The Use of Technology in a Child's Life

Chirp Connecting Families and Nannies
Chirp Connecting Families and Nannies

Parents, nannies, teachers and childcare organizations are in a heated discourse trying to understand whether and how to incorporate technology in a child's life. Looking at the use of technology from a relationship perspective helps. Here's a short article on this point of view.

How to Engage Babies in Play

Babies’ malleable brains learn about their world at a fast pace, and it’s up to parents and nannies to encourage this learning through developmentally appropriate games. But what games are appropriate for babies? Read on for some ideas.

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How to Encourage Developmentally Appropriate Play

When play is developmentally appropriate, a child builds self-esteem, an internal sense of mastery, and gains the confidence to move forward to other games—and in life.

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The Six Types of Play: Stage by Stage

Children learn about themselves and the world around them through one of the six distinct stages of play. Read our blog to find out more.

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Why is Play Important for Children?

According to David Elkind, PhD, play is a fundamental mode of learning for young children, and parents should strive to ensure their children have ample time to get caught up in their own little worlds.

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The Importance of Play

Join us in 2018 at our workshop for Nannies, where we will discover The Importance of Play, and how to ensure that children from ages 0-6 get the most out of their play time.

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What is STEAM and Why is it Important?

In today's educational landscape, strong emphasis is placed on an educational philosophy known by its acronym STEM—but where does art fit in?

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Child Development for Ages 0-6

Calling all Nannies! Join us in 2018 for an important workshop about child development.

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Creating Intention in Children’s Art Projects

Lauren Sharp, owner of ARTifact, a children's art studio in San Francisco, shares how parents and nannies can help children create intention in their artwork.

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How to Create A Children’s Art Space at Home

Lauren Sharp, owner of ARTifact, a children’s art studio in San Francisco, offers tips for creating a designated children’s art space at home.

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Supporting Children’s Artwork—Even if it’s Messy

Lauren Sharp, owner of ARTifact, a children's art studio in San Francisco, explains why messy art is important for kids.

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5 of Our Favorite Audiobooks for Toddlers

Whether you’re taking a long car trip or trying to begin a daily quiet time routine, these fun and age appropriate audiobooks will get your child’s imagination (and their language skills) buzzing.

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You’re Invited: The Institute for Families and Nannies 2018 workshop for Nannies will discuss literacy and child development

Calling all Nannies! Join Chirp this Sunday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. to noon for a workshop about literacy, language and child development.

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How Background Noise Affects Your Child

As adults, we hear background noise all day. It’s not unusual to hear the constant buzz of our co-workers chatting, or the TV or radio blaring from another room. Most of us have learned to tune this noise out and we go through our lives without even hearing it. But noise pollution has become a buzzword in today’s hectic society, and the truth is that it may be impacting the central auditory processing of young children who are still acquiring language skills.

A recent study published by Ear and Hearing, The Official Journal of the American Auditory Society, and conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., suggests multiple effects of background noise on toddlers. It states that background noise “modulates the early stages of sound encoding and dampens neural discrimination vital for accurate speech perception.” What this means is that toddlers who spend long hours in noisy conditions may have more trouble pronouncing words correctly.

The test was conducted on 18 toddlers between the ages of 22 and 26 months, all monolingual and with healthy ears. Perhaps not surprisingly, the children exposed to the noisy conditions were more likely to mispronounce words and syllables.

The study suggests that parents pay close attention to acoustic conditions and background noise levels in children’s daily environments. Be aware of the volume of TVs or radios in the other room when your toddler is present, and encourage your child to have quiet time every day. In today’s modern society, silence can be difficult to achieve, but a little less noise in your child’s every day life may be just what the doctor ordered.

Read more about this fascinating study here.

6 Reasons To Take Your Child to Library Story-Time

Not only does story-time at the public library encourage literacy and instill a love of reading from a young age, it helps children develop focus, improve vocabulary and listening skills, and so much more. Have you talked to your Nanny about taking your child to story-time?

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10 Fun Ways to Get Kids Outside

It's scientifically proven that playing outside has many health benefits for children. Here are Chirp's top 10 tips for getting your kids to play outside this summer.

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Book Helps Young Children Adjust to Nannies

The transition children go through when a nanny or babysitter enters the family scene can be daunting. For parents struggling to clearly and positively explain the new caregiving situation to their children, a new book called "Nanny and Me" may be the answer.

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Nature, Nurture and Brain Development: Why Choosing a Nanny is So Important

Depending on your specific situation, your nanny or other caregiver may be one of the important adults that your child spends meaningful time with during their waking hours. This is when the “nurture” side of the development coin comes into play. A nanny who is attentive to your child is vital of course, but hiring a person who is also attuned to your child’s developmental needs and idiosyncrasies will help “nurture” what “nature” has given.

The Zero to Three National Center gives this example: Everyone is born with the potential to learn language. The “nature” side means that the brain is programmed to recognize speech, to pick up subtle differences between sounds, and the like. But it’s the social environment, or “nurture,” that the child is raised in that determines which language will be learned, the size of the child’s vocabulary and the dialect and accent the child will adopt.

Your child’s brain is ultra-malleable, and constantly in relation with the world around them. It’s up to you to ensure that the caregiver you introduce into your child’s early life is able to provide an nurturing and attentive experience to enhance what they’ve already been given by nature.

To read more about how nannies and parents can work together to enhance brain development in young children, click here.

Photo Credit: Travis Swan/flickr

A Question of Values: When Nannies and Parents Differ

Gone are the Mad Men days where a mother’s life revolved around childcare and the home. In today’s society, 67% of children under the age of five are in the care of someone other than their mother for large amounts of their waking hours. This fact of modern life presents new challenges in the arena of instilling values such as independence, kindness and self-control in young children. Now more than ever before, someone other than the child’s parents is given responsibility for imparting personal and cultural values, and this shift could pose challenges when the caregiver’s values differ from those of the parents.

The question of values and who is responsible for teaching them is a vast one, but it’s an issue necessary for nannies and families to visit often. 

Nannies walk a fine line when teaching values to the children in their care. While some values are universally accepted (i.e. kindness), others can prove to be more conflicting (i.e. independence vs. interdependence). While it’s important for parents and nannies to maintain personal integrity and stay true to personal values, if those values are at odds, there’s a good chance a disagreement between nanny and parents will soon develop. How can nannies and parents retain their personal integrity while imparting the values most important to them?

Good nannies want to care for their ‘charges’ according to the parent’s values. That is why it’s important nannies keep an open dialogue with the parents and discuss the following points.

  • Make sure you clearly understand your own personal values and recognize the ways in which you teach those to young children.
  • Have a conversation with the parents. It’s important to know what values are the most important to them as you work to help raise their child according to those principles.
  • Identify similarities and differences in values and how they are taught during the everyday routines of caring for the children.

Working through differences and coming to a compromise that both nannies and parents can feel good about is vital. After all, what good is it to teach children about what is important in the world if you don’t lead by example?

Photo Credit: Travis Swan/Flickr

Childcare Challenge #1: Helping Young Children Manage Frustrations

Observing the ways children deal with frustrations large and small gives parents and nannies key insights into their emotional intelligence, i.e. their capacity to be aware of, control and express their feelings within a relationship.

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