3 Bulk Purchases Necessary For Any Family Holiday

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When you travel as a family, there’s always a lot of luggage involved. There are so many supplies for you and the kids, it can feel like you have to start your packing at least a month before your departure date. As a result, the idea of bulk numbers of items probably isn’t welcome.

Nevertheless, there are a few items it’s worth having a plentiful supply of. Make room for multiples of these three key holiday items in your suitcase, and your next family holiday will be the better for it.

  1. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must for any holiday; in fact, it’s pretty much a must all year round. While you can buy sunscreen abroad, it might not be of the quality that you would usually expect.

It therefore makes sense, if you find a brand that you’re happy with, to stock up on it before you go. One bottle per person per week of the holiday should be sufficient, but it makes sense to add a couple of spares in just in case. It’s also best to buy sunscreen that has to be applied by hand rather than sprayed; studies are showing that spray sunscreen might not provide a thick enough layer to actually provide any protection.

  1. Swimming Caps

When you’re on holiday, regular dips in and out of the pool are essential — for the whole family. The pool is a source of fun for kids, as well as being the perfect way to cool down for everyone.

However, constantly being exposed to endless amounts of chlorine can be cause difficulties, especially for the sensitive skin on children’s scalps. A swimming cap is therefore a necessity, but there’s a problem: kids can lose things. Most parents will be familiar with their children using an item once, putting it down, and then forgetting where they put it.

A good stock of swimming caps brought prior to your flight is therefore essential. Though you can buy while you’re away, the quality might be questionable. This is definitely not something you want to risk, so to guarantee you’re buying good products, buy before you leave. If you struggle to find suppliers with enough stock for the whole family, there’s plenty of tips on that right here, so you can be sure there’s always enough to go around. It pays to be prepared!

  1. Band-Aids

A lot of the activities that kids tend to want to do on holiday require a high amount of physical activity. Whether it’s bouncing on the trampolines in your resort or going banana-boating out at sea, the potential for nicks and scrapes is obvious. So you can patch them up in double-quick time, take along a wide selection of Band-Aids and sticking plasters. With any wounds immediately taken care of, they can get back to doing what they should be doing — having fun!

Bulk buying for a holiday may sound like an odd concept, but as the above show, sometimes there really is strength in numbers.

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Encouraging Creativity In Children

As a parent, giving your children the best start in life is the top item on the agenda. Encouraging the kids to explore their creative sides is a pivotal part of that development. This is why you must take the necessary steps to let it happen. But how?

There are many different approaches, and trying out various methods until you find what works for the individual is key. Here are four of the most common and rewarding ideas out there.

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Toys For Adventure

Home is the perfect starting place for children to express their creativity. One of the best options is to let them use their imagination. A toddler tipi can go a long way to getting youngsters to take on all kinds of crazy adventures. As they get a little older, you can additionally look at garden jungle gyms.

In addition to encouraging creativity, those types of toys promote a sense of sharing. This makes them a far better option than solo games and toys that stifle creativity. When choosing video games, titles like Minecraft are better than linear narrative adventures.

Encourage Artistry  

Unlocking a child’s artistic flair is a truly wonderful thing, and this could take many different forms. Of course, paints and crayons are a great starting point, but there are many alternatives. Just because your child isn’t naturally brilliant at drawing, it doesn’t mean they can’t be artistic.

Playing musical instruments is another fantastic way for them to express that flair and creativity. With this in mind, all parents should embrace gifted children. Similarly, dancing and other art forms can be used to promote that creative spark in a productive manner. These activities also aid the development of key motor skills while team events increase communication too.

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Explore Exciting Locations

One of the best ways to explore that creative side is to explore new locations. Our family loves visiting Helen, Georgia. However, yours could find similar adventures in a host of places. From parks to nature reserves, those day trips and adventures are truly rewarding.

Learning more about the world gives your children a far better chance of making up imaginative games and stories. Meanwhile, the car journeys can be a great time for building that excitement and getting them to think about those magical adventures. If nothing else, the opportunity to make new friends will have a hugely positive impact.

Let Them Have A Say

When organizing fun family activities, it’s very easy to take control. However, actively encouraging kids to have an input can work wonders. Brainstorm ideas at the kitchen table to get them excited and using their imagination. Of course, you may have to reject some ideas. Still, you’ll be surprised with the great suggestions. In many cases, they’ll choose things that’ll save a lot of money too.

Even simple tasks like baking cakes together, or growing fruit and veg can tap into their creativity. With a little planning, you’ll have no problems making it fun and child-friendly. The kids will be happy while you’ll love spending time together too. The fact that it helps their development is simply a bonus.

 

3 Tricks For Weaning Off The Pacifier

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One of the best comforts for a tiny, crying baby is a pacifier. Baby needs comfort, Mom needs sleep; it’s a no brainer that a pacifier is probably one of the best tools in the parental box of tricks. It’s your child’s first love and as with anything, breaking up is hard to do! The pacifier has provided you with hours of quiet while the baby soothes themselves into naptime oblivion, but the time is coming to start weaning off that comfort. Some like to wait until a child is starting to talk before weaning, which is a good idea!

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Teething is a huge reason a lot of parents turn to a pacifier. Not only does baby have something to hold onto and chew, they have a soother with them to rely on when the pain gets a little too much. There’s no true ‘right time’ to start weaning off the pacifier, as the time is going to be individual to each child. However, you can have a chat with your kids dentist and talk about when a pacifier starts to impact their dental care and growth and make a decision based on that. If you want to get your child off the pacifier earlier, then we’ve got some tricks that will help you to make the transition a little easier for you and for baby!

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Timing It Right. Did you know that a pacifier can help to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)? At night, babies often forget to stop breathing and the presence of a pacifier in their mouth can remind their brain to breathe as the tongue relaxes and triggers a suckling reflex. Try not to wean off the pacifier too early, and avoid trying to wean during big life changes.

Cold Turkey? Perhaps Not. Every parent knows their child individually, so you will know when your child is ready to let go. Sometimes, you can tell they are ready before they can tell you, so even though it may make for a rough couple of days, you can take the pacifier away and endure the crying. The best idea is from around 12months, start refusing the pacifier in the day time unless for a nap. Distraction techniques with toys work wonders here! Once they’re used to only using it for nap time, start to wean off the night usage by using….

The Dummy Fairy! Children respond well to fairy tales, especially ones that involve a gift. It may be bribery for some, but who can say they’ve avoided parenthood without bribery?? About a month before the pacifier is permanently in the trash, start talking about a fairy who brings a present and takes the pacifiers to the new baby. The night before, leave the pacifier in an envelope and swap it for a small gift for being such a big girl or boy.

Getting your child on board to give up a pacifier doesn’t have to be a difficult feat. It means you have to be strong and stay calm and they will emulate that behaviour. Good luck!

 

 

Making your Child’s First Dentist Visit Fun and Enjoyable

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There is plenty that you can do to ensure that your child enjoys their trip to the dentist. Taking care of their dental health is one of the life skills that your little one will have to learn.

Some kids are naturally relaxed about all medical appointments and take the whole visit in their stride. Others find the surroundings and equipment at the dental surgery terrifying.

Establishing a good dental hygiene routine is essential to prevent decay and cavities and ultimately avoids your child from having to endure a toothache and distress. There are a few useful ways in which you can make a trip to the dentist both fun and interesting for you and your child.

Start visiting the dentist as soon as you can

Choose a dentist that is experienced in working with children. When you visit Drs. Coakley, Trainor & Mancuso you get 30 years of experience and affordable financing so you will feel relaxed about the visit. This will put your child at ease too and make the trip less stressful for all of you.

The biggest mistake you can make is waiting until your child is in pain or discomfort. They will already be upset and will associate the dentist with a bad experience rather than a positive one.

Many parents start routine check-ups from around three to six months of age. The number of teeth that your child has is not important at this stage. It is all about getting them familiar with the experience. It is fine for the visit to be short. It could be little more than having a seat in the chair and having the light shone in their mouth.

Turn it into an educational experience

Children are naturally curious and like to learn about new things. The trick is to turn this into an interesting visit. Let them explore the equipment in the dental surgery as far as is safe. Your dentist may allow them to touch some of the equipment.

As your child gets older, your dentist can talk to them about the treatment room and what goes on in there. The chair is always good for entertainment because they can ride up and down in it! They may also like to listen to the drill.

Watch your language

Your child will take their lead from you so it is essential that you keep your tone light and casual. Prepare as if you are going to the park or to the library. This sends the message that the dentist is a fun place to go where your child will get encouragement and praise and will be the center of attention. What kid does not like that?

Use positive words and watch your body language, especially if you are feeling anxious yourself. You need to be a great actor.

Re-enforce what the dentist has said to your child when you get home but never threaten your child with the dentist if they are refusing to brush their teeth. The carrot is far better than the stick in this situation.

Life Skills Every Child Needs to Learn

Life skills are something we as parents need to take the time to teach our children! I have created a list of life skill that we need to teach them as they grow up and hit the appropriate ages to learn. Life skills are tools your child needs to know to be successful in life, they don’t teach all of these skills at school! Some of the skills is knowing how to do laundry, cooking, knowing who to call when there is an emergency, etc.

It is up to us as the parents to take the time and teach them the valuable life skills that will make their adult life a lot easier, when they decide to leave the nest. You want your child to be able to thrive on their own, and have success, and by teaching these life skills it will help prepare them!

Sometimes you might find it is easier to complete the task yourself, then to designate your child doing it. But by doing that, we are taking away valuable teaching moments. Don’t rob your child because it is quicker if you do it yourself. Make sure that as a parent we take the time to help teach our kids valuable life skills!

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

These life skills listed below range from around two years and up, so obviously your fifteen year old should be able to brush their own teeth. I wanted to create a nice list, so that it can benefit kids of all ages. This is a great way to look over the list and keep it in mind if a situation arises in the future! These truly skim the surface, but it will give you a good idea of where to start, if you are unsure.

  1. Groom themselves – brush teeth, comb hair, bath, etc.
  2. Play safely alone.
  3. Clean up room and do chores around the home.
  4. Minor yard work.
  5. Minor home improvements.
  6. Check oil on car, put gas in, air in tires, etc.
  7. Know how to manage money, and keep a budget.
  8. Go grocery shopping and clothes shopping on their own.
  9. Know who to call in case of an emergency.
  10. Be able to help or fully do laundry.
  11. Know how to take public transportation.
  12. Pay bills like insurance on car, rent, etc.
  13. Sit quietly when in class or other situations where it is required.
  14. Have manners to others.
  15. How to Vote.
  16. How to pick out ripe produce at grocery store.
  17. Know their full name, address, phone number, and other important details.
  18. How to communicate properly with others.
  19. Feed and water pets.
  20. Know how to ride a bike, roller skate, etc.
  21. Understands stranger danger.
  22. Simple mending and sewing if needed.
  23. Understands healthy and balanced meals and can plan one.
  24. Can follow rules and not break them.
  25. Can create a resume and apply for job on own.
  26. Can be dependable when it comes to work and showing up on time.
  27. Knows how to take care of themselves if they get sick.
  28. Will ask for help if they need it.
  29. Controls their temper if they are angry.
  30. Understands you have to work for your money to pay bills.

List of Life Skills to Teach Your Child

These are just skimming the surface of life skills you need to teach. We might overlook these simple tasks we do each day, but we have to teach them to our children. All too often we overlook teaching our children to cook, and then they are left eating out at fast food places, or tossing stuff in the microwave because they don’t know. Or they overdraft their bank account, and don’t get why they get charged. Take the time and teach your child from when they are young and even after they leave the nest, all these valuable life skills!

Safety First: How To Protect Kids At Play Time

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Everyone is unique, but if there is one thing kids have in common it’s their desire to play. Whether it is on the internet or outside, they love to get stuck into a long, hard session. For parents, this is a godsend because keeping your kids active is one of the major parts of being a mom or dad. However, there is a problem: their safety. Unfortunately, play time isn’t always a secure pastime and accidents do happen. If you want to protect your children, you have to take action. Here is a couple of things that should help.

Reconsider Their Toys

Regular toys look harmless on the surface, but there may be issues going on underneath the hood. Simply put, there is no way for you to know what is in a toy, which is frightening. For example, the manufacturer may use paint that is dangerous in large quantities. Or, it may use chemicals that can seep into a baby’s skin and cause rashes. Thankfully, natural toymakers are on hand to help. With things like an organic playmat and a rattle, there is no reason to worry about their health. All you have to do is start buying organic alternatives. Sure, it is expensive, but it is worth it for the sake of your children.

Don’t Walk Before They Can Crawl

Every kid loves to do things like ride a bike, and parents love watching them do it for the first time. But, unless your child is the next Mat Hoffman, they will be a few scrapes. For the most part, they are small incidents which go away after a short cry. However, there is a real possibility of danger with a bike, which is why the safety equipment is imperative. Simply put, if you have the best, the odds of an accident reduce dramatically. Take training wheels as an example. By fitting a bike with stabilizers, no one should lose their balance and fall off. When they have it mastered, they can move onto the next level.

Parental Controls

As the intro eluded, playing outside isn’t the only way modern kids spend their time. Nowadays, children love to surf the internet and play video games online. On the face of it, there isn’t too much wrong with this as long as they play outside as well. But, when you delve deeper, there is a safety threat. Although it is a taboo subject, there are people online that prey on young kids. To keep them out, parental controls are essential. That way, your children won’t be able to access sites that are potentially dangerous when you are not watching.

Finally, the best thing you can do is try and watch them as much as possible. Okay, it isn’t easy or realistic, especially if you have more than one. However, it is the only way to ensure that they aren’t doing something hazardous. All it takes is a question or a quick glance in their direction to know if everything is okay.

10 Products to Help Kids Focus

With the stress of standardized testing and a fast paced educational environment in our schools, it is no wonder more kids are exhibiting signs of ADHD and anxiety. There are less exercise times, such as recess being slowly taken away from the elementary children who need that mid-day break to release energy. The pressure is on for kids, parents and teachers to figure out how to get kids to focus when school is simply more demanding than ever.

10 Products to Help Kids Focus

What Parents & Teachers Can Do

You can do a couple of things as a parent or teacher in this day in age, you can just make excuses and blame the system for your child’s lack of focus or you can look into ways that you can help your child increase focus and release stress in healthy ways. Today I wanted to share 10 products that will help kids focus because there’s an increase in simple, affordable products that will truly help your child regain control of their mind and in turn succeed in school regardless of the pressure placed upon them.

10 Products to Help Kids Focus from Amazon.com

10 Products to Help Kids Focus

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  4. AMILIFE EDC Fidget Spinner High Speed Stainless Steel Bearing ADHD Focus Anxiety Relief Toys
  5. GongFu Star Fidget Spinner Toy Time Killer Perfect to relieve ADHD Anxiety Reduce Stress Helps Focus White, Fidget Spinner

 

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Parenting is all About Instincts

I am on a kick this week writing about gut instincts, seriously head on over to BrandyEllen.com to read more on dreams and instincts this week. With that being said, I wanted to take a moment to write about parenting and how it is all about instincts. You see, we can read all of the parenting books out there; we can listen to the advice of our elders. We can go on and on trying to be told or determine what we should be doing at parents but at the end of the day, it’s all about our instincts as a parental unit to our child.

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While I am often found lending advice or saying what works for me, how I have seen my autistic son grow with age, this isn’t the case for other parents. We all live in different environments; we all have different morals, values and beliefs. Every single family on this Earth is unique and that is what makes the world we live in so beautiful. In my opinion.

Okay back on topic … parenting is all about instincts.

When you bring this little bundle of joy into this world, you are instantly in love. You want nothing more than to do good by this little bundle of joy and you know that you will always work to be better as a person and a parent each day. The newborn days are tough. You are often tested to see what you can figure out from a simple cry. That baby will cry and sleep very little in the middle of the night yet you somehow figure out what your baby needs. You work through it and you use instincts, believe it or not, to determine what your baby needs!

As your child grows into a toddler, they are more demanding for now they have figured out how to use their voice and you are the lucky one who taught them how to talk. It’s like this catch 22, you teach them to talk and then you want them to stop. Reality is you still have to use your instincts to figure out what is causing your toddler to have a tantrum. You have to figure out what times are best to give the toddler a nap. You have to figure out if your tantrum throwing toddler needs something beyond the immediate moment. Perhaps the toddler needs more positive attention and sure enough they will act out negatively just to get your attention.

Then you get into the days of pre-teens. These are difficult times for the child is shown the path by their peers. They are in school and learning how others interact as a family, what their friends believe in and more than likely they have picked up some bad habits. You have to work with your pre-teen at home to determine where behavioral issues are stemming from. Is there something wrong at school, is your child feeling like they are not good enough? Will your pre-teen talk to you? Maybe, maybe not. You have to again dig deep into that parental gut instinct and know your child to figure out what’s going on.

Parenting is all About Instincts

Last, but certainly not least your role as a parent turns to the raising of a teenager. These years are confusing, difficult and make gut instincts on edge. During the teen years your parental instincts will be tested because you will watch shows, read books and learn more about this stage in childhood. Those teen years could lead you down a path of thinking your child is on drugs because they are anxious, depressed or moody. That’s not always the case. Teenagers are moody, anxious and depressed – it’s their hormones and the stress brought on by high demand of expectations from school.

ParentInfluence How to Get Kids to Do Homework

Eventually you will muster through every stage of parenthood, on your own or with help from loved ones. The children will grow up to tell you what they thought you did wrong and what they thought you did right. You will learn all over again how you were great at following instincts in some scenarios and not so great in others. You will learn that as a parent, you did the best you could fueled by the internal need to keep those children safe. Last, but not least, this process will be repeated all over again when and if you become a grandparent.