It’s Valentine’s Day month and Pregnancy Magazine is celebrating with a big bag of baby gear for the new mom. Check out this great list of prizes you can win just by entering, including extra entries if you tweet or favorite on Facebook. Total value of this package is over $1600 from award winning brands – and you could be the winner!
Enter to WIN four (4) tickets to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago!$80 ValueLEGOLAND® is a family attraction located in SCHAUMBURG, IL for kids aged 3-10, with rides, 4D cinema and a variety of top LEGOattractions. Inside the Center you can let your imagination run wild as you learn top tips from our Master Model Builder, join your favorite LEGO characters in our 4D cinema experiences, pedal fast on our Technicycle Ride and find plenty of places to build amazing LEGO creations.
To enter this giveaway, just send email to firstname.lastname@example.org aswering the following question:
What’s your favorite thing to do with kids in the Winter?
Are you loving indoor play spaces in the cold weather? Libraries? Museums? Just shout out your favorite spot and your automatically entered to win.
One entry per person, please. Contest ends Saturday at 9PM PST.
Winners will be selected at random and announced Sunday.
Looking for a perfect Valentine gift for a precious little one? Check out MAM Love & Affection pacifiers with delicate heart themed designs (or, their personalized pacifiers to customize your very own love message to baby!). MAM pacifiers give babies the best start in life because they are designed and developed by pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Visit www.mambaby.com for more information.
About MAM Pacifiers
Developed by leading pediatric dentists and developmental psychologists, MAM pacifiers provide maximum comfort and style for babies of all ages.
Clever design and lightweight materials make MAM pacifiers a pleasure to use. All MAM pacifiers feature an orthodontically correct nipple design that allows little ones to safely satisfy their sucking reflex while maintaining proper jaw and tooth alignment. MAM pacifiers feature an easy-to-grasp front knob and a curved shield for a comfortable fit that’s gentle on baby’s skin, thanks to generous air holes and MAM’s patented interior surface.
MAM pacifiers are available in an assortment of colors and design motifs, and come in two nipple options: patented anti-slip Silk Teat™ Silicone or Natural Latex. Like all MAM products, the brand’s pacifiers are BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free and CPSIA-Compliant.
Suggested retail price: MAM Pacifiers, $7.49 for a pack of two; MAM Personalized Pacifiers, two for $19.95, four for $24.95, and six for $29.95.
Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1976, MAM offers real solutions for real parenting with an award-winning range of smart and simple products. A global leader in the baby care category, MAM’s mission is to combine the best in technological innovation, medically sound function and contemporary design to provide innovative baby care products essential for a child’s early years. The MAM collection includes pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, and oral care items. MAM is sold in over 30 countries and five continents. For more information about MAM products, please visit www.mambaby.com.
Don’t let a bad nanny hire happen to you. Follow our five hiring best practices to help ensure you don’t end up making a “desperate hire”.
As some parents can attest, few things cause more headaches than choosing the wrong nanny for your family in an act of hiring desperation.
First, there’s the time (and resources) you spend trying to acclimate the new hire. Then, there’s the adverse impact that a mismatch can have on your family. Finally, when the time comes for you and the wrong hire to part ways, you’re left right where you started.
Desperate Hire Warning Signs
Before we get into how to avoid making a desperate hire, let’s see if any of these warning signs ring true.
You’re beyond busy – too busy, in fact, to even look at the nanny profiles in your inbox.
And when you do look at profiles you’re overwhelmed. How are you going to assess each candidate’s skills, expertise and experience?
Your nanny quit or was terminated abruptly. Your missing work and projects are piling up because you don’t have childcare. You need someone ASAP.
Stress and exhaustion are shortening your fuse. You’re this close to hiring the first person who walks through the door.
Spotting the Desperation Hire
Say you need a nanny who speaks fluent French, is experienced with gluten-free meal preparation, and she’s available to work until 7:30pm. Nanny Jane’s childcare expertise is so impressive and hard to come by that you’re willing to overlook the fact that you didn’t really “click” with her and you don’t share all the same childcare philosophies.
What should you do?
Be proactive. In other words, don’t wait until the very last minute. Plan ahead and give yourself at least 6-8 weeks so you aren’t rushing the hiring process. The right nanny is out there for you, be patient until you find her.
Consider a Temp Nanny. Don’t let an urgent need bind you to a flawed candidate. If you’re in a bind, buy yourself some time by hiring someone on temporary basis. You may even find that your temporary nanny is interested in working full-time, allowing you to find someone who’s both tried and true.
Rely on experts. If you feel stressed, short on time and overwhelmed by the thought of assessing candidates’ skills, use an expert agency. A good nanny agency employs expert recruiters who not only understand the industry and hiring landscape, but also have access to top nanny talent that may never come in contact with your job description. Plus, they’ll evaluate candidates for you so you can focus on everything else in your life. It’s important to keep in mind that a nanny agency charges a referral fee . You’ll need to understand their policies and fees regarding temporary or permanent candidates.
Commit to the Process. Hiring the right nanny takes time. This means conducting multiple in-person interviews and allowing for shadowing or working trial days. You should feel great, even excited, about your decision. If you have even the slightest bit of doubt on a candidate stop and reevaluate. Doubt usually means “Don’t”. Trust your gut. Wait to find “The One”. You’re worth the wait!
Keep Positive and Maintain Great Attitude. If you’ve made a bad nanny hiring decision – hiring someone new can be daunting. Instead of blaming yourself or anybody and constantly rehashing past mistakes, take the opportunity to learn from the past. Ask yourself, what could I have done differently. Build on your past experience to make better hiring decisions next time. Focus on a new beginning.
In order to avoid making a desperate hire, you’ll need to plan ahead. Know the current market and hiring trends, then be prepared to say no to the right skills if the right fit just isn’t there.
Hiring takes time. If you’re short on it, and desperate not to make a bad hire, hire a temporary caregiver until you find the match that best fits you and your family.
You’ve applied to the position, received an electronic confirmation your resume was received, and you may have even successfully completed the interview process. You kick your feet up waiting for the interviews and job offers to roll. But a couple of days and weeks go by and you still haven’t heard anything. What happened? What’s a neglected job seeker supposed to do? Before reaching out to the nanny agency or recruiter take a step back a look at the situation from your recruiters perspective if you are working with a top nanny or domestic agency:
Nanny Recruiter daily job responsibilities:
• They spend about four to five hours a day on the phone.
• They make contact with about 600 people every week through in-person interviews, telephone screens, and other types of communication.
• They can receive anywhere from 500 to 1,000 emails every day.
• The office receives at least 100+ calls from potential job seekers daily.
Now that you have a mental picture of a recruiter’s daily challenges, here are some highly recommended strategies you should use in order to get a recruiter’s attention. Here’s five things you can do to help your recruiter better help you:
1) Email, Don’t Call.
Skip the phone and send email. Keep it simple. A few sentences reminding the recruiter of something specific you discussed or asking for next steps in the process is the best way to go. Be sure to include your full name and contact information on each correspondence. If you are responding to a specific job posting take the time to highlight your experience and back it up with specific examples of why you are a good fit. Reaching out once a week is a good best practice.
2) Develop a Comprehensive Resume Recruiters need to know the details about every position you held even the ones that only lasted three months. While you may choose to minimize employment gaps you need to be upfront and honest with the recruiter – about everything. Unexplained job gaps and interruptions in work history can be “red flags” that can take your resume to the bottom of the pile.
3) Contact References. You may have presented a stellar resume but if your work cannot be verified your recruiter is unable to represent you. Period. When a recruiter has difficulty reaching your references they’ll eventually move onto the next candidate. Be proactive. Contact your references directly requesting that they get in touch with your recruiter to prevent your job search from being stalled.
4) Be proactive, not desperate. It’s perfectly acceptable to show your enthusiasm when following up. That’s a good thing. But please don’t be desperate or communicate how much you are in need of work. It’s a huge turn off that will have the opposite effect. If your calling and emailing multiple times a day you may be viewed as inpatient or high maintenance and your recruiter will most likely pass you over
5) Don’t be a square peg in a round hole. If the hiring family is looking for a newborn specialist, please don’t try to “sell” us on why your experience with teenagers is transferrable. Remember our clients are paying us to present candidates who most closely align with their ideal profile.
6) Demonstrate Professional Maturity. Recruiters learn a lot about candidates during the selection process. The worst part of a recruiter’s job is telling someone they weren’t selected for an interview or get a job offer. However, your recruiter is more likely to consider you for future opportunities if you handle the news gracefully and express your willingness to get back on the saddle again. The most successful job seekers are not easily discouraged and maintain a positive attitude.
Cooperation and collaboration are the keys to a successful recruiter-candidate relationship. If you are a great candidate, well prepared, professional, and know exactly what you are looking for – you will not be forgotten by a recruiter. I hope these tips help and happy job hunting!
December 1, 2013
I am often asked what is like to run a nanny and domestic agency, with all the complexities of human relationships and interpersonal/family dynamics. Here is my immediate response: It is a privilege and joy to serve families, children, and caregivers. There is not a single day that passes that I don’t receive gratitude from those I serve. It’s people that make my work pure joy. This is not to say that my work has yielded a continual stream of hugs, kisses, flowers, and applause. I have also felt the sharp sting of critique. Some of the criticism has been true, many of it was false, and some was outright malicious. As a parent, it’s important my children look to me as an example and role model on handling criticism, effectively. When teaching a child to handle criticism effectively it’s critical they learn to differentiate between constructive and destruction criticism. So, what really is the difference?Constructive criticism: The process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work or actions of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a collaborative manner rather than an oppositional one. This kind of criticism is often a valuable tool in raising standards. Like it or not, if someone provides constructive criticism you will most likely recognize truth in their words. This kind of feedback provides tangible examples and includes an action plan for improvement. It leads to growth and improvement.Destructive criticism: On the other hand, destructive or toxic criticism is typically delivered in a harsh words, using broad unspecific terms or generalizations, is demoralizing, and quite possibly done in a public place where their are plenty of listening ears. The intention is to harm someone. To derogate or destroy someone, their work, their reputation and self esteem. To navigate the waters of unhealthy criticism you must learn to make a detour and walk away. They key to navigating criticism is to figure out which are helpful, and steer clear of those that aren’t. This lesson holds true whether your 5 or 85.According to Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. The fact is the matter is that if you are committed to doing anything in life worthwhile you will face criticism. Here are a few great quotes on criticism:It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore RooseveltBefore you go and criticize the younger generation, just remember who raised them. UnknownThe artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. William FaulknerAny fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. Dale CarnegieWhen we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical. UnknownI have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism. Charles SchwabCriticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. Emmet FoxIngrid KellaghanFounder and President, Cambridge Nanny Group
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and to prepare for holiday travel with your little ones be sure to enter the “essential Thanksgiving travel kit sweepstakes!” Travel this holiday season with baby essentials from Svan and B.box Baby Essentials!!
One grand prize winner receives the Totseat and the essential baby bottle, diaper wallet, snack pack and travel bib from b.box!
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
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
Attachment at the Heart
“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