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Lunch & Learn
Thursday, April 25, 2013
11:30 amEvent co-chairs: Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Elizabeth O’Connor Cole, and Sonny Garg
This spring’s most anticipated event for Chicago parents!
On April 25, 2013, Chicago Children’s Theatre (CCT) will host its third annual Lunch & Learn event, featuring keynote speaker Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected. Spearheaded by prominent civic leaders Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Elizabeth O’Connor Cole, and Sonny Garg, who serve on CCT’s board, Lunch and Learn seeks to inspire Chicagoland parents. This event is both entertaining and informative, as attendees will learn about CCT, as well as experience a guest lecture from a renowned public speaker. Proceeds benefit Chicago Children’s Theatre.
Susan Stiffelman, MFT, is an internationally respected parent educator, therapist, and AOL/ Huffington Post Parent’s weekly parenting expert. Susan is known for her down to earth, parent-friendly advice on raising cooperative, connected, and resilient children.
Reviewers have described Parenting Without Power Struggles as “brilliant,” “essential,” and “this generation’s Dr. Spock.” It has been endorsed by notable authors including Harville Hendrix, John Gray, Michael Beckwith, Kurt Andersen, and Laurie David.
Lunch & Learn with Susan Stiffelman
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Union League Club of Chicago
65 W. Jackson Blvd.
- Individual Tickets $135
- Corporate Sponsorship: $5,000 includes logo recognition, 10 tickets to the event, and 10 copies ofParenting Without Power Struggles
- Supporting Sponsorship: $1,500 includes name recognition for company or individual, 4 tickets to the event, and 4 copies of Parenting Without Power Struggles
*** If you have any trouble registering, or have any questions, please contact Laura Ciresi Starr at email@example.com, or 773-227-0180 x 25
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of nursing and sleeping with your little ones, I’m always grateful to learn from people so committed and passionate about helping children have a loving and healthy start in life. If you are looking to deepen your perspective on parenting consider reading “Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children” written by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker. At is premise is the simple truth that when we strengthen families, we nurture and fulfill our children’s need for trust, respect, and affection, and ultimately provide a lifelong foundation for healthy, enduring relationships. The book teaches and promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. For life. So they can take those bonds with them into their adult lives and share them with their children. And their children can do the same. A life cycle of compassion and connection that enriches every area of their life and significantly impacts emotionally health and well-being. This is a very good read.
Founder and President, Cambridge Nanny Group
“Attached at the Heart offers readers practical parenting advice for the modern age. In its most basic form, “attachment parenting” is instinctive. A crying baby is comforted and kept close to parents for protection. If hungry, he or she is breastfed. And while it is understood that there is no such thing as perfect parenting, research suggests that there is a strong correlation between a heightened sense of respect, empathy, and affection in those children raised the “attachment parenting” way.
In this controversial book, readers will gain much needed insight into childrearing while learning to trust the intuitive knowledge of their child, ultimately building a strong foundation that will strengthen the parent-child bond.
Contrary to popular belief, “attachment parenting” has been practiced in one form or another since recorded history. Over the years, it had been slowly replaced by a more detached parenting style—a style that is now believed by experts to be a lead contributing factor to suicide, depression, and violence.
The concept of “attachment parenting”—a term originally coined by parenting experts William and Martha Sears—has increasingly been validated by research in many fields of study, such as child development, psychology, and neuroscience. Also known as “conscious parenting,” “natural parenting,” “compassionate parenting,” or “empathic parenting,” its goal is to stimulate optimal child development. While many attachment-parenting recommendations likely counter popular societal beliefs, authors Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker are quick to point out that the benefits outweigh the backlash of criticism that advocates of detached parenting may impose.” – Amazon.com Book Summary
Nannies are a feature of American life that lots of couples depend on them to raise their kids. But as MarketWatch’s Jim Jelter says, there are things your caregiver won’t tell you. (Photo: AP)
Ingrid Kellaghan, founder of Cambridge Nanny Group, discusses balancing parenthood and work, particularly during life’s busy seasons.
So many parents are living in burnout mode. They’re exhausted critters, just like the gerbil on the wheel, running from place to place, from priority to priority, and by the time they land at home they’re little reserve left to give families.
As the universe would have it, the start of the school year often coincides with work peaks across most industry sectors, including my work running Cambridge Nanny Group. Longer hours are required. Overnight travel becomes a necessity. I’ve learned to put boundaries in place so when I walk the tight rope between work and family, I don’t lose my balance. Most importantly, it provides me a reserve of emotional and physical resources so I give my family what it needs during the times my career demands more of my attention.
First, I make quitting time an absolute starting time. You wouldn’t show up for work an hour or two late every day; don’t show up for home “late” either.
Second, I leave my work at work. If I must take my work home I resolve to do it only after the last child is in bed and my husband is occupied with something else. I’ve had at least eight or nine hours at the office already; my family deserves my full attention at least half that time.
Third, there are times when I have to be on the road but there are ways to stay connected to my kid’s hearts:
- Call after school to see how their day went. (And no, texting won’t do. Children need to hear your voice. Even if your children or very young and can’t speak yet make that daily voice connection.
- Leave special notes, one for each day you’ll be gone.
- Keep bedtime routine intact, saying prayers or singing cherished songs together by phone.
- Record a reading of a favorite book so your child can listen to you “read on tope” before bedtime or during story time.
- Before you leave, agree on a special “reunion” activity…and stick to it like glue, no matter what work is waiting back in the office.
None of these are the same as being there in person, of course, but they show your love- and make the reunion at home that much sweeter.
Founder Cambridge Nanny Group
One of the trickiest parts of landing any nanny job can be negotiating the salary. While some employers or agencies might include salary (even if it’s just a range) in the job listing, others might withhold that information until a later stage of the interview process. They’re not doing this to be secretive or suspicious, though; most likely it’s because they don’t want to deal with discussing numbers until they’re relatively sure they’ve found a good candidate for the job.
When the time comes, you’ll need to be able to negotiate a good salary. You’ll want something that pays you well, but also something that’s fair to the employer. It needs to be rooted in reality, but also have room to expand over time. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Do Your Homework
The first place to start is by doing a little research on nanny salaries in your area. If this isn’t your first nanny job, you’ll at least have an idea of what nannies can make in the region, but no matter how much experience you have, it’s wise to see what other numbers are out there. Talk with other childcare professionals in your city (Facebook and Twitter can be helpful for finding local friends), and reach out to nanny agencies and review industry reports like the INA Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey to see what possible salary offers you can expect. You can also check other job listings to see if they include salary. These numbers are designed to give you a broad but reliable range of possible compensation targets, so you can keep yourself from going too high or too low.
Know How to State Your Case
A big part of salary talks is, simply, selling yourself. You need to be able to prove to a potential employer that you’re worth the price you’re asking. Take into account your experience, education and skill set when determining your earning potential. Tossing out a high number and just hoping for the best can look like you’re trying to take advantage of the employer or like you haven’t put any thought into the matter. But compensation is a vital part of the process, and it requires a lot of thought. Before the interview, make a list of your best qualities and highest priorities. Think about what you can offer, what you’ve achieved and where you’d like to be in one, five and 10 years. By arguing your merits, you can present yourself as an investment, not an expense.
Plan for Taxes
Your employer will be thinking about payroll taxes, and you should, too. Remember: Your paycheck isn’t a straight amount that you’ll be paid under the table. You should always think about how much you’ll really be making once you take typical nanny taxes into account. Again, this is where experience and research can come in handy. Make sure that the number you have in mind is net, not gross.
Anticipate a Compromise
This is crucial, and it goes back to finding something that’s fair for all parties. When discussing possible salary, you’ll want to start with a number that’s higher than what you reasonably anticipate making, with the understanding that the employer will counter with a number that’s lower than what they’re really willing to pay. This can be frustrating, but it’s just part of the way pay negotiations work. Remember, though, the employer will likely come up. You just have to be willing to go lower. Visualize your first number and final number with steps in between them, and be willing to take your requests down a notch each time. If you wind up with a higher salary than you’d imagined, great! If you wind up at your minimum required amount, that’s fine, too. Be clear and honest during these negotiations, though. If you hit your floor (the lowest you can accept) and the employer still balks, you might have to pass on the offer. Your satisfaction is just as important as theirs. If you’re both direct and plain about mutual needs, though, everyone should walk away happy.
This article was written by our friends at hireananny.org.
10 of the Best iPhone Apps for Creating and Maintaining a Family Schedule
Our friends @ nannyjob.com have some great tips on the best iPhone apps for creating and maintaining a family schedule. They asked us to share them with you so we hope you find the information helpful.
If you want to keep your family well organized, it’s helpful to have the support of today’s advanced app technology. By loading your iPhone up with the best organization apps, you’ll always stay one step ahead and keep on top of your family schedules. You can create to-do lists, calendars and schedules with these ten iPhone apps, which you can then share with the whole family so everyone knows what they need to be doing and when.
- Chore Hero – For parents who want a little help organizing chores for children, this app is ideal. You can assign chores to each of your children, or use the random function to automatically assign chores. If you want to set up reward schemes for your children, Chore Hero has a very useful profile system that will help you keep track of each child’s progress. You can pick up this app for $2.99.
- Dinner Spinner – When it comes to organizing dinner schedules for a family, sometimes a little help is appreciated. Dinner Spinner takes out all the worry of creating a weekly menu for your family. Just by shaking your phone, the app will return great recipes for you to create. If your family members have particular tastes, don’t worry, you can add ingredients to the app to find recipes that match your requirements.
- Family Organizer – This free app has both on and offline storage, which means all your events, to-do lists and calendars are always accessible. You can access your account via any iPhone device or your computer. With alerts you can keep everyone on their toes, meaning there are no excuses for missing schedules or chores.
- MobileLife® Family Organizer – If your kids are text crazy, then MobileLife will help you use it to your advantage. The app allows you, as a parent, to distribute schedules to a list of defined users. You can also create to-do lists, shopping lists and any other type of list you need on the main account. For a more hands-off approach, make sure to give everyone access to family calendars and lists, so that you don’t have to constantly remind your family of important tasks.
- Schedule Planner – For anyone who likes flexibility in an organizer, Schedule Planner is one of the best apps available. Some of the features included are color-coding, multiple options for creating lists and quick schedule creation tools. Schedule Planner is a free app and a must have for all iPhone users.
- Cozi – You can use this app to synchronize your family’s activities on multiple devices, which everyone with access can then view. The Cozi app allows you to create both individual and family calendars on an easy to use interface, so that chores are assigned to either specific users or a group. The app is free of charge from the iTunes store.
- Evernote – Along with the usual features you’d expect from an organizer, such as to-do lists, calendars and schedules, Evernote allows you to create voice and written memos for a more personal touch. All notes are completely searchable, no matter the format, and you can share all your notes and lists with family members, too. There are both free and premium versions of the app available for the iPhone.
- Baby Connect – This baby activity logger is ideal for new parents. You can keep in perfect harmony with your partner, babysitter, nanny or daycare by sharing synchronized information of your baby’s schedule and progress. The app costs $4.99, however, it allows you to track everything from feedings, nursing and naps, to diaper changes, important milestones in your baby’s life and even temperature changes.
- Grocery iQ – This may sound like it’s an app only for mom and dad, however, Grocery iQ is great for the whole family. You can set up custom shopping lists by item, aisle, repeat products and much more. Lists are sharable among family members, allowing everyone to help maintain perfect synchronicity. Using this free app, you’ll never run out of important household items again.
- Mom’s Daily Planner – An all in one planner, this app keeps a daily record of the to-do lists, schedules and tasks that you create, with today’s tasks highlighted as well as a list of overdue tasks. There are options to color-code, prioritize tasks and mark off completed tasks, too. For a free app, Mom’s Daily Planner is absolutely packed with useful features.
10 Things to Think About Before Accepting a Job that Pays Off the Books
Our friends at nannyjobs.com have asked that we share this important topic with our blog post with our readers. According to nannyjobs.com, the majority of nanny employers pay their nannies off the books or under the table. This means that the employer is not withholding any taxes from his nanny’s paycheck and he’s not paying his share of payroll taxes either. This can have serious consequences for both the employer and the nanny because working off the books is illegal. Before you decide to accept a position that pays cash, here are 10 questions to ask yourself.
- Am I comfortable with not being able to collect unemployment if I’m fired? If you’re fired from your job, do you have a large enough financial cushion to live on until you find a new position? One of the things your employer skips when he pays you cash is paying into the unemployment insurance system. Since your employer hasn’t been paying into the system, you won’t be able to collect benefits if you lose your job. So before you give up this benefit, think about how you’ll meet your financial obligations if you don’t have unemployment coming in.
- Am I comfortable with not being able to collect Worker’s Compensation if I’m hurt on the job? If you’re hurt while working a cash job, you won’t have the protection that Worker’s Compensation provides you. You’ll have to rely on your private health insurance. However, if they find out you were hurt on the job, in most cases they won’t cover the injury. What if you’re like a lot of nannies and don’t have health insurance? Then the costs of the injury fall directly on you to pay. Of course, you can ask your employer to cover them for you, but there’s no guarantee he will.
- How will not being able to prove my income affect me? If you’re trying to build your credit rating, qualify for a home or car loan or rent an apartment, accepting a cash job can work against you. Unless you’re paying taxes and filing a yearly tax return, you won’t be able to prove your income. This means the loan officer or the apartment manager won’t be able to offer you the loan or lease.
- Am I comfortable not saving for retirement through Social Security? If you’re in a cash only job, neither you nor your employer is contributing to your Social Security retirement account. Remember the amount of your retirement benefit is based on the amount you contributed over the years. So unless you’re doing a super job of saving for retirement on your own, you could find yourself at retirement age with no real means to retire.
- Can I afford to miss out on disability benefits? Did you know that if you’re unable to work, you may qualify for short or long term disability? The amount of your benefit is figured in part by your contribution to your Social Security account. However, if you’re paid in cash, those contributions don’t get made. This means that the disability benefit you’d otherwise be entitled to won’t be available to you.
- Will I still fight for my legal protections if that means admitting my part in avoiding taxes? If your employer fails to pay you according to labor laws, will you fight for what is owed you? If you’re being paid in cash, fighting for what you’re entitled to means you have to admit that you were being paid illegally.
- Does being paid under the table make me feel less professional? For many nannies, part of being professional is being paid legally. Before you take a cash job, think carefully about how being paid under the table will make you feel about yourself and your job.
- Am I comfortable lying to the IRS? When you’re paid under the table, you’re unable to report your income to the IRS. In essence, you have to lie to the federal government and claim that you’re not working at all. For many nannies, this forced deceitfulness isn’t worth a cash job.
- Will my employers take me less seriously because I’m paid like a babysitter? If your employers don’t pay you like a real household employee, will they see you as one? Or will they see you like the Saturday night babysitter who expects cash at the end of the evening? How your employer views you affects your whole employment relationship.
- Do I want to risk having to pay back taxes, fines, penalties and interest? Before you accept a cash job, think about what will happen if you’re caught. Are you in a position to pay the hefty amount you’ll owe the IRS? Do you want to be on their radar for the foreseeable future?
Our friends at gonannies.com have asked us to share their tips and insight into working as a part of a household team. Thanks GoNannies.com!
Many nannies today aren’t the only household employee working in a home. It’s not unusual for a family to also employ a housekeeper, a household manager, a cook and other people to help them manage the day to day tasks that come with running a home and caring for a family. While having a co-worker can be a welcome relief to the isolation that often comes with having a household job, it can be challenging to work alongside other employers in the home environment. Here are some tips for being successful when you’re part of a household staff.
Keep the terms of your employment to yourself. One of the quickest ways to cause problems with other staff members is to talk about how much money you make, what your last bonus was, how much paid vacation you get or any other terms of your work agreement. Even if your contract doesn’t state it directly, you should consider this information confidential between you and your employer. Mostly likely, some staffers are paid more than you and some are paid less. Those side by side comparisons only lead to hurt feelings.
Treat everyone with respect. Even in a private home, there’s a hierarchy in place. Someone has to be the boss. That may be the parent, the lead nanny or the household manager. Regardless of who you officially report to, treat all of your coworkers with respect. It can be easy in private service for people to feel that their job isn’t as important as another’s. This feeling can lead to unhealthy relationships. Treating everyone with respect for the hard work they do and the contribution they make, whether that’s scrubbing the bathroom or caring for the baby, will create a much happier work environment.
Don’t tell others how to do their job. It’s easy to see how someone can improve their performance when you’re standing on the sidelines. However, unless it’s part of your job description to manage the staff, it’s not your job to offer unsolicited advice on how the housekeeper, your co-nanny or other staff members should be doing things differently. You’re not privy to the instructions they’ve been given by your employer, and even if you feel confident your employer would agree with you, it’s still not your place. Because the professional boundaries in a private home are less defined to begin with, it’s especially important to abide by the ones in place. Conversely, offering suggestions when asked or providing key pieces of information the person needs to do her job well are part of being a good team player.
Avoid the gossip trap. Gossip is something that happens at every workplace. It’s not something that’s unique to the private service industry. However, because you work in a private home and maintaining confidentiality is part of your job, gossip can be a job killer. It’s easy to fall into the trap of commenting on what’s happening with your employer or repeating what another employee has told you. These innocent comments can quickly grow into destructive rumors and threaten your professional integrity and reputation. The best policy is to steer clear of gossip altogether. Don’t comment on your employers or co-workers, don’t repeat things that you’ve heard and don’t participate in conversations where gossip is center stage. It’s up to you to set strong boundaries in this area.
Be a team player. When you’re working with others in a household, everyone’s job is dependent in part on the other staffers. By working together, you can all do a better job and get tasks done more easily and effectively. Ask others how you can help and support them. Ask for help in return when you need it. Keep others in the loop on issues that will directly affect them. Keep the lines of communication open so others have the information they need to get their job done and to support you in yours.
Don’t add more work to another’s job. In a private home, often a staffer’s job description will include serving the family and also the nanny. However, this is a benefit provided to you, so take great care not to misuse it. If you have a housekeeper who cleans the nanny’s quarters too, make sure that your area is tidy and ready for her to clean. It may be her job to pick up the parents’ clothes off the floor, but it isn’t her job to do that for the nanny. If you have a chef who cooks your meals, make sure you offer suggestions when he asks and eat at time that doesn’t take away from his other duties. He’s on call for the family, but not for other staffers.
Working in a staffed household can be tricky. By keeping a few key rules in mind, you’ll be a welcome and important part of the staff.