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Archive for April, 2012

10 Ways Kids Get Their Siblings to do Their Work

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Kids have always been creative when it comes to finding ways to get out of doing chores. The smarter the kid, the more creativity is used for avoiding work. Perhaps you may be wondering about some of the secret deals made by your kids behind the scenes when one of them wants to shirk their duties. Here are a few ways that kids may use to get their sibling to shoulder the load.

  1. Blackmail – It starts early. One kid has the goods on his sibling and carries it like a hammer over the other’s head. It works well until the one who’s avoiding being found out comes to the conclusion that it’s better to confess to Mom and Dad than to remain in a life of servitude.
  2. Bribery – All that’s needed is knowledge of something you have that your sibling wants. If you’re willing to give up the desired item, you’ve got it made. Depending on the age of the children involved, one can get a lot of work out of the other for a very small price. As they get older, the price gets higher. But some kids don’t mind if it means not having to do the work.
  3. Trading jobs – Sometimes the jobs are equal and sometimes not. If a sibling happens to be a little gullible, the other one could possibly get out of big job by offering to do a smaller job for his sibling. For example, taking out the garbage in exchange for vacuuming. The garbage may just mean taking one bag out to the dumpster, where vacuuming means doing the entire house including the steps.
  4. Payment – You always wondered why your kid always has money. Now you know. She’s getting paid to do her sister’s chores. Some kids would rather pay a sibling to do their work than to do it themselves.
  5. Bullying – Sad to say it, but some kids just bully their siblings into doing their work for them. When you have a big brother or sister that bosses you around and makes you feel intimidated, it is a lot easier to just give in and do what they tell you to do, especially if there will be consequences if you tell.
  6. Lying – “Mom says you have to do….” If Mom is not around to straighten things out then the pressure is on to get the job done before Mom gets home.
  7. Asking politely – Some siblings are very helpful toward one another and merely asking one to do the job of the other will be enough to get it done. This may be a somewhat rare occurrence, but it does happen
  8. Sharing the load – One sibling may ask the other for help and the other may oblige. Now this can go one of two ways. Hopefully the one who did the asking will work along side the one who is helping. More likely, it’s the helper who will actually do most of the work.
  9. Whining – Some kids can be so annoying with their whining and complaining that their siblings do the work for them to get them to be quiet.
  10. Needing or faking the need for help – Younger kids can often get the help of their older siblings by looking like they need help. Especially if the older sibling happens to be crazy about the younger one. Sometimes older kids really enjoy helping out their younger siblings.

Kids have their ways of bending situations to their advantage. You may want to check into the method your child uses to get others to do their work for them. Hopefully they are choosing an acceptable way of getting help otherwise you may need to have a talk about responsibility.

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10 Kids Books to Help with Bedtime Woes

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Bedtime stories are a great way to be able to sneak in a little extra quality time with children while simultaneously getting them relaxed enough to fall asleep. For many families it’s a key part of their regular bedtime routine, and one that can’t be missed. What can be better than snuggling up with your child at bedtime and reading them a comforting story? However, some children do have issues with bedtime and can be resistant to any efforts to get them settled down for the night. Here are 10 kid’s books that can help with those bedtime woes.

  1. Goodnight Moon – This popular book by Margaret Wise Brown is a favorite for kids of all ages. The lyrical way the little bunny says goodnight to everything in the room is soothing to children and is almost like counting sheep. Goodnight Moon is a bedtime classic for kids, and one that is sure to be a favorite for generations.
  2. Sleep Tight Ginger Kitten – Young children will be enthralled as you read them the tale of the Ginger Kitten looking for a place to take a nap. This book by Adele Geras leads the reader on a delightful journey as each potential napping place is rejected until the kitten finally finds the perfect spot, all the while getting kids in the mood for sleep.
  3. Goodnight Sweet Butterflies – For something a little more unusual, Goodnight Sweet Butterflies has 3D butterflies that disappear as the pages are turned. The glittery butterflies help kids learn their colors while they’re soothed into slumber.
  4. Bedtime Bugs – This pop-up book is an interactive way to get kids into the bedtime routine. Each page goes through another step towards sleep as the Bedtime Bugs get ready to snuggle in for the night.
  5. Time for Bed – Children will feel comforted as each different animal is tenderly tucked in for the night by their mothers. Time for Bed is filled with lovely pictures and colorful rhymes that will soothe even the most stubborn child into nodding off.
  6. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Sight – A great bedtime story for kids who like trucks and equipment, this book by Sherri Duskey Rinker says goodnight to all the different hard working items on the construction site. The rhyming prose and colorful pictures will get rough and tumble kids ready to hit their pillows.
  7. The Goodnight Train – Kids will love to get on board the Goodnight Train to dreamland by June Sobel. The magical illustrations and soothing words have children chug-chugging along the fantasy tracks to their own sleepy town.
  8. Just So Stories – These Rudyard Kipling classics are perfect for older children who no longer want to be read baby books. The Just So Stories are fanciful tales of far off places that will entertain kids and send them off to sweet dreams.
  9. A Wrinkle in Time series – Madeleine L’Engle is the author of this science fiction series of books that will capture your child’s imagination. Promising to read a few more chapters each night will get the most willful child looking forward to bedtime.
  10. Little House on the Prairie series – This classic series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder have been favorites of children for generations. Take your kids back in time as they learn about life as a pioneer child while being gently lulled into a peaceful sleep.

Choose carefully when selecting good bedtime stories for kids. Stay away from scary stories or ones with too much excitement that could have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to accomplish. Also, make sure what you’re reading is age-appropriate so that kids don’t get frustrated with your choice. Get children involved in selecting their favorites and be sure to update their options. After the little demons are finally tucked in, Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate and Go the F**k to Sleep are good choices for parents (not sitters) to soothe their own frustrations, though not appropriate to read aloud to kids.

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10 Ways Parents Can Make Sibling Rivalry Worse

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

When you have more than one child you may have to face the war between the siblings at one point or another. You may luck out and not have to deal with any major rivalry issues. But most parents of multiple children usually end up in negotiations between rivals. Some parents are not aware of how their actions play into rivalry and can actually make it worse. Here are some things parents do to create more problems.

  1. Comparing children – When parents compare one child to another, they are only adding fuel to the fire when it comes to sibling rivalry. Parents may not even be aware that they are making those comparisons, but the kids are. Sometimes little comments may be overheard, and this will spark a fight.
  2. Not giving enough attention to one child – This can be inadvertent; for example, if one child is ill or has special needs and the other one may feel neglected. Any rivalry that exists between the siblings will most likely increase under these types of circumstances, unless the parents take the time to explain what is going on and create some extra quality time for the child who feels left out.
  3. Not preparing #1 for the birth of #2 – First born children usually have some time to get used to being the center of attention. A new baby means they will need to move over and, at the very least, share that lime light. Wise parents will include the first born in the process of preparing for the new baby early on, so that the baby’s arrival will be an expected pleasure rather than an unexpected interruption.
  4. Subconscious negative feelings toward one child – Sometimes a parent will have negative feelings toward one child due to something beyond the child’s control; for example, it could be that child reminds the parent of a relative who is difficult to get along with. The parent may not even be aware that they speak a little sharper to this child or come down a little harder on the kid.
  5. Parents may think fighting is acceptable – For some parents sibling rivalry may seem acceptable. They may feel that fighting is the normal way to work out problems between siblings. Such an attitude only reinforces the rivalry and does nothing to help the children find more positive methods of working out their differences.
  6. Lack of quality family time – When parents become too busy to establish quality family time, sibling rivalry can often increase. Sometimes, it is a subconscious ploy on the part of the kids to gain their parents attention.
  7. Parent’s reaction to conflict – A parent’s reaction to conflict will also help in determining whether or not the rivalry between siblings increases or gets better. Parents who tend to ignore conflict can expect the fighting between kids to increase just as parents who accept it.
  8. Parents experiencing stress – If parents are very stressed out and not giving the kids the time and attention they need, chances are that the kids will act out, and fighting and conflicts between them will increase and get worse.
  9. If kids feel there is inequality – When kids feel like there is inequality in the amount of discipline or responsiveness they are getting from their parents, they will act on that. Parents may not even realize that there is disparity in how they are disciplining the children.
  10. Setting kids up to compete – Anytime a parent sets kids up to compete against one another, they are laying a foundation for a boat load of sibling rivalry.

Learning to give you kids the attention and discipline they need, even when you feel you don’t have it to give, will go a long way in easing the tension between them. It may be challenging to do, but giving each of your kids quality time and working with them to foster good relationships with each other will do a lot toward promoting peace and harmony in the home.

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10 Infamous Stories About Siblings That Fought Publicly

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

For those of us who have siblings we can totally understand how fights can happen.  At the end of the day I think most of us feel that we’ll always love our sibling and we’ll always be family.  When you are in the spotlight having a fight publicly with your sibling it’s a bit harder to move on because it seems like everyone knows your business and has an opinion about it.  Check out 10 infamous stories about siblings that fought publicly.

  1. Mary Kate and Ashley: These billionaire moguls are so young it’s just amazing.  They’ve been acting since they were babies on Full House. It doesn’t help that they look alike, but in recent years they have tried to separate and have their own lives where they could.  Ashley reportedly got tired of taking care of Mary Kate’s manic mood swings and she just wanted out.  Ashley is worried that she will go down with her sister and wants to separate their assets.
  2. Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine: Probably the oldest sibling rivalry in Hollywood.  These sisters are now in their 90’s and still refuse to go to the same event.  The most recent event was May 2008 when the Academy was celebrating Bette Davis’ life.  Both sisters had worked with her and were invited to share memories, but only one sister would attend.  Both, Oscar winning actresses from a forgotten era and both, too stubborn to stop fighting even in their twilight years.
  3. The Jacksons: After Michael died there were all sorts of squabbling about his money.  Then a proposed tour with the remaining Jackson siblings caused more fighting because the producers of the tour were going to pay Janet the most and La Toya and Rebbie the least.  The siblings didn’t think it was fair.
  4. Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren: These advice columnists were forever fighting.  This sibling rivalry went on for decades.  Abigail had the column called ‘Dear Abby’ and it was published in some newspapers while other newspapers carried ‘Ann Landers’.  At one point Abigail offered her column at a discounted rate to the Sioux City Journal if they would cease to run the ‘Ann Landers’ column.
  5. Venus and Serena Williams: These star athletes went head to head competing for tennis’ coveted titles.  These two have fought over the years about who is the better tennis player.  With Venus’ recent health scare these two sisters have become even closer now.
  6. Jessica and Ashlee Simpson: Jessica had the great music career first and opened the door for Ashlee.  Ashlee went on to star in her own reality TV show which of course never goes well.
  7. Payton and Eli Manning: What are the odds that two brothers would both love playing football?  Those odds are pretty good.  What about the odds that both would play quarterback on an NFL football team?  I’d say those odds are pretty low.  These two have fought about who is the better football player, but at least I don’t think this rivalry is a nasty one.
  8. Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen: This has been a very public fight in which Emilio tried to help Charlie end his downward spiral with drugs, but was unable to and Charlie didn’t want his brother’s help.  He plainly told him to butt out of his business.  It’s kind of hard to avoid the train wreck that is Charlie Sheen, but apparently his brother Emilio is done.
  9. Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian:  These three are amazing and seem to be constantly at each other’s throats.  Since they are doing a reality TV show everyone gets to be in on every nasty thing that they say to each other.  I do think in the end they will always be there for each other, but I think it’s time for them to grow up.
  10. The Bee Gees: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb made up the Bee Gees and their group was on again and off again due to sibling squabbling.  When Maurice died Barry and Robin have mended fences and now perform together on occasion.  Stories about the fighting in the band were well documented.  Apparently the biggest fight was for approval from their father.  Their younger brother Andy went on to have tremendous success as a solo artist before his battle with drugs occurred and resulted in his death.  The brothers are reported to be still reeling from his death even today.


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10 Reasons Parents Cannot Love Each of Their Children Equally

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Parents try hard to treat each of their children fairly and consistently but eventually have to admit that they don’t love them all equally. Families with multiple siblings find themselves in a constant struggle to divide their attention and affection equally among their children. By doing so, many parents find they are setting themselves up for failure. The variety of personalities and other factors can make equality of love an impossible task. Here are 10 reasons parents cannot love each of their children equally.

  1. Favorites – No matter how hard they try not to parents will eventually find themselves picking favorites among their children. This can be a result of behavior or personality differences beyond anyone’s control. If one child is consistently causing problems, one parent find it hard to love that one equally while the other parent notices this and may overcompensate for the other.
  2. Every child is different – Each child is born with their own unique personality so it’s impossible to treat them all equally. Even identical twins are different from each other in behavior and abilities.
  3. Limited capabilities – Because of their own shortcomings, some parents may have limited capabilities of expressing love to their children.  Mental illness or emotional problems can limit their capacity for affection and they will be forced to choose the child that is easier to love.
  4. More in common – Parents tend to gravitate to the child they have the most in common with so that could affect the relationships with their children. A father that loves sports just won’t feel the same affection for his bookworm son as he does the more active sibling.
  5. Fickle emotions – Love is a fickle emotion that changes over time and can be affected by events. Parents may find themselves feeling more emotionally attached to one child or another during different stages of their growth and development.
  6. Kids make it difficult – Some kids just make it difficult for their parents to love them equally. The child that is constantly whining or causing trouble really tries the patience of parents and can make it difficult for them to show affection.
  7. Conflicting personalities – Often times a child and parent have such conflicting personalities that loving him or her is difficult. It’s hard to love someone that you really don’t like very much even if it is your own child.
  8. Taking sides – Sibling conflicts will often end up with parents taking sides. This is particularly difficult to avoid in some family situations no matter how hard they try, even if it’s just temporary.
  9. Bio versus step-child – Many families have a combination of biological and step-children and that really complicates the issue. It’s only natural for parents to have a stronger attachment to their biological children, but that’s no always the case. Because of personalities and other factors, parents can find themselves having a closer emotional attachment to a step-child.
  10. Natural selection – There is a theory that a parent’s preference for the child most like themselves is a product of natural selection. Some believe people have the animal instinct that promotes survival of the fittest and this is biologically programmed in humans.

Even though it’s difficult for parents to love each of their children equally it is a goal that they should strive for. Children who feel they are unloved or receive less affection can become emotionally scarred over time. Parents need to realize that relationships with their children are an ever-changing process and they treat their children differently because they are different. Dealing with that reality is what makes effective parenting a challenge. Parents may not always love their children equally, but they should always try to treat them fairly.

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10 Reasons Parents Can Love Each of Their Children Equally

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Siblings will often taunt each other saying, “Mommy loves me more,” or use similar barbs to provoke each other. This can be maddening to parents who try hard to treat each of their children fairly and consistently. Since every child is different with their own personalities and talents, this can be a difficult task. Jealousy and insecurity will often lead one child to feel he’s being treated unfairly or unloved. For parents who struggle with this problem, here are 10 reasons parents can love each of their children equally.

  1. Equal but different – Parents can love each of their children equally while expressing it differently. Some kids like to cuddle more and others will push parents away when they try to give a hug. That doesn’t mean they love either of them any less, but show it in different ways.
  2. Like isn’t love – There are times when parents will like one child more than another, but that isn’t the same as love. When one kid is being a brat the parent won’t like the behavior but still love the child.
  3. Appreciation – Parents will also appreciate one child over another for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean they love the others less. The child that behaves and obeys is certainly appreciated more when the other kids are being unruly and defiant.
  4. Unconditional – The love parents have for all their children is unconditional. They would do anything to protect each child from harm and suffer greatly if any of their children is hurt. This goes without question.
  5. Equal isn’t always fair – The difficult thing for most people to understand is the difference between equal and fair. Parents can love each of their children equally in proportion or degree, but fairness implies free from bias. Being fair is by far the more difficult to achieve.
  6. Perception – The amount of love each child receives is often a matter of perception. One child may feel neglected even though the parents work hard to treat each sibling the same. Parents can do little to change the perceived love each child feels.
  7. Sibling rivalry – Children will often compete for their parent’s affection and this sibling rivalry can be a real challenge. It’s important to realize that kids who accuse their parents of favoring one child over the other are usually just displaying dominance.
  8. Attention vs. love – Another reason kids may feel they’re not being loved equally is because they will confuse attention with love. Children with special needs are certainly going to require more attention, but that doesn’t mean they are loved any more than the other siblings.
  9. Playing favorites – Even parents who are guilty of playing favorites with their children can still love each of them equally. Favoring one child over the other does not necessarily mean they love that one more. It may simply mean that they have more in common and get along better.
  10. Wants and needs – It’s also important to consider the wants and needs of the individual child. Some kids just plain need more affection while others are content to be left alone. Parents will treat each child differently according to their personality while loving them all equally.

Parents will often feel guilty if they find themselves preferring one child over the other. They need to be careful not to equate that with love. Deep down, no matter how difficult children can be, a parent will always love them. The key is to always strive to be fair and maintain good communication with all the children. This way parents will be better equipped to explain when one child may be feeling less loved than the others.

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10 Reasons Siblings are Bound to Fight Often

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Ever since Cain and Able, sibling rivalry has been an issue in families. Parents don’t want something this tragic to happen with their own children, but it’s perfectly normal for brothers and sisters to disagree. Sometimes they fight like cats and dogs while other times they’re best buddies. However, this mutual animosity can frequently occur without warning and drive their parents crazy. What are 10 reasons siblings are bound to fight often?

  1. Sibling rivalry – Let’s call it what it is and that’s simply sibling rivalry. This is a constant battle continually being fought by the children in just about every family. It’s a natural part of growing up with brothers and sisters and probably more prevalent in large families.
  2. Competition – There’s bound to be competition between siblings as they compete for everything from their parent’s affection to material goods. Every family has limited resources to be divided among the children and competition for these resources is going to cause fights.
  3. Seeking attention – Kids seeking attention are bound to fight with their siblings quite often. Nothing gets mom and dad’s attention better than starting a fight. The problem is the kind of attention they get isn’t going to be very affectionate.
  4. Age difference – Often times the age difference between siblings can be a contributing factor. Sometimes being close in age helps kids get along better and sometimes it will cause more competition and animosity. On the other hand a large age difference can also work either way. It really depends on the individual siblings.
  5. Personality difference – Even identical twins are born with their own unique personalities, so this can also contribute to conflict. Personality differences are bound to trigger fights among siblings. The kid with an aggressive nature will often goad a meeker sibling trying to get a reaction.
  6. Jealousy – One of the most common reasons for sibling rivalry is pure jealousy. Many times the firstborn child will be insanely jealous when the next child is born. Kids will also be envious of their sibling’s looks or intelligence and pick fights because of it.
  7. Parental favoritism – Real or imagined, siblings will often feel like their parents favor one child over another. Any perceived parental favoritism is bound to start a fight among siblings. How many times have we heard the accusation, “Mother always loved you best”?
  8. Different interests – Siblings are bound to have different interests and this is likely to cause conflicts. Kids will fight over everything from what to watch on TV to where they want to go when you eat out. These differences can get to the point where they drive their parents nuts.
  9. Too much togetherness – Siblings who are stuck in close proximity for extended periods of time are bound to pick fights. Too much togetherness can be a bad thing, especially on long car trips. Kids who continually bicker and fight may need a little time apart.
  10. Lack of discipline – Parents who don’t sufficiently discipline their children can let sibling rivalry get out of hand. Kids need to know there are rules and they need to be enforced consistently. Lack of parental discipline is bound to allow conflict to escalate.

As brothers and sisters struggle to establish their own identity and place in the family they’re bound to have fights. This is just a natural part of growing up and as they mature the conflicts should diminish. Skillful parenting can limit the sibling rivalry, but it’s nearly impossible to eliminate it altogether. Kids will be kids and hopefully any childhood animosity they have will be replaced with mutual respect and admiration by the time they reach adulthood. In the meantime, parents may need to let them work it out amongst themselves.

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10 Famous Athletes With Equally Famous Siblings

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

As part of our series on siblings, today we’ll look at famous siblings in sports. We’ve put together a list of siblings from a variety of sports, and siblings of all forms – brothers, sisters, brother/sister, even twins. Check out our assemblage of genetic prowess, and see if your favorites made the cut:

  1. Peyton and Eli Manning – You may have heard of these two. They’ve been in the press once or twice regarding their athletic exploits. They’ve got three Super Bowl rings between them, and a dad (Archie Manning) who knows a little bit himself about playing quarterback.
  2. Cheryl and Reggie Miller – A couple of very talented basketball siblings. Cheryl is a former standout college player and hall of famer, coach and current TV analyst. Brother Reggie, a hall of famer himself, played with the Indiana Pacers for 18 seasons and is also a TV commentator.
  3. Venus and Serena Williams – Both former world  No. 1 seeds, these star siblings took the tennis world by storm in 1994 and 1995 respectively. When Venus became the world number 1 ranked player on Fe. 25, 2002, she was the first black woman to do so in the open era of tennis.
  4. Kurt and Kyle Busch – NASCAR driver siblings, Kurt drives the no. 51 TAG Heuer Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing while brother Kyle  sits behind the wheel of the no. 10 Mars, Inc./Interstate Batteries Toyota – the M&M’s car.
  5. Tiki and Ronde Barber – NFL siblings and identical twins, Tiki played running back for the New York Giants and Ronde was cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both played college ball for the University of Virginia.
  6. Phil and Tony Esposito – NHL Hall of Fame members, Phil played center for 18 seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Younger brother Tony was a goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.
  7. Al Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Al was a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump, and coached the UCLA Women’s Track and Field team as Assistant Coach for the Jumps squad in 2000. Jackie is a winner of three gold, one silver and two bronze Olympic medals in women’s heptathlon and long jump.
  8. Shannon and Sterling Sharpe – Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe played tight end for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. He won three Super Bowls and retired with NFL records in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns by a tight end. Sterling played for 7 seasons as wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers before a neck injury ended his career. He and Shannon both currently work as TV commentators.
  9. Phil and Joe Niekro – Baseball Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil pitched for 24 seasons, 20 of which were for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. His 318 career wins ranks 16th all-time and are the most by any knuckleballer. Joe pitched for 22 seasons, mostly for the Houston Astros, and won a World Series in 1987 with the Minnesota Twins.
  10. Bobby and Terry Labonte – Another pair of NASCAR brothers. Bobby drives the #47 Kroger  Toyota Camry, while Terry is semi-retired, currently driving the #32 U.S. Chrome Ford for FAS Lane Racing.

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10 Bad First Impressions a Sitter Can Make

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Everyone knows the old adage that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. For better or worse, first impressions tend to be lasting ones, so you want to put your best foot forward. When it comes to employment, it’s the difference between getting hired or being passed up. If you’re a babysitter, that means avoiding the following first impression no-no’s at all cost:

  1. Tardiness – Regardless of the occasion, or the job, you never want to be late. Remember that your employer will be parents who will entrust you with the care of their children. Everything you do needs to shout “dependable”, and being late screams the opposite.
  2. Inappropriate Dress – Child care calls for a level of responsibility and maturity that should be reflected in your demeanor and your appearance. Sitting jobs aren’t the venue for showing off your party attire or the latest goth fashions.
  3. Disheveled Appearance – A certain amount of order, cleanliness and sanitation are involved with babysitting. That should be a part of your image, and not just your job description. Parents should be able to see that by looking at you.
  4. Unauthorized Guests – Your employer expects that your attention will be focused on the care of their kids. You shouldn’t take their hospitality for granted, or use the occasion as an opportunity to entertain a date or a friend. It’s rarely something that your employer would approve of, and even if they did, it should be expressly given and not assumed.
  5. Laying Down On The Job – Just because there’s a couch there in the living room doesn’t mean it’s OK to get horizontal when you’re on the job. The kids are supposed to be asleep when the parents get home, not you.
  6. Inattentiveness – It’s important to always keep in mind your reason for being hired. You’re looking after children, so you need to be listening as well as looking after them. When your attention is distracted by TV, music, video games, book, etc., the message is clear: the job is not your top priority.
  7. Getting Names Wrong – Everyone makes mistakes and a slip here or there isn’t the end of the world. Still, you’re dealing with parents who are willing to pay you to care for their kids, so it’s not unreasonable for them to expect that you get their names right, for Pete’s sake. Make it a point to memorize them ahead of time.
  8. References Don’t Check Out – Whatever information you provide on your resume or job application needs to be complete, up-to-date and accurate. Before including any names or numbers as references, be sure to contact them to ask permission, and make certain that only references that are going to give positive reviews are listed.
  9. Canceling Appointment – Emergencies happen that can’t be helped or foreseen. Anything else is inexcusable. If you agree to take a job, you’re going to be counted on to be there. At the very least, when you cannot possibly help canceling, provide ample notice, typically a minimum of 24 hours.
  10. Exploiting The Hospitality – Families will frequently offer you the option of helping yourself  to food or drink when you sit their kids. The last thing you want to do, however, is to take too much advantage of their generosity. And you always want to make sure you’ve left the home as clean as you found it.

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10 Signs Your Children are Afraid of YOU

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

As parents, your most important duty is the safety and well-being of your children. They trust you to provide for them and keep them from harm. When that trust has been compromised, it’s difficult to regain. Communication and intimacy issues arise, and your child will grow distant and resentful. So how do you know if your child is afraid of you? Here are ten signs to look for:

  1. Your child might display fear in the form of cringing whenever you raise your voice. If you tend to be loud, animated, or worse, violent when you are upset, the effects on your children could be severe.
  2. When your child flinches at a raised hand, or sudden, unexpected movements on your part, this is a strong indicator that she is afraid of you. A child who has been disciplined through corporal punishment is apt to be less receptive to any physical contact, including expressions of affection.
  3. Children are less apt to approach a parent they fear when they have a need or a question, and will tend to go either to the other parent or another adult instead. If your kids rarely or never confide in you, your trust level with them is in need of repair.
  4. Your child may not show signs of affection like hugs and kisses. Fear and resentment keep them at a distance, despite the fact that they are openly affectionate toward others. If your kids show a reluctance to get close to you physically, you need to find out why.
  5. A child who lives in fear of his parent(s) is liable to become emotionally withdrawn. If your kid isn’t willing to express his feelings with you, it may be out of fear of being ridiculed or rejected. This is especially true if your child is willing to share those feelings with others instead of you.
  6. Older children might make constant excuses to avoid being alone with you, such as staying over at a friend’s house, or being late from school. When a child shows a consistent reticence to be in your company with no one else around, you’ve got a problem.
  7. When a kid sees her parent upset often, she can eventually begin to wonder whether that’s the parent’s natural state. At best, it will lead to apprehension about your mood. So if your kids frequently ask you if you’re mad or upset, it’s time to look in the mirror.
  8. In a divorced home, if your kids express a desire to live permanently with their other parent, you need to find out what it is that is causing your kids to want out. In combination with other signs listed here, it may be a sign that you’re scaring them away.
  9. Children often express themselves through drawings. Your child might be showing fear of you in his depictions of home life. If your child fears you, he may render your appearance as having an angry look, hands raised, disproportionate size, menacing pose, dark colors, etc.
  10. Misdirected anger is often a side effect of fear itself. When a child displays hostility or intimidating behavior toward others, it could be reflective of his own fears of abuse or hostility from you.


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