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Temper Tantrums & how to avoid them

Childs temper tantrum The day starts out beautiful! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and then the clouds roll in. The wind starts to blow and the thunder starts to roar. All of this a metaphor for the dreaded tantrum. As a parent we have all had to deal with them from time to time. On a good day (When you are at your best) this may be no more than a passing storm. On a day when your off your game however, you may get pulled into the maelstrom and make some common mistakes, or worse yet you might start to sound like your parents.

Below are some common pitfalls to avoid and tips you can use to move past the storm and back to the singing birds:

  1. You raise your voice or yell when your child throws a tantrum - Do not answer out-of-control behavior with out-of-control behavior. Lead with kindness and be a compassionate observer. Determine if your child is having a tantrum because they are trying to get something or if it is out of frustration. If your child is having a tantrum because they want ice cream before dinner - ignore the tantrum (you need ensure that you do not react with any negative verbal or with physical cues). If it is out of frustration comfort them with a hug and reassurance. If contact makes them more upset stay close but give them the space they need.

  2. You give in to your child's tantrum - Never reward a tantrum it just reinforces negative behavior.

  3. You Punish your child for having a tantrum -If your child is having a tantrum they are out-of-control. The tantrum itself is probably frightening and punishing enough to your child without having you add further punishment to it.
    Never punish a tantrum! A tantrum should have no consequences, positive or negative. It happens and then it's over.

  4. You take your child grocery shopping at 2:00 am when they usually have a nap - Know your child's limits and triggers if they will be more likely to react with a tantrum when they are tired or hungry. Plan outings to the store or other errands when your child is fed, rested, and healthy.
Tantrums can put a strain on an otherwise good time. It is best to avoid them hopefully by avoiding some of these pitfalls your child will have less frequent tantrums.
Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them. ~Lemony Snicket

Tips for Performing an Online Background Check

In a previous article I wrote about performing a background check. This task can be difficult to perform on your own and since you are limited to publicly available information the data can be prone to inaccuracies. You could enlist a background checking firm. These firms are usually run by private investigators and can obtain relevant information more quickly and easily than an individual. A thorough background check may cost $125 to $250.

A more convenient and cost-effective way to perform a background check is to visit one of the many websites available online. These sites typically charge anywhere from $10 to $120 for a comprehensive background check.

Here are some for choosing a background check website:

  • Be Wise: Don't base your choice solely on price. The most inexpensive searches are based on databases that are often out of date and are purchased by the provider in bulk. Many database checks claim to be national in scope, when in fact they only cover certain jurisdictions and are arbitrary in results. Many courts may not submit their information to the database provider, and records may be incomplete.
  • Be Fresh: Look for a website that uses "freshly-retrieved" rather than "stored" data. Vendors who use databases of criminal records and other data must purchase this information periodically from the various jurisdictions, and the cost to them is increasing. As a result, stored data is usually anywhere from 3 to 24 months old. A babysitter could have been convicted of a serious crime during this time gap, and this information wouldn't turn up in the search.
    Be Fair: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the federal regulation that requires authorization in writing for any pre-employment check and the use of freshly retrieved data, as mentioned above. Most reputable background search firms and websites will provide you with the necessary releases and forms to assist you with this process. You should not rely on any website that fails to require a signed release from your prospective babysitter. Written consent for pre-employment background checks is required by federal law.
Here are some sites that provide quality background searches:
™ powered by Background Network, Inc., is a nationwide leader in background checks. Crime check retrieves data from over 10,000 local courts and 3,500 county courts in all 50 states. Background screening services include comprehensive
Criminal Checks: misdemeanors, felonies, and federal offenses;
Data Checks: social security traces, motor vehicle reports, and pre-employment credit checks Reference Checks: employment verification, educational verification, and personal/professional reference checks.

The Integrity Center: They have a Nanny segment which has everything you need to perform a search for you prospective Nanny or babysitter. is powered and supported by INTELLICHOICE, INC., a leader in providing background verification services to employers since 1994.

Nanny Background Check: An Arizona based risk consultancy/pre-employment screening agency. Since inception in 2001, has become the nation's leading source for screening in-home childcare applicants. Nanny background check provides five levels of service for their background checks.

Christmas in Wayne

You probably don't want to hear this, but Christmas is just around the corner. There has even been some snow flurries this week with more snow in the forecast. I find it hard to get into the spirit of the holidays until there has been some snow on the ground. If you live in the Wayne NJ area there plenty of events to kick of the holiday season and get you in the spirit. All of these events are free or reasonably priced so you won't need to break the bank to do them. (For your holiday shopping however, you are on your own)

Santa Parade
The Preakness Shopping Center is having a Santa Parade at 10 am on Saturday the 22nd.
The parade will have a marching band, clowns, antique cars, and the man himself, Santa Claus. Afterwards kids can get a photo with Santa and enjoy a free movie (Movie limited to the 1st 100 kids).

Santa Train During the approximately 90 minute ride the Santa Claus will Ho Ho Ho his way through the train and visit each child giving them a special gift from his bag. In addition each child can have their picture taken with Santa Claus so they can always remember their ride, so bring your cameras. On board will be Mrs. Claus and several other surprise cartoon characters sure to entertain the kids and make for a great day out for all on board.
Ticket ordering: Tickets for these trains usually sell out quickly. The trains will run rain, snow, sleet or shine. For your convenience tickets can be purchased on line with a major credit card at ticketturtle

Ticket prices are $13.00 for adults and $9.00 for children under 12 with a 50 cents per ticket discount if purchased online.

The train leaves from Wayne on the 6th and Glenrock on the 7th

Wayne - 'Mountain View' station on the Montclair-Boonton Line - December 6th
11 Erie Avenue , Wayne, New Jersey 07470
Departure times: 10 AM, 12 Noon and 2 PM - Parking is FREE!

Glen Rock - 'Boro Hall' station on the Bergen County Line - December 7th
Harding Plaza, Rock Road, Glen Rock, New Jersey
Departure times: 10:20 AM, 12:20 PM and 2:20 PM - Parking is FREE!

Wayne Tree Lighting Ceremony:
Thursday, December 4th
Rain/snow date: Friday, Dec. 5th
At the Wayne Township Municipal Building

The Van Riper Hopper House Museum (1786)
at 533 Berdan Ave., Wayne
December 5, 6 and 7, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Each 15-minute presentation will start on the hour, ending with a 2:00 P.M. show. Walk-through tours December
Your visit will fill your senses with the sights, smells and sounds of a local holiday circa late 1700s to mid-1800s. Just before your visit, the Pines Lake Garden Club will “deck the halls” with natural decorations of the time period.
This year a first-person interpreter will portray a family ancestor, Vrouw (Mrs.) Van Riper of the late 1700s. At the fireplace, through story, song and demonstration, she will relate the traditions of a rich past. Guests will also have an opportunity to touch relics and replicas of the past. At the end of the 15-minute program, she will invite guests to taste cookies of the time period and warm apple cider.
Economy Booster: Admission Price reduced from last year to $4 Adult; $1 child

Walk-through tours just to admire the holiday period decorations will be held on:
December 10, 11 and 12 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M Admission: free-will donation.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!

Tips for Performing a Background Check on a Babysitter

Perform a Background Check Is Performing a Background Check on a Babysitter necessary or overkill?

We have a sitter who is well known in the community, and came recommended by other families in the neighborhood. We also had her watch our child while we were present a few times before leaving our daughter solely in her care. This left us feeling secure that our child was being cared for by a responsible and kind individual. In this scenario we did not feel the need to run a background check, but if you are hiring a babysitter or nanny from a service or advertisement performing a background check is recommended. This can help you weed out Mary Poppins from any old carpetbagger.

Below are some guidelines to help you perform a background check:

Get Permission
Federal law requires all potential employers to obtain written permission for background checks from candidates. You should tell a potential babysitter that you plan to do a background check and have him or her sign a statement authorizing you do so.

Perform a Criminal Background Check

Contrary to what some sites may proclaim there is no way to do a national criminal records check. Only the FBI maintains a national database, called the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
Any search for criminal records should be carried out on a county by county basis in the counties where an individual lived, worked, and went to school, as well as the surrounding counties.

Perform a Social Security Number Trace.
This will Provide you with individuals current and past addresses for the last 7 to 10 years, as well as any other names that have been used. Based on this information you can target what jurisdictions should be checked for criminal records. A SSN trace can also be used to verify what a babysitter has told you and will make it difficult for a candidate to hide important information about possible criminal history.

Review DMV Records
Driving records can be a useful element in a comprehensive background check, especially if the babysitter will be driving your children. You do not want someone with a lead foot or history of accidents driving your children around. A DMV check can also be helpful in revealing a substance abuse problem if there are any DUI convictions on the record.

In my next Babysitter Article I will provide Tips for Choosing a Reliable Background Check Website.

Until then Feel free to Leave a comment about what steps you take to feel comfortable with who you leave your children with.

Thanks - Mike

Save on Portraits from Sears

Pictures, especially those that are professionally done make a great keepsake.
Pictures truly are the gift that keeps on giving.
That is why as a kidzense reader you are invited to take advantage of special savings this holiday season.

Start a family tradition of annual holiday portraits and SAVE when you buy one GET ONE FREE! Or get 35 portraits for only $4.99.

BOGO-for-a-day Coupon: Sears Coupon
Unlimited buy one, get one FREE
*portrait sheets *specialty products
*composites *enhancements
*wall portraits *greeting cards
*CDs *collages

35 Portraits only $4.99 Coupon:
1-8x10, 2-5x7, 16-wallets, 16-minis
choose your favorite pose!
Not valid with buy one, get one free offer.

Inspirational Challenges

The other day I was reading an article titled How to stay inspired during tough times. The article got me thinking about where I have found motivation and inspiration during the times when life has presented challenges to me. Read More at:
RideYourBike.US: Inspirational Challenges

Find a Babysitter Online

Find a BabySitter Online

If you need a babysitter or Nanny there are many online services available.

Hiring a babysitter online can be a safe and easy experience, if you know the right place to look and how to utilize the features that are available to you through this type of service.
The Babysitter and Nanny referral services have various offerings and price ranges, you can go with the Cadillac or the Kia.

Some sites perform Extensive background checks while others provide a link to perform your own through another online service such as LexisNexis. Locations that the providers service can vary as well.

Not Just Babysitters
performs criminal and DMV background checks, as well as reference follow-up. Sitters are Certified in CPR and are college educated (or pursuing Degrees) Not Just Babysitters services Manhattan and Los Angeles.
Founder and Owner, Zee Miller, will visit you at your home and assess your needs to ensure that she matches you with an appropriate candidate for you child-care needs. There is an Annual Fee for a one year membership that is in addition to the sitter costs which vary by sitter and number of children to be watched. You do not pay the babysitter directly. You pay Not Just Babysitters and they pay the sitter. There is a minimum booking of four hours for all sitter work and the sitter should be booked 48 hours in advance. Same day booking is available for an additional twenty-five Dollar fee.

babysitters4hire has a well designed, easy to navigate, and intuitive website.
Candi Wingate, President of babysitters4hire was kind enough to answer some questions and provide some more information about her company. is designed to assist families in finding a quality babysitter for their specific needs and requirements. A free preview of available babysitters is available to families through our local neighborhood mapping technology. Once you are a registered member, you will be given immediate access to nannies through text messaging, email and phone.
Families seeking a sitter post a profile to state exactly what they are looking for and so the sitters can contact them directly provided the family choose to keep their profile visible.

Babysitters4hire comes in considerably less than the other services.
There are 2 different packages available:
The Yearly Plan - $69.99 non-refundable fee gives you 12 months access to No Registration Fee.
The Monthly Plan - $26.99 non-refundable Registration Fee gives you access to for a 30 day period.
There is a $12.00 monthly fee thereafter.
You may cancel the $12 monthly fee at anytime via phone or email.
A canceled monthly membership may be reinstated at anytime for $14.99
Babysitters4hire does not provide background checks or customer reviews of sitters.
They do recommend that you perform a background check on a prospective sitter and they provide a link to perform an online background check for registered users.
Prices for background checks range from ten dollars for a basic multi state check to a hundred dollars or more for an extensive private search. Is an online referral service for Babysitters, Pet Sitters, Senior Care, Tutors, and housekeepers. offers free limited access. For twenty-five dollars a month you get Unlimited access to all providers and free background checks (Discounts are available for registering for 3 or 12 months)
They provide service in most cities and states. performs SSN, Address Verification, and Criminal Background Checks.
A search of criminal records will be conducted to see if the user has a criminal record. The records that are searched include:
  • State and county criminal record repositories
  • State sex offender registries
  • Prison, parole and release files from state Department of Corrections
  • Administrative Office of Courts, and other state agencies
  • Proprietary LexisNexis criminal record information
DMV Records are not checked. In some counties they will review court records (This is not available in NY and NJ)
One thing that I like about is that they allow members to post reviews of the sitters they have employed. provides parents and sitters with a central location to find each other quickly, safely and easily. Both parents and sitters create detailed online profiles and can search the site for matches using over 30 search criteria. Parents can also post unlimited jobs for sitters, obtain references from sitter profiles and follow their four-step screening process to hire a quality caregiver.
Both sitters and parents may request background checks, read and post reviews for each other, and use tools like their Rate Calculator to determine fair pay and their Interactive Babysitter Cheat Sheet to prepare their babysitter.

There are two billing options:
$39.99 for the first month and $9.99/month thereafter, or
$7.99/month billed in the one-time annual sum ($95.88).
Sittercity does not screen caregivers, Instead, they have created a four-step screening process to carefully guide you through the hiring process and help you make the best decision for your needs.
  1. Read the online reviews and ratings directly on a caregiver's profile.
  2. Conduct an in-person interview with your favorite caregivers.
  3. Check a caregiver's references (also listed directly on caregiver profiles).
  4. Run a background check.
To make the screening process even easier, Sittercity has comprehensive libraries with tons of articles for care seekers, which includes interview questions to ask the sitter, how to conduct reference calls and what to ask, tactics to distinguish a good sitter from a bad sitter, and more.

Word to the wise:
NEVER hire someone without following a screening procedure first.

Special Offer: Sittercity is offering 10% off memberships using code: sitter10

Related Sites:

Savings for Disney and CVS

Come experience a magical Disney fantasy on ice! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy at the IZOD Center Nov 25-30.
Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney/Pixar's CARS race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid's enchanting undersea kingdom and experience the 'Circle of Life' with The Lion King. Then enter into the magical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends as they make their world premiere on ice! From wheels to waves, Pride Lands to pixie dust, your family's favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy with dazzling skating, special effects and beloved characters certain to create a lifetime of memories. Special Bonus! Disney Princess
Pre-Show: Arrive up to one hour early to tour our dazzling display of gorgeous gowns. Complimentary to all ticket holders.
Use Promo Code: Star to save $10 off select Tickets

SAVE $5 when you Spend $30 at CVS now Through this Weekend 11/16/2008
5/30 Coupon

A review of Madagascar Escape 2 Africa

Review of Madagascar Escape 2 Africa

We went to see Madagascar Escape 2 Africa tonight.
The movie opens with Alex as a young lion cub. He is abducted by poachers and his Dad Zuba tries to save him but the Crate young Alex is in floats away, all the way to NYC where Alex becomes the charismatic Lion we know from the first Madagascar. The story then moves to Madagascar where the first movie ended. The crew is ready for takeoff on Air Penguin, final destination NYC. (or so they think) The plane goes down in the vast plains of Africa – where the zoo-raised crew encounter species of their own kind for the very first time. While discovering their roots, they quickly find the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Despite long-lost relatives, romantic rivals and scheming members of the pride, Africa seems like a great place The friends go their separate ways living with there own herds and pride, but learn that even though they are different they are a better together and have a special bond that makes them a family. Can they pull it together and save the African Plains from a drought?.
I have yet to pan a movie in my reviews and Madagascar Return 2 Africa is no exception. This movie borrows liberally from the Lion King story Line but is big on the laughs. My daughter and I laughed out loud throughout the movie.
The movie is rated PG due to mild crude humor, and with the exception of some tension in the beginning of the movie I think it is suitable for kids four and older. It has a run time of about an hour and a half.
Bottom Line: This movie is Laugh out Loud Funny.
Although it is PG it is Suitable for Toddlers and older.
The Penguins Steal most of the scenes they are in.
The soundtrack is worked into the movie well with the Penguins popping in various 8 track's containing songs from Boston, Abba, and Barry Manilow during their Hi jinx

Free Items and Coupons for this Weekend

Free Pizza and Drink at Unbelieva-Bills
Pizza and Drink

Get one slice of pizza and a medium
fountain drink for Free with the purchase of any
adventure pass.

Limit one coupon per person. Must
present coupon at time of admission

Offer valid: November 6-7, 2008
only at
SAVE $5 when you Spend $25 at CVS This Weekend
5/25 Coupon

Reduce the Risk of SIDS with a Fan

Back to Sleep SIDS

Sleeping in a room with a fan lowers a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by 72%, a new study has found.
The finding, published in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, is the latest evidence to suggest that a baby’s sleep environment is a critical factor in the risk of SIDS, which is diagnosed when an infant’s sudden death cannot be explained by other factors.
The study was not designed to identify why fans make a difference, but researchers said they thought that by circulating air, fans lowered the risk of “rebreathing” exhaled carbon dioxide. That risk has been suggested as a reason the rate of SIDS is higher when children sleep on their stomach, in a soft bed or without a pacifier. Since 1992 the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped by more than half, to about one death per 2,000 live births from 2.4 per 1,000.
The decline is linked to a national “Back to Sleep” campaign that promotes putting babies on their back instead of their stomach, which has been shown to lower the risk of sudden death. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents avoid soft bedding, allow babies to use a pacifier and avoid overheating a baby’s room. Despite the gains, SIDS continues to be the leading cause of death in babies under the age of 1, and researchers are looking for more measures to lower the risk. The latest study compared 185 babies who had died of SIDS with 312 randomly selected babies and matched them by age, race, ethnic group and country of origin. “Even though we don’t know why certain babies are more susceptible, sleeping environment matters,” said a co-author of the study, Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s division of research in Oakland, Calif. Parents who worry that their child will be chilled by a fan should know that fans do not cool the air; they just move air around. A baby will feel a chill only if he or she is perspiring, doctors say. Parents who use fans in a child’s room should make sure to take normal safety precautions, keeping cords out of the way and making sure the fan cannot be knocked down by a toddler or pet.
Dr. Li said the use of fans should not replace other sleeping strategies for lowering SIDS, like removing soft bedding and putting babies on their back. He noted that the gains shown in the study were an average for the whole group, including for babies whose care did not meet the guidelines. Still, even if a baby had a safe sleeping environment, the risk of SIDS was lowered by about 16% for those who had a fan in the room, although the trend was not statistically significant. “If parents wanted to do more to reduce the baby’s SIDS risk,” he said, “they can add a fan.”

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Those Crazy Penguins are back along with all your favorites from the Original Madagascar. This time they have landed in Africa and if they are going to survive they will need to tap into their wild side.
Here is a trailer for Madagascar Escape 2 Africa it looks funny I am planning on seeing it Friday and should have a review this weekend.

The Best way to Find a Babysitter

Find a Babysitter or Nanny

Finding the right babysitter or Nanny for your Child can be a daunting experience, After all you are entrusting the care and well being of your child with someone else (you need to get it right).
If relatives such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles are available, willing, and competent then they are one of your best options.

Trusted friends, especially those with children of their own that are at a similar age as your child can also be a good option. You can swap sitting time and your child can have a play date. Even with Family and friends you will want to be sure that they are caring for your child as you would. Clear communication is key in letting them know up front how you do things and what your expectations are.

One method that we used to assist in the vetting process was to have our prospective babysitter watch our daughter with us present.
This enabled the babysitter to develop an understanding of our expectations, and a feel for our parenting style while providing our daughter with the time to be become comfortable with someone new. It enabled us to conduct a more extensive and relevant interview.
This process would be carried out over five 1-2 hour sessions in which we would pay the babysitter. The sessions would vary with earlier sessions being in home with both of us present. Other sessions were outside the home at various locations such as the playground, library, and the local strip mall. (These subsequent sessions were conducted with one parent present.)
During these engagements we would have the babysitter be responsible for an increasing amount of the child care until we were sure that the babysitter was the correct choice.
We have been fortunate with our babysitters. Two of them have held long terms positions with us. They have become a part of our family. Our daughter is happy and even excited to see them is at ease whenever she is left with either one.

Over the next few weeks I am will be running a series of articles on: Online Babysitter Services that assist families with finding Babysitters and Nannies. Tips for Conducting Online Background checks, Tips for interviewing a babysitter, Checklist and rules.

To receive these and other great articles as soon as they are published please subscribe to our Blog

Thank You
Mike at KidZense

Related Posts:

Election Day Voter Stimulus Packages

Starbucks:On Tuesday November 4th Go into any Participating Starbucks Let them Know that you voted and they will give you a free 12 oz Coffee. Limit 1 per Customer

Ben and Jerry's : Come to participating scoop shops on November 4th from 5-8pm, and you'll get a free scoop of ice cream.

Krispy Kreme Donuts: Krispy Kreme will celebrate National Election Day by offering all retail customers an "I Voted" Sticker and a Doughnut with Red, White, and Blue Sprinkles.

Blogging Idol 2

Blogging Idol 2 will take place between November 1st and November 30th. During that period 104 bloggers will compete to see who can gain RSS subscribers more efficiently. You can track our standing in the contest via the Live scoreboard that displays contestants with their initial and current RSS subscriber count, as well as their net gain of subscribers. There is almost $5,000 in prizes.
If you subscribe to my blog through November you will be help me get one step closer towards My Dream becoming a Blogging Idol (Just kidding about the Idol part... sort of)
And I will provide you with articles with Activities to do with your Kids, Coupons, Tips on Education, finding a Babysitter and more. It's a win win Proposition!

Thanks in Advance,

Mike at Kidzense

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