none of the credit or glory. To my knowledge anyway, there has never been a successful career woman — or man, for that matter — who’s responded to being praised for “doing it all” by saying, “Actually, Manuela (or Angelica or Harriet) does most of it.”

You don’t have to be down on your knees scraping congealed crème fraîche off marble tiles to see that there’s something not quite right about this picture. Ai-jen Poo was a recent Columbia University graduate in 1998 when she got incensed about the status of New York’s domestic workers and started organizing them into something resembling a union. It’s not that easy to organize domestic workers, even the ones who are fluent in English, because their workplaces are scattered among thousands of individual apartments and town houses and no one keeps a list of their names.

But word spread among networks of immigrant domestics, through churches and around the playgrounds frequented by nannies until, by 2010, the organization Poo helped put together, Domestic Workers United, was formidable enough to pressure the New York State legislature into passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, recognizing them as legitimate workers on a par with any other wage earners, and entitled to such amenities as overtime pay, a minimum of three paid days off a year and legal protection from harassment and discrimination: not everything they need, by a long shot, but a big step up from invisibility.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, May 9, 2011

ADHD and Sleep

Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have sleep difficulties.

Children who are anxious or depressed, are sensitive to sugar, or are sleep-deprived also may display attention problems, poor impulse control and hyperactivity. In the July/August 2003 issue of Psychology Today, a Brown University study suggests "sleep deprivation in normal children can lead to symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)."

Sleep problems associated with ADHD include:
Difficulty relaxing and falling asleep
Restless legs syndrome
Sensory processing deficits (may be overly sensitive to stimulation, sounds, light, clothing, blankets)
Motor restlessness
Night awakenings
Bed wetting
Sleep apnea

Click here to see entire article.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Products Nannies Love

SafetyTat for Product Review Sunday

Now that it is Spring and nannies, au pairs, and their charges are venturing out to amusement parks, playgrounds, and zoos there's no better time to disucss keeping tabs on kids in public places. Last week we recommended Tig Tagz a bracelet for children to wear with important information on it case you lose track of a child in your care.

This week we also recommend another great product SafetyTat Child ID Tattoos invented by a Baltimore Mom of three kids.

SafetyTat Child ID Tattoos can be customized with your personal cell phone number on it. They are easy and fast to apply and will stay on for up to five days (don't worry it's easy to remove the same day too). You just apply some water and press on the child’s skin, just as you would a fake kid tattoo. It easily removes with baby oil.

The Original SafetyTat comes with either one or two lines of information (you choose), and you can get them with pictures a boy or girl, dinosaur, butterfly, or several different options.

The Quick Stick Write-on! Child ID Tattoosare great if you care for a child that has food allergies or medical issues these are perfect to let others know. You can write any emergency information on with the included waterproof pen. These tattoos will last up to two weeks.

Removal is easy: you lift the edge of the tattoo with a fingernail and it peels off just like a bandage. The tattoo is made of materials that are hypoallergenic and skin safe.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

10 Best Children's Books for Mother's Day

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Yesterday we listed some games and gift ideas for nannies and au pairs to do with the kids. But, children's books are always a great gift for children, nannies, and au pairs to give to mothers as well. Below are our 10 favorite children's books about mothers.

1. My Mom by Anthony Browne
This book is a tribute to all of the roles mothers play, from cook and gardener to the good fairy who makes a sad child happy and the juggler who juggles multiple responsibilities. Best of all, according to the child who describes her, “SHE LOVES ME! (And she always will.).”

2. Mommy Hugs by Karen Katz
Mommy and baby count and cuddle as they hug and read about the baby's day of fun in Mommy Hugs! This bestselling Karen Katz title is now available as an over-sized lap edition perfect for reading aloud!

3. Someday by Alison McGhee
This is a wonderful story of a mom watching her daughter grow up and become a mom. The pen, ink, and watercolor sketches have the same soft sentimentality as the text. Great gift for new mothers and gift-givers.

4. I Love You More by Laura Duksta
This is two books in one. Read one way, it is the parent who responds to the child's question, "Just how much do you love me?" With the book turned over and read from the back, the mother asks the question of her son. Both answers are given in rhyming couplets as the pair try to prove the depth and strength of their love.

5. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
A little girl asks questions until she is sure her mother's love is unconditional. This story focuses on the question all children hope for: their parents will always love them no matter what the child does. This story confirms for children young and old, that no matter what they do, their mothers (and fathers) will still love them.

6. Tell Me a Story, Mama by Angela Johnson
A young girl and her mother remember together all the girl's favorite stories about her mother's childhood.

7. Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
A mother expresses her love for her child as he grows. When she is old and frail it's the child's turn to express his love. A must have for every family's library.

8. A Gift for Mama by Esther Hautzig
For children seven- to 10-years old the story shows how it's better for children to make presents rather than buy them. When you make something the end result isn't the sum total of the project - there is time and love and thought involved. Mama wasn't immediately impressed by her wonderful store bought present as Anna hoped, as soon as she learned the amount of work and time that was spent in earning that money is when she truly understood the impact of the gift.

9. My Mommy and Me by Karen Hill
This board book becomes a picture frame, with a slot for a photo on the cover and a sturdy stand in back. Inside, a daughter and mom dress up fancy for cookies and tea, gaze into a bright blue sky, "counting birds that fly so high," and build castles with pots and pans.

10. Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng
A little girl wishes she could be with her Grandma and one night, she gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey.

Stop by tomorrow for Product Review Sunday for products nannies love.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How Nannies Can Help Kids Get Ready for Mother's Day

Flowers are a traditional gift for any occasion and are always great for Mother's Day! Nannies commonly help their charges paint some inexpensive terra cotta pots for the mother to put some plants in.
Here is a link for a Family Tree you can help the kids make as a great Mother's Day gift from the kids too.
Here are some fun games to play for Mother's Day!

How Much Do You Know About Your Mother?

You might have to play this on Mother's Day when you have enough mothers and children available. But, see if the kids can answer the questions below about their mother before Mother's Day.

Divide into four mother/child teams.
Ask the mothers to leave the room while the children sit in chairs.
Ask the same four or five questions to each child about their mothers.
Bring in the mothers and ask them the same questions.
Will the mother and child have the same answers?
Switch places and see how well the mother's know the children.
Award a red carnation to the winning mother/child team.

Question Ideas:

What is your mother's favorite: color, movie, dress, animal, memorable moment with you, best friend, hobby, talent, food, animal, cartoon, pizza topping, ice cream topping, or restaurant? What was your mother's most embarrassing moment? What is your mother's favorite holiday?

Mother May I?
This game is similar to Simon Says, where the person giving the command also has to give permission to carry it out.

Children listen carefully and ask, "Mother, may I?"
The response must be, "Yes you may."
If the response is only, "Yes," then the person may not carry out the task.
A variation of this game is Giant Steps.
The mother stands at a distance from the other players who are lined up.
The mother calls out the name of each student before giving a specific command ("Jimmy, you may take three giant steps," or "Bertina, you may take one baby step").
Students have to say "Mother, may I?" before they show any movement of their body.
The group will get closer and closer to the mother.
The one who finally gets close enough to touch the mother becomes the next mother.
The game begins all over again.

Excerpted from Multicultural Discovery Activities for the Elementary Grades

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo for Nannies and Au Pairs

Are You Doing Anything Special for Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo means the 5th of May and celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory against the French at the battle of Puebla – a battle that took place on May 5, 1862.

Serve any of your favorite Mexican delicacies such as tacos, fajitas, nachos with salsa and guacamole.

Breakfast Burrito:
You will need bacon strips, diced; 2 tablespoons chopped onion; 1 cup frozen cubed hash; brown potatoes; 1/4 cup sour cream; 6 eggs; 2 tablespoons taco sauce; 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided; 4 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed; sour cream; and chopped tomatoes. Initially cook the bacon strips on low heat till they are browned. Drain out the drippings from the bacon keeping a tablespoon of it. To the bacon drippings, add onions and potatoes and cook the mixture until the potatoes are browned.Take a large bowl; add sour cream and eggs. Add taco sauce, pepper and ¼ cup of cheese and stir the mixture uniformly. Transfer the potato and onion mixture to this and add the cooked bacon. Continue cooking until the eggs are fully cooked. Fill up each tortilla with the cooked bacon mixture in desired quantity and top it with cheese. Roll the tortilla with the bacon filling and close the bottom fully. Optionally tomatoes can be added on top. Sprinkle sour cream on top of tortilla and finish serving

Make Maracas:
Folk music and dancing are a distinct part of Mexican culture! You can join in the rhythm with these maracas. You will need: 9-inch paper plate, markers or crayons, handful of dried beans or rice, stapler, five or six strips of colored crepe paper or streamers. First, decorate the outside (bottom) of the paper plate- use bold designs and bright colors. Fold the plate in half and put a handful of beans or rice inside. Staple it shut. Then staple the colored streamers to the curved side of the plate. Now shake your maraca, and make your own music.

Make and Wear a Serape:
A traditional Mexican serape can make a wonderful addition to your Cinco de Mayo attire! You'll need a large brown grocery bag, scissors, masking tape, and poster paints. Cut straight up the seam on the back of the bag, branching into a "V" and then a hole in the bottom of the bag (this is the neck hole). Next, cut about a 5-inch wide strip from each side of the bag. This makes the open sides of the serape. Now make fringe around the bottom by either cutting slits all around the edges, or by punching holes along the bottom and threading pieces of yarn through. Now, turn the serape inside out, so that the print in inside, and the side that is showing is plain brown. You may need to secure the shoulder area (the bottom of the bag) with masking tape. Finally, lay your serape out flat, and paint with bright colors!

Make a Pinata:
This is a wonderful project to make and then "break" to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! You will need: A large balloon, lots of newspaper, flour, masking tape, colored tissue, paint (optional), glue, scissors, string, pencil. Blow up the balloon and tie tightly. Then tear the newspaper into long, thin strips (about 1 inch wide and at least 12 inches long). You'll need lots of strips. In a large bowl, mix 5 cups of flour with water- adding the water slowly until it is the consistency of pancake batter. Dip the newspaper strips in the flour and water mixture, wetting them completely. Remove any excess moisture from the strips by running them through your fingers, and then drape them over the balloon. Continue overlapping strips until the balloon is completely covered. Add more and more layers of newspaper until you have applied 5 -10 layers.

To decorate your pinata, let it dry completely, then either paint it, or cover it with colored tissue paper attached with craft glue. Overlap the tissue like roof shingles. To fill the pinata, cut a small flap in the top, bend it back carefully and drop in small wrapped candies or goodies. When the pinata is full, fold the flap back in to place.

Hang the pinata in a designated place that has plenty of room for kids to spin and swing a stick without hitting anything but the pinata, a minimum of 15-feet radius is recommended. Organize the kids in a line and start wit the smallest child. Blindfold the child (young children don't need to be blindfolded). Allow them to swing a stick or bat at the pinata. Allow kids to strike the pinata with the stick a few times. If the candy does not spill out, the turn passes to the next player in line.

Children's Books for Cinco de Mayo:

1. Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo
2. Let's Go Traveling in Mexicoby Robin Rector Krupp
3. Saturday Marketby Patricia Grossman
4. Mario's Mayan Journey by Michelle McCunney

Reference: http://mailjust4me.com/play/cinco1.htm

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Experts Say Don't Ignore the Topic of Osama bin Laden With Kids, But Ask Open-Ended Questions, Then Shut-Up, and Listen

Just listening, being supportive, and making a child feel safe and secure should be our only goal when discussing Osama bin Laden with a child.

Last night I watched Dr Drew on CNN discuss and try to answer the question: what do we tell our kids now that Osama bin Laden is dead?

A lot of nannies mentioned on our facebook page they are happy they don't have to say anything about 9/11 or Osama bin Laden to the children in their care. But the child psychologist interviewed on the show explained that it's impossible to ignore the topic when the news is everywhere.

But, it is also important to keep the discussion age-appropriate. The Dr Drew show made it clear we should just answer the question the child asks. There is absolutely no need to scare them with graphic stories of people jumping from the World Trade Towers and survivors running over human body parts.

It is enough for us to listen to children's concerns, comfort them to let them know that they are safe, and NOT discuss the details of 9/11 any futher -- until the day comes when they ask more specific questions.

Yesterday, I mentioned that for many children the killing of Osama bin Laden is a moral dilemma: how can killing be okay? Today, I realize we shouldn't try to convince them otherwise.

Just listening, being supportive, and making a child feel safe and secure should be our only goal when discussing Osama bin Laden with a child.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Nannies Should Talk to Kids About Osama bin Laden's Death

Children Find it a Moral Dilemma
Are your charges upset that Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden rather than captured him alive?

While thousands of adult American's who remember 9/11 are jumping for joy over the death of Osama bin Laden, many children find it a moral dilemma. A friend of mine who is a high school teacher says her students don't understand why Navy Seals had to kill the man. Even a young adult family member of mine has said, "Does killing Osama bin Laden bring back the 3,000 American's he killed?"

First, I will address how to talk to kids about the event. Then, I will share links that explain that the Navy Seals were ordered to capture Osama bin Laden alive but to kill him if they were in danger or if he were to resist arrest.

Under five-years old:
Last night on New York CBS local news they explained that children under five-years old should not view television about the event as the images may be disturbing.

School-aged children:
School-aged children may find it a moral dilemma. How can killing another person be considered moral? It is okay and normal for children to ask questions about this difficult moral issue. For example, many children are asking: "If Osama bin Laden was evil for killing, why is it okay for us to kill him?"

New York CBS local news said teens must be urged to not act impulsively due to anger about the event.

To help explain the situation to children over five-years old I have found some links that state that the Navy Seals took care to avoid civilian casualties and were willing to capture Osama bin Laden alive if possible.

Huffington Post:
President Barack Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Monday that U.S. military operatives were prepared to capture Osama bin Laden alive but were "absolutely" ready to kill him when he fought back.

"If we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that," Brennan said during an uncharacteristically candid exchange with reporters at a White House briefing.

Intelligence officials and Obama "extensively" discussed the prospect of capturing bin Laden alive during the U.S. military raid on his compound Sunday, Brennan said, but were "certainly were planning for the possibility … that he would likely resist arrest." In the end, the al Qaeda leader fought back and was "therefore killed in a fire fight," Brennan said.

The bottom line, said Brennan, was that "we were not going to put our people at risk."

Brennan painted a dark scene of bin Laden's final moments. He said the al Qaeda leader used one of his wives as a human shield while he was being shot at. "From a visual perspective, here is bin Laden ... living in this million dollar-plus compound ... hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield. I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years," Brennan said. "Looking at what bin Laden was doing hiding there while he’s putting other people out there to carry out attacks again just speaks to, I think, the nature of the individual he was."

"Thanks to sophisticated satellite monitoring, U.S. forces knew they'd likely find bin Laden's family on the second and third floors of one of the buildings on the property, officials said. The SEALs secured the rest of the property first, then proceeded to the the room where bin Laden was hiding."

"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties," he said. "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

"In his broadcast announcement President Obama said that U.S. forces 'took care to avoid civilian casualties.'"

Are your charges upset that Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden rather than capture him alive?