Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Guest Post- Safe Babysitter Checklist

If you haven’t already, chances are you’re going to need a qualified babysitter who can step in and watch your kids at some point this summer. I’ve found that working with a babysitter is great for my kids and me. I get a much-needed break, and it’s enriching for them to work with someone with a new perspective, a different kind of creativity, and new ideas.
Of course, you’ll want to properly vet anyone that will be caring for your kids. They need to be knowledgeable about safety while also being kind and nurturing. As you begin your search, here’s a quick checklist of the most important factors to consider.

Are they CPR-certified? When you’re searching for the right babysitter for your family, the first thing to look for is someone who is CPR certified. In its article on what to look for in a babysitter, indicates that having CPR and first aid training is a good indicator that the candidate is “safety-conscious.” I recommend making this a mandatory requirement for anyone who sits for your kids. It is a vital skill, especially if your sitter will be taking your kids swimming this summer.

Are they pool-ready? Whether you have a backyard pool or your sitter will be taking the kids to a neighbor’s pool or the community pool, it is crucial that you make sure they know how to keep your kids safe around the water. To educate your babysitter more specifically on pool safety, a great place to start is this article on pool party safety. It provides excellent pool-specific advice that any parent will want a sitter to have. For example, it explains what steps one needs to take as the “acting” lifeguard and what safety equipment to check and have on hand.  

Have they been recommended by a friend or neighbor? We rely on recommendations from friends (and sometimes even strangers!) on the places we eat and events we attend so why not do the same with a potential babysitter? describes qualities to look for in a babysitter. It recommends treating the process of finding a sitter like a business might treat hiring a new employee. In the same way that a company asks for an employee’s references, ask for references from your babysitting candidate.

How responsible are they? Hudson Valley Parent recommends finding out how responsible your babysitter is. There are a couple of ways to do this. One option is to have your babysitter come over to watch your kids while you’re still home. Have them play and watch the kids while you take care of other things around the house. Check in every now and then to see how things are going. As the article notes, if you’re constantly seeing the sitter checking their phone they aren’t giving your kids their full attention and aren’t the right person for the job. Another option is to do a test run. Have the sitter watch your kids, but ask them to check in with you at certain times. If they remember to do so, then that could indicate that they’re responsible enough for the job.

Are they willing to follow your rules? Before you leave your child in a sitter’s care, you’ll want to be sure they are aware of essential safety rules and always follow them. provides an overview of rules to consider. If you find out that your babysitter is neglecting to follow these rules, it’s time to find someone else.

Finding the right babysitter for your family may take time. But the hard work will be worth it. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your kids are well taken care of and safe when you can’t be there to look after them.

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Lindsay M writes for PublicHealthCorps. She also has many other passions - like cooking, biking and photography. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of twin girls.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Get To Work

Whether you are looking for your first job, a new job, or simply to improve your skills, there are steps you can take to get ahead.

A lot of people re-examine their lives in the beginning of a new year. Getting a new job or making a career change is often at the top of the list. Here are some tips to help you get clear about what you really want out of a job and how to get it.

When you are applying for a new job it is important to be confident in your abilities and what you bring to the table as an applicant. In my latest article for Monster College, I discuss ways you can be sure that you are a confident applicant and land your next job.

If you find that you do not have enough experience to get the job you really want, here are some things you can do right now to gain experience.

Even if you have a ton of experience and education, there are still many things that you can do to ruin your job interview. In this article from Fastweb, I share, "Seven Things That Can Ruin a Job Interview".

Once you get the job, it is important to understand that you are in control of your job satisfaction.  There are steps you can take to make sure that you remain happy with your job. 

Here's to improving your skills, gaining confidence, getting hired, and loving your new job.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015-Begin Your Changes Now

A lot of people make resolutions for the new year. They plan to make great improvements to their health, career, or spiritual lives, beginning on January 1st.
Then there are other people who refuse to make a resolution at all because they believe that nothing will change.

The first step to creating any lasting change is to begin. If a goal is really important to you, you don't need to wait until a specific day to begin it. Begin it now.
At the very least, you can prepare yourself for the changes you plan to make beginning January 1st.

Whatever your goals are, there are ways to prepare for them today.

If you are looking to make a career move:
  • Create a new resume and cover letter.
  • Look up jobs online for potential new positions.
  • Post your resume on job boards.
  • Buy a new interview suit.
  • Sign up for a class to improve your marketable skills.
Looking to get in shape:

  • Research health and nutrition information online or at the library.
  •  Find a plan that you believe you can stick with.
  • Create meal plans for the month of January.
  • Sign up for the gym before the January rush, or buy 2-3 new workout dvds.
  • Write a list of all of the reasons you want to get healthy.
  • Look up success stories online.
Want to save money:

Whatever you want to do, please do not wait until January 1st to begin it. If you start taking steps now, it will give you momentum. When January 1st rolls around, you will be well on your way to accomplishing your goals!

What are your resolutions for  2015? What can you do now to get started?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Showing Kindness

"In separateness lies the world’s great suffering. In unity lies the world’s true strength." ~Buddha

There is so much pain and sadness in the world. There just is. From starving children, to terminal illnesses, from rape and murder, to the victim blaming of raped and murdered people. It is enough to make a person sick.

It is hard to watch humans see other humans as anything other than human. It is hard to wrap my brain around the idea of hating someone because of the color of their skin, their religion, the country they were born in, or their sexual orientation. Why are respect, dignity, freedom, and justice ideas that don't seem to apply to each and every human being?

During times when there seems to be nothing but pain everywhere you look and a sense of hopelessness, it is good to try and show more kindness to others.

Here are some ways you can reach out and help others in need, right now.

  • Addie Fausett is a six-year-old little girl who is dying. This year her wish is to receive Christmas cards. You can send a card and spread some cheer to this young girl and her family during this tough time. Send cards to: P.O. Box 162, Fountain Green, UT 84632
  • The Salvation Army has started their red kettle campaign for the holiday season. Take a look at the site to see how your donations can help the lives of others. Also, while you are out shopping be sure to donate when you see the kettles at the stores.
  • God's Love We Deliver is an organization that was brought to national attention by the late Joan Rivers. This organization delivers healthy meals to people who are terminally ill and unable to cook for themselves.
  • The American Red Cross has a holiday catalog you can shop from to help people in need. Not only that, you can donate blood, or money all year round.
  • Mid-Ohio Foodbank provides food for families who would otherwise starve. Every day in this country children go to bed hungry. You can donate either to this food bank, or one in your city.
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to terminally ill children. Check out the site to see how you can help.
There are many ways you can help people in the world, and in your community. Foster kids need Christmas gifts, someone else needs help paying for medical bills, another person needs a place to live. There is no shortage of needs to be met in this world.

Please look for ways you can show how much you care today.  Namaste.

Monday, December 1, 2014

31 Days

31. Yup. That's all we have. 31 days left to 2014. If you're anything like me perhaps you are wondering where the time went, or how we are past summer, and Thanksgiving already.

In any event, we have 31 days to work on the goals we came into 2014 with, or some we may have picked up along the way. Whether you have been successful at keeping a New Year's resolution or not, you still have before you 31 days to make something really great happen.

What can you do in the next 31 days that will put 2015 on notice that you are coming for it?

You could:

  • Start walking
  • Learn to cook new recipes
  • Learn new computer software
  • Register the name of your new business
  • Work on writing a business plan
  • Spend more time with your children
  • Begin to meditate and/or pray 
  • Learn yoga
  • Journal
  • Learn to crochet
  • Clean out closets and storage areas
  • Look for a new job
  • Look for a new place to live
  • Volunteer
  • Begin writing your book
  • Take a trip
  • Do daily affirmations
There are so many things you can do in the next 31 days to help you leave 2014 on a good note.

So what will you do?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful day filled with good food, laughter, love, and gratitude.