Birth Order

10 Apr

Image

 

So, I know I know I am behind on my blog posting; this whole Salmonella thing really threw me for a loop (stay away from Panera’s Caesar salad, the dressing is made with raw eggs). Been working frantically to catch up on schoolwork as finals quickly approach.  Still in shock that it’s April, where has this year gone??

 Anyway in my many psychology classes a topic I always loved learning about was birth order. This is no surprise as I am the quintessential Eldest Child, it always amuses me to hear a dead ringer description for my personality based on the sole fact that I have a younger sibling/ am the oldest of my family. I thought that maybe you all would be interested to see where you fall and whether or not that also was a good descriptor of who you are.

 Firstborn

As the leader of the pack, firstborns often tend to be:

            Reliable

            Conscientious

            Structured

            Cautious

            Controlling

            Achievers

Firstborns bask in their parents’ presence, which may explain why they sometimes act like mini-adults. Firstborns are diligent and want to be the best at everything they do. They excel at winning the hearts of their elders. Eldest children are socially dominant, highly intellectual, and extremely conscientious. Unfortunately, they’re also less open to new ideas, and prone to perfectionism and people pleasing – the result of losing both parents’ undivided attention at an early age, and working throughout their lives to get it back.

Middle Child

“The middle child often feels left out and a sense of, ‘Well, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the youngest. Who am I?'” says therapist Meri Wallace. This sort of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family.

In general, middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:

            People-pleasers

            Somewhat rebellious

            Thrives on friendships

            Has large social circle

            Peacemaker

Middle children, sandwiched between older and younger siblings, often develop a competitive nature – making them natural entrepreneurs later in life. They tend to be the most diplomatic and flexible members of the family and often, eager for parental praise, develop musical or academic gifts.

 Last Born

Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around. The baby of the family tends to be.

            Fun-loving

            Uncomplicated

            Manipulative

            Outgoing

            Attention-seeker

            Self-centered

 

Youngest children, according to birth order theory, tend to be dependent and selfish – as they’re used to others providing for them. But despite the negatives, they’re also quite often the life of the party – fun, confident, and comfortable entertaining others.

 Only Children

Being the only child is a unique position in a family. Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolizes his parents’ attention and resources, not just for a short period of time like a firstborn, but forever. In effect, this makes an only child something like a “super-firstborn”: only children have the privilege (and the burden) of having all their parents’ support and expectations on their shoulders. Thus, only children tend to be:

            Mature for their age

            Perfectionists

            Conscientious

            Diligent

            Leaders

 And only children? Like last borns, they are regularly spoiled, according to Adler, and have a hard time when they don’t get their own way. School can be a particularly difficult transition, as they’re used to being the center of the familial universe. But all that parental focus pays off. Only children are often mature for their age. They wow people with their vocabularies, and their comfort in adult circles. Plus, all that self-entertaining fosters creativity.

Now none of this is set in stone and oftentimes people don’t fit their typology. But its always fun to read up about other first borns and their personality traits. 

Peace out, 

Sara 

 

Improving Children’s Vocabulary

10 Apr

Image

Hey there! I found an excellent blog/ article about how to help improve your child’s vocabulary!  It offers great tips on how to teach kids in different ways.  Starting out young with your kids can really help them once they hit school and in everyday conversations.  Recently, the little guy I nanny for has learned a couple new words and has been interacting with us very differently, it is really impressive! Hope these tips help and give you new ideas that make learning new words fun!

http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com/2011/12/parents-can-improve-childrens.html

Have a great week!

<3Erica

Easy and Cheap Crafts for Kiddos

5 Apr

Image

The other day I was going through different blogs on Pinterest and found a great blog that has tons of cheap/some free crafts for kids.  I know with summer coming crafts are going to be a necessity for keeping your kids occupied AND keeping you sane.  This site really is awesome and it helps that majority of the materials used are everyday home supplies!  My favorite one is the toilet paper sheep. All of the art on her site is really creative and I would NEVER be able to think of the ideas she comes up with.  She also has fantastic ideas on how to preserve your kids artwork.  I know my mom still has a ton of my brother and I’s artwork back from when we were kids and birthday cards we made her, so these ideas are great for protecting and saving kids art!  Try some of these nifty crafts out 😉

Great site for crafts : ) http://www.redtedart.com/category/kids-craft/

Heres the link to preserving art!

http://www.redtedart.com/2013/02/27/kids-art-keepsakes-10-crafty-ideas-for-preserving-your-kids-art

 

Easter Goodies!

28 Mar

Image

Today I found some delicious recipes that I thought would be perfect for you guys to try out for Easter Sunday.  I know Zach and I’s families make good food and get together for a nice Easter lunch/dinner.  Most of the time we go to his aunts house and everyone from the family will bring something to take the pressure off pf her having to cook everything. I know hosting can be stressful sometimes so I figured you all could make some easy recipes to bring to a get together or for your own parties!  Most of these recipes can be used for any sort of get together! Enjoy and have a great weekend! 🙂 

http://keepitskinny.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/baked-chicken-taquitos/ ( these are awesome taquitos and are a healthier alternative! ) 

 

http://keepitskinny.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/balsamic-honey-pulled-pork-sliders/ ( you can NEVER go wrong with pork bbq!  Zach makes the most amazing pork ever and we are smoking it on Saturday, I am so excited. I will post his recipe soon as well! This recipe I posted seems to take a little bit longer for prep but looks delicious! ) 

 

http://www.couponingncooking.com/2013/03/easter-cake-mix-cookies-with-cheesecake.html ( this is an easy and delicious little Easter treat) 

 

http://lifesprinkledwithglitter.blogspot.com/2012/03/diy-reeses-peanut-butter-eggs-options.html ( This looks sooo good! I may try these ones out this weekend! ) 

 

http://www.skiptomylou.org/2009/12/28/easy-appetizers/ ( this site has a couple easy appetizers as well! 

 

Enjoy ! 

 

❤ Erica

To Whom It May Concern:

25 Mar

Image

 

Recently for a career counseling class we had to write a paper about the emerging work force and after yet another no-show today I find my frustration rising to new levels.  Statistics show that young professionals right out of college and new to the workforce are having a great deal of trouble finding work. This should come as no big surprise to anyone (and if it does I’m not sure where you have been for the past couple of years but please let me know). With these concerns about entering the workforce one would think that young professionals would strive to be professional and presentable, I feel as though I couldn’t be father from the truth. Granted this is not true of everyone but I find I am more often than not surprised or even shocked when a nanny shows up for an interview that I’ve scheduled and confirmed.

 

I hate feeling so cynical that I question if anyone is ever going to show up to an interview, or whether or not they will be wearing something interview appropriate. With all the resources out there to help those looking for a job I really did expect better. Simple things like a well-formatted resume, appropriate interview attire, and professionally drafted emails feel a thing of the past. So here is me, Sara Lichtenstein, with a little advice for the masses:

 

  1. Have a resume, a well formatted resume
  2. Dress professionally; don’t wear anything you might wear to a club or a night out on the town (please!)
  3. When addressing an email to a potential employer address them as such, for example: Dear Michelle. Do not just start out the email with no addressing
  4. Come prepared, do a little research beforehand about the company so you aren’t asking questions that can be easily answered by their website
  5. Be polite, courteous, and respectful. It goes a long way  

 

These things aren’t very hard and only take a little preparation beforehand. You’d be surprised but this could be the difference between getting the job and well not getting the job.

 

Best,

Sara 

Spring Break Activities

21 Mar

Image

 

It is now officially spring time, which means spring break is starting for some schools! I know all the little kids and even middle and high school kids are excited about that! I know my mom and brothers spring break starts tomorrow and they are very happy. Since it is so cold here in Virginia,  we were talking about some fun things they can do over break.  Since we are so close to D.C., they are going go to the zoo with the kids I nanny for and I!  We are hoping for a nice warm day, if not, we will just bundle up and walk around to see the little animals! Another thing they are going to do is go to sight see in D.C. I know that may sound silly since we live so close, but Kate and I were talking today and we really never take the chance the go visit the cool historic things that D.C. offers, it’s really silly.  So we are going to take this opportunity and visit the monuments and such! Now, if you don’t live in the area there are tons of other activities you can do with your younger kids and even the teenagers. If you have a zoo available in the area that is always fun. Also, going to some museums or libraries. Some libraries offer fun things during spring and summer breaks for younger children and they will definitely enjoy it.  Another fun thing to do on a rainy or cold day is go see a movie, I have heard great things about The Great And Powerful Oz and it looks to be kid friendly, don’t take my word for it though, please check the rating before you take your little ones! I also found some fun little home activities for you to do with your little kids for Easter bunnies in the link below!  

http://nurturestore.co.uk/easter-bunny-craft-2

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Spring Break! 🙂 

xoxo- Erica

Why Having Pets Makes it Harder to Find A Nanny

18 Mar

 

ImageAs we near busy season here at North Star Nannies, we already have quite a few families that we need to place before the rush is upon us. There is only one problem: most of these families have pets.

 

There are so many factors at play when deciding which of our nannies to refer to families, but the biggest deterrent since I started the business has been the presence of pets. It may not sound like a big deal, but nannies having pet allergies automatically, and immediately, disqualifies them from being a good candidate for a job.

 

This is also one of the most frustrating parts of my job.

 

Usually, within 20 minutes of meeting with a family for the first time, I have a few nanny candidates in mind. It is nearly impossible to remember whether or not nannies have allergies, and I sometimes forget. 

 

Yes, in addition to knowing which nannies have experience with multiples, which areas they are willing to work in, whether or not they are comfortable with special needs, etc., pets REALLY affect the placement process.

 

Here are a few rules to consider when searching for a pet-friendly nanny:

 

Rule #1. Give full disclosure. Be upfront about having a pet and being an animal loving family. Whether creating your profile online or when working with an agency, be sure to include information about your pet in your family’s description. Even if you don’t expect your nanny to provide any care for your family pet, if she has a severe allergy to dogs or cats and you have one it could be an employment deal breaker.

Rule #2.  Advertise for a pet loving nanny. When you describe your ideal nanny candidate, include a nanny that enjoys being around animals. When you do, you’ll naturally attract nannies who enjoy being around pets.

Rule #3.  Be clear about the pet responsibilities your nanny would have. If you expect your nanny to walk or feed the family dog, communicate that from the get go.  If part of her job would be taking the pet to routine vet visits, be sure to discuss it upfront. While opening the screen door to let a dog out may not be a big deal to you, to a nanny who has an allergy to dogs or a general dislike of them it’s not going to be something she wants to do.

Rule #4. Be willing to hire a dog walker or pet care provider and make that clear in your family profile. Dogs with lots of energy and young children with equal amounts of energy don’t always mix. If a nanny candidate is aware you’re willing to outsource the pet duties, a pet may be a nonissue.  If you love a nanny who doesn’t really love dogs, hiring a dog walker or taking the dog to doggie daycare may be your only chance of securing her.

Rule #5. Compensate your nanny if she agrees to take on any pet duties. When discussing compensation be sure to include what you’re offering to take care of the family pet in addition to her nanny salary. Showing your nanny that you appreciate her going above and beyond the call of duty will go a long way in helping her to feel valued and respected.

If you’ve hired a nanny and then decide you want to get a family pet, it’s important to discuss the idea with your nanny first. If you decide you’d like to get a puppy, for example, the reality is that your nanny is going to be spending the majority of time with the puppy, unless you make alternative arrangements. If she’s not willing to train the puppy with you and give the puppy the care it needs, getting a new pet will be problematic.

 

 

Best of luck!

❤ Katie