Metropolitan Sitters

March 9, 2015

From the mouths of… sitters?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:45 pm

No, no… We aren’t talking about workplace gossip!

But what do sitters say about themselves and their approaches to childcare? Do you ever wonder what questions sitters are asked when they’re being interviewed for a position? Wonder what their answers would be, on the spot?

We’ve asked a few sitters if we could use their words from their interviews and questionnaires… Here’s a glimpse into what we find, what we look for, and what we love to hear!

Why do you still want to work with children?

“I still want to work with children because they help me remember to slow down and have fun. Life as an adult can sometimes be stressful. However, moments like explaining the logistics of Katy Perry’s Superbowl sharks to a 6-year-old boy help me smile and appreciate the life experience I have gained thus far. I also enjoy helping children discover how they can use their own strengths and passions to make learning fun. For example, if a boy loves superheroes, I like helping him figure out that even superheroes need to do math homework so they can figure out how many people to save!” -Hannah A.

“Working with children is shh a great! It means experiencing the fresh and honest perspective they have on life. It really is a gift to see the world through the eyes of a child.” -Cassie S.

“Children are fun and exciting people to be around. Although they have their own set of difficulties, they provide a challenge that I’m ready to tackle. I also thoroughly enjoy when kids accomplish something all by themselves and have that wonderful “I did it!” feeling.” -Jessica C.

I like working with children because it is a great way to consistently invest in a young person’s life. When I have a few hours scattered through out my week, I can’t think of a better job than investing in a child’s life.” -Kaylie O.

How would you describe your babysitting style?

“My style as a babysitter is probably a combination between your stereotypical protective New York mom and your kids’ sports coach. I like running around with kids and having fun, but I am stern about limits. If parents want their kids in bed by a certain time, I will work with the kids to make sure they get there. I also feel that even difficult activities can be turned into games. I set timers to see if the kids can “beat” it as they do their homework, finish chores, or even brush their teeth.” -Hannah A.

What is your favorite thing about working with children?
“My favorite part is getting to know the same children over time and then having “break-through” moments when you assist a child in accomplishing a challenge or make a fun memory together.” -Kaylie O.

What makes you stand out compared to other sitters?
“I like to think I’m a nice balance of patience and kindness, and imagination and silliness.  I try to use all of these things to encourage children to have confidence in themselves and discover what makes them unique.” -Cassie S.

Is there anything you dislike about working with children?

Of course every child has the potential for a meltdown (no matter what age). I would be lying if I said I enjoyed said meltdowns, but I feel like I have the skills to calm a child down and get down to what they want. From there I can either help them reach that goal, find a compromise, or help them deal with not getting what they want.” -Jessica C.

What activities do you enjoy doing while babysitting (from infants through tween)?

“I love taking children to parks, playing games at home with them, and reading stories to them. With a degree in Fine Arts, I do gravitate toward creative expression as a way to connect with the kids I babysit. I am able to come up with imaginative activities and creative projects so that the children are enjoying the hours we have rather than just watching TV with little interaction.” -Kaylie O.

“I love drawing/coloring – it allows the artist in me to continue to experiment without the pressures of the grown-up world and to gain inspiration from how kids’ imaginations are translated on paper, too. I also love soccer and playing games like uno, sorry, and checkers.” -Maggie H.

“I love reading with the kids!  We do voices and really get into it.  I’m an actor so I love story-telling.  I also love playing games and doing art projects.” -Cassie S.

“I really love to dance and play sports with kids. Anything that gets us on our feet is fun (if infants can’t stand quite yet, I can always carry them and dance around). I enjoy planning fun games and obstacle courses for kids using my background in CrossFit and traditional Japanese martial arts as a foundation. I think the best way to ensure that kids actually keep their bedtimes with babysitters is to literally run around the city with them and tire them out enough that they want to go to sleep. I have also learned excellent stretching and breathing techniques from ninjutsu and yoga that I have used to help children unwind and even fall asleep.” -Hannah A.

If you have experience in theater, or creative arts, what can you bring to the table that other sitters may not?

“What I bring to the table is a sense of play and imagination.  I think that in addition to structure and boundaries, cultivating these things is extremely important to the development of young minds.”  -Cassie S.

What is your preferred age range? Why?

I really enjoy ages 6-11 because we have the freedom to play things like soccer and board games together, we can go bigger and more elaborate in arts and crafts without as much supervision allowing more creativity, and I find they can teach me things and challenge me with their ideas and opinions which is exciting.” -Maggie H.

July 8, 2014

Keeping our Kids’ Minds Busy

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:17 am

Summertime usually means vacation, relaxing and no school! But did you know that during the summer months, kids forget a significant amount of what they had learned the prior school year?

The NY Public library has ongoing programs to keep kids’ brains engaged.

Scholastic also gives some great tips & reads for the summer months. Follow us on Twitter to find out more: @Metro_sitters. Or check out the cool @Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, breaking the world record for kids’ summer reading!

May 22, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:14 am

This weekend is the long awaited 3-day weekend, when many NY’ers are eager to kick off their almost summer celebrations! There are so many things to do in NYC for Memorial Day weekend on your staycation; but you can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a nice getaway!

See these tips from our favorite bloggers and twitter accounts, including @mommypoppins and @timeoutkids!

If you’re staying in NYC… Beaches are open! Ship tours for Fleet Week, family festivals and parades abound! If you’re looking for a low-key afternoon, Monday features a family friendly outdoor concert in LIC near the waterfront- where there are many great local eateries, parks and sights!

Traveling somewhat locally? Events in the Hamptons and out East on LI

Crossing the border to NJ? Can’t forget those beaches!

Looking to travel further? TODAY has some last minute ideas!

May 15, 2014

Fun this weekend!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:48 pm

Hi parents!

Are you looking for something fun and family-friendly to do this weekend? Check out the Spring 2014 Kid Fest
20140515-164928.jpg

April 11, 2014

Safety & Planning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 1:53 pm

As parents, our children’s safety is our first priority. It’s probably not a topic that any parent looks forward to discussing with their children, but coming together and making a catastrophe or emergency plan is invaluable. With everything going on in the world today, from natural disasters to terror threats, it’s a serious topic to think about. Safety must always come first.

Some simple items to discuss with your kids include:

-Picking a specific location as a meeting place

-Making sure that your kids know appropriate emergency contacts

-Teaching your kids their/your phone number, address and appropriate uses for 911.

Check out the links below to learn more:

*FEMA’s guide for families

*Be informed, make an emergency plan and/or a kit

*Preparedness for natural disasters

April 2, 2014

Kids in the Kitchen

Filed under: Ideas and Activities — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:04 pm

Just when we think that the weather will allow some fun outdoor activities, we learn that mother nature has some other ideas in store!

If you find yourself (or the babysitter, even!) cooped up at home with the kids, why not have fun cooking or baking? Even using some no-bake recipes can be a blast! Sure, you could run to that boutique coffee shop up the block, but what fun is that?

There are plenty of ways kids can help out in the kitchen. Get a little creative with your little ones! It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal, nor does it have to be something as simple as ants on a log. English muffin pizzas, anyone?

Kids want to spend quality time and show that they are growing to become more independent. Cooking and baking are also great activities to encourage sharing and turn taking. They’re also great ways to make math fun and interactive- measuring, counting, and timing are all skills you can work on while in the kitchen.

Here are some great tips from The Food Network on how to involve the kids in the creative process!

March 27, 2014

Spring activities in NYC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:18 pm

Spring is just around the corner (we hope)! Check out some great ideas from one of our favorites, Time Out NY Kids!

There are several *free* ideas, and also suggestions in the outer boroughs- not just Manhattan. We love that!

If you’re looking for specific dates, they keep a great Monthly calendar. Check out the Calendar for March to get an idea.

50 Things to do with Kids in NYC This Spring

March 2014 Calendar

July 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:45 pm

Preparing for Baby

 

So you’re having a baby? Congratulations! Time to sit back
and relax for the next nine (actually more like ten) months, right? Well, you should certainly relax and be sure to
take extra good care of yourself during your pregnancy, but many moms-to-be
feel overwhelmed with all there is to do to prepare for the arrival of their
little bundle of joy.

 

To help you navigate the overwhelming world of baby, I got
together with some of the industry’s most well known experts to talk about what
you really need to do to prepare. Here is our list of seven things to consider:

 

1. Think about where
your baby will sleep and play.
For those of us in New York, the nursery may
be a section of the living room or our own room, or it may be a full bedroom with
windows and all! Whether it’s a closet or entire wing of a home, the experts
offer the same advice: stick with the basics and make sure to invest in
attractive storage, because you will inevitably acquire more toys and trinkets
than you could ever imagine. For ideas and inspiration, I turn to my favorite
blog,
Nursery Notations.
Interior Designer Andrika King has impeccable taste!

 

2. Enjoy a little
shopping.
Babies need a lot of stuff. Stroller, car seat, carrier, monitor,
onesies, pjs, tiny little socks, and the list goes on and on. Luckily you are
not the first person who needs to shop for a new baby, and the stores who sell
all these baby things have registry lists ready and waiting, and they’ve pasted
the tests of thousands of new moms before you. Allison O’Neill, owner of
Bundle in New York stresses the importance
of asking for help when shopping:  “Our
store associates are trained to fully understand every product in the store, so
take advantage of that and ask questions. They can help you chose what makes
most sense for your situation and end up saving you hundreds of dollars.”

 

3. Consider how you’d
like to document baby’s arrival (and the first few months):
Time and time
again, I hear new moms comment how quickly the first few months go by, so I
always encourage them to keep a baby book and take LOTS of pictures. As you
think about documenting this time, you might want to consider a professional
photographer. “Many moms find one important thing missing when they take their
own photos – themselves!” says photographer
Alice
Garik
. “By working with a professional, you’ll be sure to get beautiful
pictures that also include you and capture how you feel during this amazing
time.” Photographer
Emily DeWan agrees,
“I love documenting the relationships between family members. The little
details can tell such amazing stories: holding a parent’s hand, cuddling the
family pet, playing with siblings, and exploring the world around them”. Both
Alice and Emily are available for sessions in the New York City area and I
highly recommend them both!

 

4. Start thinking
about childcare.  
Finding reliable and
qualified childcare can be overwhelming, especially in a big city.  If you are returning to work, you will need
solid childcare in place whether that is in the form of a daycare or nanny, and
most stay-at-home moms, or those who work from home, also find they need
regular childcare to stay on top of their personal lives (and maintain their
sanity). It’s also a great idea to consider a regular sitter for a “date night”
with your partner. Brooke Woodward, founder of New York City-based
Metropolitan Sitters recommends, “Having
a babysitter for a consistent ‘date night’ will help you keep a good balance
and will give you both a few hours to enjoy the company of one another”.  In my experience, whether you need a
full-time nanny, or just want to have a great person “on call” for emergencies,
using a reputable babysitting service, like Metropolitan Sitters, helps take
the stress out of this process. They are experts in matching you with a sitter
whose availability, experience and values will match that of your family.

 

5. Begin planning
your child’s education.
Parents are a child’s most important teacher and
reading to your child is an easy habit that not only builds vocabulary but can
also help you establish a strong bond and comforting routine that will help
your child go to sleep at night. Sharon Thompson, founder of
Dream Workshop notes “Sharing a
favorite book with your child will create many cherished memories of time
together.” Talking to your child during all the small moments of the day is another
way to increase his or her vocabulary. For example, while walking down the
street with your little one, name the signs you pass or introduce your child to
neighbors in the elevator.

 

Lastly, to relieve anxiety about your child’s education, it
may also be help to officially join an organization that has a nursery school
while you are pregnant.  Many religious
organizations, community centers, and arts organizations have a nursery school,
which gives preferential admission to members. 
If you’re not religious, some community art centers, like Third Street
Music in NYC, have nursery schools. 

 

 

6. Speak with your
partner about your financial situation and its security.
In mid-June, the
USDA reported that a middle class family could incur up to $300,000 in costs to
raise a child from birth to age 17 (and this does not include college).  This
statistic was certainly a wake-up call fore me, so I called Audrey Schwartz, a
financial services professional with
New
York Life
. She gave me some good food-for-thought:  “I ask each of my clients ‘if some unforeseen
tragedy were to happen, is your income, family and college savings protected?’
 My website has easy-to-use calculators
that can help a new parent determine the amount of life insurance needed as
well as forecast the cost of your alma mater when your baby is ready to attend.”
 Audrey also offered to give any of our
readers a free consultation, so please give her feel free to
contact
her
. It will help you sleep better (when baby allows!).

 

7. Don’t forget to take
care of yourself.
 Nurturing the
cocoon of wellness and nutrition you carefully sustained for your baby (and
yourself) is even more essential post-birth.  Mindful and healthy
nutrition habits help not only your body recover faster, but also fuel
sustained energy even as you may feel drained from the baby’s ever-changing schedule.
 Even though your days and evenings may go by in a whirl, take restorative
breaths often, pay attention to the way your body feels, and proactively
recruit help when you need a rest.  If you are breast-feeding, continue to
replenish your body with proper hydration and nutrient dense foods.  Sara
Dan, a fitness and nutrition expert with
ZippyT
Fit
 recommends, “Shop and chop fresh vegetables in batches, and
keep them in a clear glass container, so they are ready to be tossed into
stir-fry, salads, couscous, and late night omelets!”  She also encourages
her clients to prepare to reconnect your freezer with frozen vegetables and
frozen fruits, and healthy leftovers.  By implementing a proactive
nutrition strategy, you and your baby will start your new chapter healthy
together.  

 

I hope these tips are helpful for you. It’s completely
normal to feel overwhelmed. Just remember, “It takes a village!” and be sure to
ask for help from yours.

November 3, 2010

Filed under: NYC Resource,Parent Resource — admin @ 1:28 pm

As many of us know “dining out” with a child can be a difficult task.  Thank goodness for Carla Sullivan and her mini munchers website!

Mini Munchers is a website that gives you access to several children’s menus in NYC!  It also has a fun and incredibly useful rating system (indicated by crayons) that can save you time and prepare you for any outing.

According to mini munchers founder, Carla Sullivan, the restaurants are ranked on:

  1. Stroller-friendly entrance?
  2. Easy access to table (With stroller)?
  3. Highchairs and/or Booster seats?
  4. Bathroom? (Location, Changing table, Handicap stall)
  5. Crayons or other entertainment?
  6. Kid’s cups? Straws? Kid’s drinks?
  7. Varied Menu?
  8. Reasonably priced/good value?
  9. Timely Service? (How long does the food take? How long before check comes?)

The website also has a feature that allows you to search for restaurants based on cuisine, location and cost.

Next time you are planning a long day out of the house please make sure to take advantage of this terrific resource!

October 13, 2010

Metropolitan Sitters & NY Metro CPR

Filed under: Child's Health,NYC Resource,Parent Resource — admin @ 2:22 pm

Metropolitan Sitters has teamed up with NY Metro CPR!  Every month Metropolitan Sitters will host a CPR Course led by Jason Mundy, owner of NY Metro CPR.  Jason has been teaching CPR since 1997 and is excellent at creating an informative, yet enjoyable classroom experience. 

Jason will teach us:

-Ways to prevent emergencies

-What do and how to know if a child is choking 

 -When to know that CPR should be performed and how to perform it

-The difference between Child & Infant CPR  

After the course each sitter will take home a procedural booklet and will receive a certification card that is valid for 2 years.

In September alone we held two courses allowing our sitters who do not already have the certification to learn and practice in a small class setting.

Our CPR courses are just one way we are able to provide a safe environment for the children and families we work for.

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