Compared to other agencies Morningside presented a higher caliber of candidate.
Morningside Nannies was outstanding. The process was stress free and the caliber of applicants was far superior to that of other agencies. Morningside Nannies was thorough in their review and timely presentation of candidates.
In a time crunch you provided me with two excellent applicants within hours!
Quality of applicants was way above what we had hoped for. Thoroughly enjoyed working with your agency – we will highly recommend you to friends.
Morningside Nannies blew the others away!
We used two other services and an online service. Morningside Nannies had the most highly qualified candidates, one of whom we selected.
As a new mom I was nervous about hiring a nanny, but now I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve sung your praises to everyone I know.
Objective and professional with an obvious personal touch, small but important comments about each person.
Thank you so much. I would recommend your company to absolutely everyone in need of help. You always asked questions to ensure proper performance.
I have used two other agencies, both were difficult to work with and did not live up to their promises and Morningside Nannies did.
“My boss left all the dirty dishes from the weekend in the sink for me to wash.”
“My nanny refuses to empty the garbage when it’s full because doing so is not in her contact.”
“My boss says she’s going to be home at 6, but never shows up till 7.”
On any given day, these snippets of conversation can be heard around the water cooler at work and around the swings at the playground.
When it comes to nannies and parents, it’s often the little things that are the source of biggest frustrations. Establishing a relationship where common courtesy is always extended will help to foster a lasting relationship built on mutual respect.
So what are some of the common courtesies nannies and employers should always extend?
As a rule of thumb, nannies should always leave their employer’s home at least as tidy as it was when they arrive. While nannies are typically responsible for doing the children’s laundry, preparing and cleaning up after the children’s meals and keeping the children’s areas clean and organized, sometimes parents tend to throw their laundry and dishes in with the kids or forget to empty the clean dishwasher from the weekend, knowing the nanny has no choice but to empty it before using it herself. Nannies can be found guilty of doing the same. They may avoid taking out the trash at the end of the day, even though it’s nearly full or clean around an employer’s mess in the kitchen, rather than picking it up because it wasn’t one they made. Regularly having to clean up after someone else or tend to tasks that should have been done by the last person on duty can be an ongoing source of frustration.
In the nanny and family relationship, to be early is to be on time is a good motto to live by. Showing up five minutes early allows time for transition. Unless transition time is built into the schedule, showing up exactly when the other person is supposed to leave will inevitably make her run a few minutes late. When this happens each day it can be a major source of frustration.
While running a few minutes late may not seem like a big deal, when someone runs late more often than they do not, it’s frustrating. This is especially true when a delay isn’t communicated to the waiting party. When running behind schedule, send a text message or make a phone call to let the other person know the updated estimated time of arrival.
Nannies often do whatever needs to get done. Doing so tends to be in their nature. But when their well-meaning gestures turn into expectations, it can be problematic. For example, say a parent forgets to move their clothes out of the dryer. While the nanny could simply take them out, do the children’s clothes and then throw them back in, leaving them wrinkled and waiting for her boss, most nannies will fold the clothes neatly and place them on top of the dryer. When folding the parent’s clothes becomes a new expectation of the nanny, it will cause frustration. If a nanny or parent does something outside of their typical scope of responsibilities, thank her and let her know that while it’s appreciated, it’s also understood that she didn’t have to tackle the task.
Being in a working relationship requires flexibility. Given children aren’t always predictable, parents and nannies typically commute to work, and people with their own responsibilities and commitments are in a relationship, that should go without saying. There are a lot of outside factors that influence how a nanny and parent’s day is going to unfold. Knowing flexibility is required can ease frustration when situations warrant a give and take.
Each person and their time, contributions to the relationship, and talents are valuable. Show respect by not taking advantage of the relationship, by sticking to agreements, by following through on commitments, and by facilitating open and honest communication. There is a lot less frustration in relationships that are based on mutual respect.
When it comes down to it, the bottom line is that nannies and parents should treat each other the way they want the children to treat others. When they do, there will be less frustration and the children will have a healthy relationship to emulate.Posted in Advice for Nannies | Leave a comment
A child’s first hair cut is a milestone worth remembering, whether he’s got long, flowing locks or just a few wisps that need to be tamed. When it comes to salons, however, not all are created equal in terms of meeting the needs of parents and their children. Your little one may not be comfortable in a high-end salon filled with cutting-edge stylists, and those haute couture stylists may be less than eager to tackle haircuts for children. These ten Houston salons are known for their specialization and focus on kids, making them ideal choices for your child’s first experience with the cape and clippers.
Little Lords and Ladies is more than just a kids’ salon, it’s also a high-end boutique. If you want to pick up a cute new outfit to celebrate Baby’s new hairdo, Little Lords and Ladies should be at the top of your list. The salon and boutique was established in 1984, giving the group almost three decades of experience in keeping Houston kids stylish.
The First Haircut Program at Cool Cuts 4 Kids is designed with sentimental parents in mind. A Cool Cuts 4 Kids stylist will not only give your little one the trim that she needs, but also present you with a certificate that features a lock of her hair. For an extra $1.99, you can even pick up a magnetic picture frame for a snapshot of the big moment. Don’t forget your camera!
Snip-its is a franchise with locations in more than half of the states in the Union, but the Rice Village location is a particular favorite among Houston parents. The bright colors and whimsical decor is sure to enchant little ones, while games and activities keep them engaged as an experienced stylist with special training to help them cater to kids gives your child his very first haircut.
The Parents Connect program sponsored by kids’ programming giant Nickelodeon voted TGF Salon the winner of their 2008 Parents’ Picks award for the Best Haircut for Teens in Houston. While your child isn’t likely to reach his teen years without ever experiencing his first haircut, the reasonable prices along with the friendly and knowledgeable staff will still make a big impression on your pint-sized client.
Sweet and Sassy in The Woodlands is a favorite destination for birthday party spa days for the smaller set, but can also cater to the needs of even the youngest customer. Older girls can get pedicures and manicures just like Mom does, while little ones have their first experience with the snipping action.
There’s something to be said for speed, efficiency and a great value. The Supercuts chain has locations all over the country, and is successful for a reason: the stylists there know the secret to getting you in and out in a hurry. When little ones are simply too frantic about the experience of having their first haircut to enjoy cartoonish décor or big-kid pampering products, a nationwide chain may be the way to go.
The MasterCuts chain is usually housed in a shopping mall, and the Almeda Mall location is no exception. Mastercuts specializes in timelessly cool styles for the entire family, from the youngest to the oldest.
Billed as a salon for kids, Pigtails and Crewcuts features not only a First Haircut package for their smallest customers, but also a full range of fun events for older kids like a Girls and Dolls movie night in which little girls and their favorite American Girl doll can get matching hairstyles before watching an American Doll movie. Pigtails and Crewcuts also features services directed at repairing the hair of expensive dolls that have seen better days.
The name says it all at this Bellaire Boulevard salon for youngsters. Movies and games are provided to keep kids occupied, and the stylists are trained to help little ones feel more at ease during the sometimes-stressful experience of a first haircut.
If you’re a parent who believes that your child should have only the finest things in life from the earliest age, why not spring for a trip to a higher-end salon? Behold the Beauty does offer kids’ services in a fashionable setting.
While it may be tempting to take your child’s first haircut into your own hands so that you’re able to document the milestone the way you want, it’s wise to keep in mind that there’s a reason why stylists are educated and tested before obtaining their license. Kids’ hair tends to grow slower than their adult counterparts, so your little one will be rocking a lopsided ‘do for quite a while if you make a mistake. These professionals are among the best in the Houston area when it comes to kids’ haircuts, and have earned their reputation through years of experience and service to the community.Posted in Advice for Nannies, Advice for Parents, Houston | Leave a comment
It’s no secret that children are like sponges. From the television they watch to the people they spend time with, children absorb everything from anything and anyone they’re around.
When it comes to finding childcare, parents who choose a qualified caregiver who follows the same moral code as their family will be more at peace with their childcare arrangement. Leaving your child in the care of a provider who wholly supports your lifestyle, child-rearing practices, parenting philosophy and house rules can give you confidence that your children are being well-cared not only physically, but in accordance with your family’s moral code while you’re away.
Whether spoken or not, every family has a moral code. Your family’s moral code defines the standards you expect members of your family to live by. It may include standards for how you treat others, how you treat yourself, what types of media is allowed in your home, how your children dress, and when children can date. Your moral code is likely influenced by your religious beliefs. Putting your family’s moral code on paper can help you articulate what you believe is acceptable and is not acceptable for those within your family.
Before you begin looking for a caregiver, you’ll want to be able to express your caregiving expectations. Your caregiving expectations may be different if you’re hiring a date night sitter to provide occasional childcare a few hours a month than if you’re hiring a full-time nanny. While you may expect your full-time nanny to provide moral support and guidance in accordance with your family’s code, your babysitter may simply need to support your code by following the instructions you leave with regards to what’s okay and what’s not while you’re away.
If you want to find a caregiver who follows your moral code, you’ll want layout what following that code will mean in practical terms. If you expect your caregiver to limit television viewing to no more than one hour a day from a preapproved list of television shows or to ensure that she teaches your children a new blessing each week to say before their snacks and meals, you’ll want to include that in the job description. If you require your caregiver to create an environment that supports modesty, honesty and volunteerism, you’ll want to include that too. When you’re up front about what the caregiver’s duties and responsibilities will be you will attract caregivers who are eager and willing to fulfill them.
Every family has a list of house rules they expect family members to live by. These rules may include things like no swearing, no hitting, no lying, no cheating, no gossiping and no R-rated movies. They may also include things like help others when you see a need, honor your parents and love God. Presenting your house rules to a potential caregiver provides you an opportunity to gauge how the caregiver responds to them and an opportunity for the caregiver to determine if they are rules she can fully and wholly support and enforce.
There’s no better way to determine if a caregiver follows your moral code than by asking questions about her own. Asking open-ended questions like “What type of television do you typically let children watch?” and “What types of community service projects have you done with the children you’ve cared for?” can provide insight into the ideas and principles she’s comfortable passing onto the children in her care. Asking questions like “What do you think is the most important thing you pass on onto children is?” and “Tell me about your discipline philosophy” can help you better understand her worldview.
Every caregiver you leave your child with should be qualified to keep your child safe and provide attentive care. Running a background check, reviewing her driving record, checking personal and professional references, and contacting previous employers will give you an opportunity to learn more about any caregiver you are considering hiring so that you can make an educated and informed hiring decision. When you request personal references ask the caregiver to provide the name of a clergy member, volunteer team leader or other respected community leader who knows and has worked with the caregiver firsthand.
Whether it’s for a few hours or five days per week, your caregiver has the opportunity to influence your child. Be sure to choose a caregiver who will be a positive influence and a huge follower and supporter of your family’s moral code.
The best way to keep informed about news, events, locations and entertainment in the Houston area is by subscribing to local publications. These organizations and websites tailor their content, through newsletters, articles, blogs and directories, to bring you all the latest information so that you don’t have to spend hours trawling the Internet. These ten publications are a mixture of sources that cover life and parenting in Houston.
HFM is a one-stop resource for Houston parents and families. Local events, family resources and contests are just some of the features you will find here. The Rach Riot blog follows one Houston mom as she laughs, cries or hides from the challenges of parenthood – all in good fun, of course. The publication also has a great parenting directory, covering every subject you can imagine.
Part of the Houston Chronicle, Mom Houston is a parenting publication created in a blogging style. Mom Houston concentrates on bringing all the latest news and advice on both a local and state level. The Houston Chronicle parent site also offers a wide range of resources for local events, restaurants and entertainment, as well as news, weather and traffic information. Don’t leave home without checking the latest updates.
This publication is all about fun, community, parents and kids in the Houston area. With an extensive list of family-friendly businesses, restaurants and children’s events listed, parents will love this useful resource. SCP also offers reasonable advertising for local businesses that wish to appeal to families with young children. Make sure to choose your area of Houston for local events and services.
This is one of the fastest-growing publications in the country. As well as the parenting category you will find links to food & fun resources, home & garden, and range of professional family services. The publications clean and easy interface makes navigating the site fast and efficient. There are also a large number of articles, specifically written for parents and families.
Rather than focusing on generic information for parents in Houston, Bayou City Media is a hub that hosts links to its own websites from the entire city, broken down by area. Simply click on the area name closest you to, and then choose from a range of categories including local entertainment, shopping, amenities and much more.
The Kid’s Directory has been serving the Houston area for over twenty years, bringing parents all the best news on what’s going on locally. The site includes a directory with three categories – South, North and Central. The kid’s resources section covers places to go, helpful articles and newsletters from the publication. Then there is the Kid’s Zone that features art, poetry and an opportunity for your child to feature on the cover of future publications.
This North Houston publication is the ideal resource for parents looking for the best family deals, coupons and “kids eat free” locations. There is also a calendar of events so that you can plan your family days out by choosing a date range and specifying the type of activities or events from a predefined-category list. Offers are updated daily, ensuring that you will always benefit from the best deals available in Houston.
This publication provides parents with information on community, neighborhood, environmental and education developments in the Houston area. Houston Tomorrow’s mission statement is to improve quality for all the people of the Houston region through research, education, and discussion. Make sure to check this publication often for the latest news that affects you and your family in Houston.
A publication on behalf of the Houston Arts Alliance, this site is full of fun events that combine arts education and entertainment. Both children and parents will love the events listed in this great publication, as there is plenty to keep the entire family entertained. Although there is a category aimed specifically at kids and families, make sure to search the broader categories so that you don’t miss on other great family events.
Texas Parenting provides a wealth of information on all things family. Featuring news, tips, trends and products, Texas parents will appreciate the modern and fresh perspective the publication offers.
For work from home parents, hiring a nanny seems like the perfect childcare solution. Work from home parents seemingly get the best of both worlds as they’re able to continue to work while being in the home with their children. And since they are home, they’re able to closely supervise their nanny and monitor her interactions with their children, which can ease anxiety and increase confidence in their decision to work from home.
But, being a work from home parent with a nanny it’s always easy. For the children, knowing mom or dad is in the next room can cause a reluctance to stay with the caregiver and cause the children to question who is really in charge. For the parents, hearing their children cry or fuss can be too much to bear, which can result in a decrease in productivity if they keep popping in to provide comfort and reassurance. And for the nanny, boundaries can become blurred when parents pop in and out which can lead to confusion about her role and responsibilities and frustration over constant interruptions to the children’s routine.
At Morningside Nannies, we’ve seen many work from home parents have successful relationships with their nanny which has allowed them to really experience the best of both worlds they so actively seek. Those who have successful nanny relationships tend to have five key things in common.
While it can be tempting to work on the couch in the family room, work from home parents with successful nanny relationships establish a separate work space out of sight and out of earshot of their children. They shut the door and go to work, as if they were in an office space away from home.
One of the benefits of working from home and hiring a nanny is being able to interact with the kids during the day. Seasoned work from home parents know that impromptu interruptions can wreak havoc on a child’s routine so they set up do not disturb hours and set hours for when it’s okay for the children to pop in and say hello.
Work from home parents may enjoy having lunch with their children, but know if they’re going to do lunch with the kids it needs to be on the kids’ schedule. Likewise, savvy work from home moms know that coming into say hello during times of transitions, especially ones that aren’t received welcomingly, will deter the kid’s and nanny’s success.
When there are two authority figures present, children expect one person to take the lead. Kids are notorious for asking one adult the same question after the other has said no, hoping to get the answer they seek. Experienced work from home parents know the value in backing up their nanny when it comes to matters of discipline and decisions and know that the best way to address any preferences for handling situations is away from the kids. A nanny who is constantly undermined will lose the respect of the children and won’t be able to do her job well.
It can be so tempting to run in and rescue your child when your nanny is trying to get him down for a nap or feed him something other than macaroni and cheese, but don’t. If you’ve hired an experienced caregiver you trust, give her chance to do her job to your satisfaction without constantly stepping in and taking over. Build confidence in your caregiver by allowing her to work through issues with your children. When you do you’ll be glad to see she’s able to comfort and calm them too.
At Morningside Nannies, we place prescreened nannies with a variety of backgrounds who seek a variety of types of positions. While some nannies simply won’t work for stay at home parents because they don’t want to be micromanaged, others prefer to partner with work at home parents and help them to achieve their desires to have the best of both worlds.
If you are seeking a qualified nanny, contact a placement specialist today at (713) 526-3989 to begin your nanny search. Our placement specialists will consider your family’s needs and only present to you those candidates who are capable of meeting or exceeding your caregiving expectations.Posted in Advice for Nannies, Advice for Parents | Leave a comment
As a woman, one of the most important doctors you will ever have in your life is your obstetrician. You want to make sure to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, and is the best in the business. Most importantly, you want a doctor who will do whatever it takes for you and your unborn child. There are several competent doctors in the Houston area, but these ten are among the very best in terms of years of experience and ratings from their patients.
Dr. Russell has been in the field for 13 years. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine in 1996. His office is at Champion Women’s Center in Houston. According to vitals.com, he was awarded the Patients’ Choice Award from 2008 to 2011.
Dr. Rosen began his medical career as a Navy SEALS paramedic. He is currently the Chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Memorial City Hospital. Dr. Ronen graduated from Baylor College of Medicine. On vitals.com, a total of 35 reviewers gave him an average 3.5 out of 4 star rating. One patient on that site said, “Dr. Ronen is the kindest and has the best bedside manner! I will never go to another obgyn if I can help it.”
Dr. Ford practices obstetrics and gynecology in Houston after studying at Howard University College of Medicine. He graduated in 1976 and now works at West Oaks Hospital.
Dr. Thornton has worked at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic since 2002. She completed her degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1988. The Kelsey-Seybold website quotes Dr. Thornton as saying, “I believe in educating my patients. This will enable them to make good decisions about their health.” She is board certified.
Dr. Norton graduated from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1993 and completed her residency in 1997. She has been practicing medicine since 1998. She currently works at the Northwest Women’s Center. On vitals.com, her patients gave her an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 4. A patient’s review from that site stated, “She is smart, strong, astute, kind, and listens. She doesn’t rush out of the room. She goes above and beyond and is always available even to talk on the phone if needed.”
Dr. Heiman has been practicing obstetrics and gynecology in the Houston area since 2007. She is currently working at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. On top of being board certified, she is fluent in Spanish and Russian.
Dr. Hold currently works at Women’s Health Care Center in Houston and has been practicing for six years. One patient on vital.com gave him this review: “Dr. Hold is one of a kind. He is extremely gentle during exams and takes the time to answer all your questions. He is highly intelligent and truly compassionate. I would and have recommended him to family and friends.” He graduated from the University of Texas at Galveston in 2003.
Dr. Wheeler has been practicing medicine since 1988. He is currently a doctor at The Center for Women’s Healthcare in Houston. He graduated from Harvard College, Baylor College of Medicine and residency program, as well as Yale’s REI fellowship. Dr. Wheeler has additional training as an epidemiologist, statistician and attorney. Healthgrades.com shows a patient satisfaction rate of 93%, meaning 93% of his patients would recommend him to family or friends.
Dr. Witz has 21 years of experience and is currently an OB/GYN, specializing in fertility, at Houston Fertility Institute. On vitals.com, his patients give him a glowing 4 out of 4 star rating. One is quoted as saying, “Dr. Witz and his staff set a standard which all doctor’s offices should strive to be. He is so compassionate and down to earth, his bedside manner is by far the best I have received from any doctor in my life.”
Dr. Pham graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1993. He specializes in obstetrics and gynecology and is board certified. He currently works at Willowbrook Women’s Health in Houston. Healthgrades.com lists his care philosophy as: “Listening to a patient is the first step in caring for the patient.”
It can be difficult to find the right doctor to care for you during such an exciting and scary period of your life, especially if you’re not sure where to start. This list should give you some direction and at least help you narrow down the scope of your choices from the hundreds and possibly thousands of obstetricians in Houston alone.Posted in Houston | Comments Off
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a nanny but not sure if it’s the right career path for you, consider testing the waters out by working as a summer nanny. Summer nanny jobs require a short-term commitment, but full immersion experience into the world of private in-home childcare.
For those with minimal childcare experience, a summer nanny job can be a great segue into full-time nanny work. Individuals with past babysitting experience, camp counselor experience, or preschool or daycare teaching experience are ideal candidates for summer nanny positions. Since most families, especially those with infants, and reputable nanny agencies will require more extensive childcare experience, working as a summer nanny can give you that.
Most parents will require nannies to have references before considering them for employment. While references from family and friends can be okay too, most parents and most all reputable nanny agencies will require professional childcare references, which must include childcare references from nonfamily members. Having solid childcare references is essential for securing future nanny employment. Adding a summer nanny job and employer reference to your resume can help quality you for full-time nanny positions.
Working as a nanny is different than working as any other type of childcare provider. Nannies work in private homes with minimal supervision or adult interaction. Since nannies are typically the sole employee of the family, formal breaks come in the form of downtime when the children are napping. Nannies are also responsible for all tasks related to providing care, including doing the children’s laundry and preparing nutritious meals and snacks. Some nannies enjoy working in the private home setting while others prefer working in a classroom setting. Depending on your personality and caregiving style, private in-home childcare may or may not present an enjoyable work environment for you.
For many full-time nannies, they got their first taste of working as a nanny thanks to a summer nanny job. And it seems only natural that it happened as such. Preschool or daycare teachers who are looking for something different are often approached by parents who are seeking something different too, which leads to a natural caregiver family pairing. College graduates who have studied early childhood education often seek immediate employment and working as a summer nanny can provide a steady income and additional childcare experience while they seek full-time year-round work. Others tend to fall into nannying after being approached to take a summer babysitting job and before they know it, they’ve secured year-round, full-time nanny work.
Qualified summer nannies are in high demand. If you’re considering being a nanny or looking to break into the field, try being a summer nanny first. Contact Morningside Nannies today to learn more about our Houston area summer nanny placement opportunities or stop by our office Monday through Friday between 10 am to 3 pm to complete a summer nanny application.Posted in Advice for Nannies | Comments Off
Traveling with children isn’t always fun, especially when you’re in a city that seems to have a dearth of activities and destinations for kids. Thankfully, Houston is definitely not one of those cities. This vibrant, exciting locale is filled with things for kids to do, from the Theater District to the Galleria.
Theaters can be boring to kids, seeming stuffy or like something that’s only for grownups, but Miller Outdoor Theater turns it into an exciting new venture your kids will enjoy as much as you do. In addition to the outdoor location that eliminates any trace of stuffiness, Miller Outdoor Theatre’s offerings are often geared towards children.
If your kids love playing in the outdoors, be sure to take them to Discovery Green. It’s a 12-acre wonderland of parks, playgrounds, fountains and more. Concerts, dance performances and festivals make this a necessary stop on your next trip to Houston.
What better place to take your kids than the Children’s Museum of Houston? Walk through Kidtropolis, USA, an indoor, miniaturized town made just for the smaller set to explore. Your kids can even help run the town by becoming workers, shoppers and business owners, which helps to teach lessons in civics and social studies while providing plenty of big-time fun.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science has a little something for everyone in your family to enjoy. A butterfly house brings you all a little closer to a beautiful part of nature, while the giant screen theater teaches about different groups of animals that are either extinct or still alive in the world today. The staggering array of installations and exhibits makes HMNS a great place to while away an afternoon or two.
Shopping with the kids doesn’t have to be a burden. Bring them along to the Galleria Mall in Houston. Give them a chance to burn off excess energy at the indoor skating rink before hitting the mind-boggling array of stores. Be one of the 26 million annual visitors to this epic location.
If you’ve ever wondered where the commanders were when they heard the words, “Houston, we have a problem,” wonder no more; they were located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Learn about the technology used to put humans in outer space and to return them safely home, while you marvel at the wonders humanity has developed.
As if a zoo wasn’t enough of a draw, there is a children’s area inside of the Houston Zoo, where kids can get up close and personal with some of their favorite animals. On top of having a petting zoo, the children’s zoo also has its very own bat cave. Learn about all the different species along with your kids. You’ll pick up on some interesting new facts alongside your children!
Kids are drawn to animals and action. There’s nothing that brings those two things together like a rodeo. The events themselves may sound like they should be for adults only, but there are some little cowboys and girls that participate in events such as barrel races (with stick horses), steer roping (with straw as the steer) and bull riding (with the bull being a seesaw).
The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art hosts an annual Art Car Parade and Festival, which showcases more than 250 vehicles. If you don’t happen to be in town while the parade is taking place, head over to their location for hands on activities for all ages, including adults. Aside from the parade, they host a seemingly unending amount of events sure to awe and inspire.
More than your average, run-of-the-mill aquarium, Downtown Aquarium is an interactive restaurant experience. Watch fish and other aquatic wildlife while enjoying your dinner. Then, move on to look at other exhibits before ending the day in the gift shop. Want to stay longer than a meal will allow? Sign your young ones up for educational programs offered year round. There are even programs for the entire family to experience together.
These locations are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to kid-friendly destinations in Houston. In such a large and sprawling city, you’re sure to find even more that will tickle the individual fancies of each member of the family!Posted in Houston | Comments Off
Houston is a thriving, world-class city with plenty of exciting things to see and do with the kids. When budget constraints are a concern, there are even a variety of activities that are completely free of charge, and sure to keep your brood entertained. The following are ten of the best free, kid-friendly diversions that Houston has to offer.
Discovery Green is a 12-acre park with playgrounds, green grass and a fountain for kids to play in on a hot summer day. Discovery Green isn’t just any old park, either; it also has free shows and events that take place throughout the year. For a day in the fresh air of the great outdoors, Discovery Green is the place to be.
While this museum is not free every day of the week, on Family Thursdays, held every Thursday, admission is free after five P.M. The museum has an impressive number of exhibits that are made just for kids to look at, explore and learn from.be.
True to its name, the Art Car Museum is a museum of cars that have been turned into pieces of art. Some car lovers would say that all cars are art in and of themselves, but here they are a little bit more than regular automobiles. At the art car museum, they become masterpieces.
When you think of the theatre, the word free never really comes to mind. But, Miller Outdoor Theatre has free admission because it is a non-profit organization that promotes the arts to visitors and residents of the Houston area. It features a grand stage that hosts not only plays but also concerts and other theatre-style productions throughout the year.
Kids love strapping into their skates or grabbing a skateboard and learning new tricks at a skate park. But, there’s more to Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park than other parks of the same nature. For one, it’s 30,000 square feet. For another, it has equipment suitable for all age and performance levels.
The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is a menagerie of plants and animal life. Discover new forms of life in the gardens and along the trails throughout the 155-acre complex.
Waterfalls may be found easily enough in nature, but what about a water wall? In Houston, the Waterwall has been described as a serene place to spend time with a loved one or family. You’re even allowed to stand under the flowing water to cool off on a hot day or let your kids splash around and have a grand time when the heat is a bit too much to handle.
The Japanese Gardens in Hermann Park were created as a symbol of friendship between Japan and America. Pieces of Japanese culture were put into the design and creation of these Japanese gardens and can be seen through the use of bamboo, lanterns and an authentic teahouse. The gardens hold a peaceful feeling with the sounds of waterfalls splashing amid the iconic cherry trees
If you haven’t been to Houston before and don’t know much about the area, search out the Houston Greeter Program. This is a program where a greeter is assigned to you, free of charge, to show you the sights. With the vastness of Houston, it’s best to first see it with a greeter who can tell you all the best places to go and give you background information on all your favorite spots.
Admission is free to this museum of contemporary arts and crafts. There are ongoing exhibits as well as craft events that crop up throughout the year. Not exactly a museum, this collection has works from artists all over the country and it even hosts workshops for non-professional artists and kids.
No matter where you go or what you do in Houston, you’re almost guaranteed to have a great time. But why spend a bunch of money when you really don’t have to? There are so many family-oriented, fun things to do in Houston that don’t cost a penny and are sure to be a hit with the kids that it’s difficult to justify spending money.Posted in Activities, Houston | Comments Off
By Michelle LaRowe
I’ve reached a point in my career where I’ve been in the nanny industry and working with children for more than half of my life. During my career alone, I can think of two major changes in the way we as a society care for our children.
The first is how we put babies to sleep. Up until 1994, parents and caregivers really didn’t think twice about putting babies to sleep on their tummies. In fact, parents and caregivers did so fairly confidently. When a baby is on her tummy those involuntary reflexes that can keep her awake are naturally minimized due to her position, and the result seemed to be fast and solid sleep. When the “Back to Sleep” campaign was initially launched in 1994, however, parents and caregivers were cautioned about the increased risk of SIDS associated with stomach sleeping and were instructed to only put their babies to sleep on their backs. Swaddling became popular as a way to keep babies reflexes at bay, and babies across the United States began being placed on their backs to sleep.
The second major change I’ve seen is how we transport our children. I came home from the hospital in 1976 riding on the flat surface underneath the rear windshield of a Ford LTD. It wasn’t until the 80s and early 90s that states began putting safety belt and child restraint laws on the books. And even then, when the children I cared for turned one in 1999, it was a huge cause to celebrate because we could now turn their car seats from rear-facing to forward-facing. Today, the recommendations have been changed to indicate that children should ride rear-facing until age two or until they reach the maximum height or weight limits of the car seat.
Sadly, though, even with parent and caregiver education, 25% of babies are still stomach sleepers. And even though there is still widespread talk of the importance of using child car seats and using them properly, it’s estimated that more than 90% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
When you are caring for children, whether as a parent or a nanny, you are their first line of defense. It’s up to parents and caregivers to continually educate themselves on best practices and follow them, even if grandma keeps reminding you how her children survived having never slept on their backs or ridden in a car seat.
Parents and nannies can keep current on best practices by faithfully attending their children’s well visits, subscribing to parenting magazines, attending childcare related conferences like those put on by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the International Nanny Association, following favorite pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics on Facebook and Twitter, taking early childhood related college courses and attending parenting workshops and seminars.
Whatever you can do to keep current with best practices in childcare, do it. The childcare knowledge you have directly impacts the quality of care you’re able to provide.Posted in Advice for Nannies, Advice for Parents | Comments Off ← Older posts
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