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General Article

Teaching the Rituals of Friendship

Teaching the Rituals of Friendship

When we are children, we understand the rituals of friendship so much better than we do as adults. We play down at the creek and hunt for pebbles, comparing them for beauty, competing with our friends for the prettiest ones, painting them in bright colors to give away as gifts. Sometimes little children swear allegiances of friendship in the most sincere possible way and never forget those early promises of eternal friendship. Others put them aside and remember them late in life; forgotten and dusty promises.

Friendship rituals might be promises or tokens or even pacts made between love struck teenagers. As we grow up, we lose so many of the sentimental emotions that accompany our devotion in early friendship. Our simple affections and friendships in childhood lay in a neglected and yellowing photo album and we move away to be educated and find work and make families; leaving our friends at the station and promising to write every week, then every month, and finally sending the occasional sad Christmas card to mark one of the deepest and most valuable friendships of our lives.

Shame on us. As we mature, we begin to recover our values when it comes to keeping friendship alive. We remember all those sunny afternoons paddling in the creek with a good friend by our side and have the honesty to realise not many of our friendships match up to that innocent and selfless love we had for the best friend we could wish for.

We hear the expression, ‘You know who your friends are when you are in trouble,’ so often yet we still neglect our friends, leaving them to wonder what we are doing and even worse, not enquiring how they are, when a phone call or letter would take just a few minutes: even better, to exchange a friendship gift that we can touch and keep close to us to remind us of how much a friend means to us.…

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Family Tips for Saving Money

Ensure That Your Family Eats Healthy – Build a Healthy, Happy Family

Ensure that your family eats healthily this year by following these tips:
o Work to add fruits and vegetables into the daily routine. Aim for a goal of at least five servings a day.
o Keep fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat, therefore making it easy for your child to choose healthy snacks. Healthy and tasty snacks include low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers or bread and cheese.
o Serve them with lean meats and other good sources of protein at meal times, such as fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
o For more fiber in their diets, choose to have whole-grain breads and cereals.
o Limit their unhealthy fat intake by avoiding deep-fried foods and choose to have healthier home-made cooking methods, such as boiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
o Limit your family’s fast food and other low-nutrient meals and snacks, such as fast food, chips and sweets.
o Limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead.
o Establish a predictable set schedule of meals and snacks. It prevents nibbling as the family knows when to expect the next meal.
o Don’t force your children to clean their plates as it encourages them to overeat. Let them eat till they are full and let them leave whatever is left on the plate, at home and anywhere else you eat as well. This is a habit that can easily be carried through their entire life.
o Don’t bribe or reward kids with food or snacks.
o Don’t use food as a way of showing love. When you want to show love, give kids a hug, some of your time, or praises your attention and your unconditional love.
These are only a few tips on how to build a healthy happy family this year. Start today, love your family and give them the best you can give them.…

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Family Photo

3 Simple Tips to Make Family Time a Good Time in Your Hectic Life

Any working person’s life can become extremely hectic at times. The common suspects are: a busy schedule, loads of work, as well as faithfully keeping the promise to never put off until tomorrow any work that you can do today. As a consequence, you may be totally satisfied with your rapid career advancements. Yet, this imbalance is very bad for your family life, as it can make you lose the precious bond with your spouse and children.
If you suspect that you are losing touch with your family, you need to do your best to avoid making the matters worse. Here are three tips and tricks that could help you start spending more quality time with your family, even if you have an extremely hectic life:
1. Plan your day or week in advance. Scheduling your day or even a week in advance could take as little as 15-30 minutes, but it could truly make a difference for your family. Thus, you could start bringing your “family relationship improvement plan” to life without sacrificing what needs to be done at work.
2. Turn off your cell phone every now and then. When it comes to spending time with your family, a cell phone is one of the most disruptive devices. If you have scheduled a family outing, make sure that your cell phone will not disrupt it. Consider setting a new voice message that will state that you are currently unavailable.
3. Try to achieve a 50/50 work-family balance. Being a success at work and “failing at family” cannot do anyone any good. Try to be a success at both, home and at work.
Keep reminding yourself that your spouse and children are your first priority. Time spent with your family is invaluable, while time lost cannot be compensated.
Relationships take an effort to build, and yet it’s so easy to damage these bonds by constantly being busy, distant and unavailable. Being continuously distant can lead to a family relationship cool-down, which may be hard to warm up again.…

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Family Happiness

Happy Family? It’s Easy!

Home evening family activities are the all kind of activities that can bond our family, and make us happier!
There are a lot of tasks we have to do at home. Such as cooking, cleaning, making a laundry, watching TV etc. Usually, we do those tasks at evenings, when we return from job. Those activities are very important, but we have to remember what task is the most important and try not to skip on it. The most important task, in my opinion, is investing in our family.
Why does it important to invest in our family is pretty obvious. We have to remember that our family is like a business. If we want it to work well, we have to invest! It means to help our kids with their home work, to play with them (even if we are tired), to be with our partner and to do family activities together.
Activities that are advisable for the whole family are those activities where each member of the family participates. For example, if we decide to make a dinner together, we have to make sure that everyone knows his task. Kids can arrange a table or make a salad, the adults can make a pancakes etc. It’s a great way to make a good atmosphere.
We can divide activities into categories like sport, thinking games, cooking, performances etc. When we decide what activity to do today, we have to see the whole picture. It means, if we did a singing performance yesterday we will not do it today! And if we already cooked this week we will prefer to do something else.…

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Christmas Activities For Any Happy Family

Christmas is a time that most families especially children look forward to. It is a season of joy, bonding and lot of fun. It is a period for families to come together engaging in various activities. These activities could be indoor games or outdoor sports. The indoor games vary from family to family for some; it could be printable games like cross word puzzle, scrabble, snakes and ladder, chess and monopoly. These various indoor games help to bring togetherness and oneness in the family. Christmas time is also a time when family members that have been away for a long period of time get to come together again.
Outdoor Christmas activities come in various forms and they range from snowballing to going to the park, and if you are living in sunny areas, also trips to the beach. Some other activities also include Christmas mazes, hunting and Christmas parties, which are most popular with people. These outdoor activities help indeed enhance bonding among family members, hoping for a better future together. This article will be focusing on various activities that can be embarked on during Christmas period or at Christmas time.
If during Christmas you decide to stick to staying in your house, there are several indoor games that will appeal to you. For example there are various printable games that can be bought from any departmental store or shop. Some of these games can also be purchased through the internet by searching through search engines, or going directly to the shop’s website.
There are also Christmas worksheets available that help little children in solving problems. The worksheets help the children in becoming creative and independent. Another indoor Christmas activity includes drawing and painting by little children. There could also be recitation of poems and story telling. Sudoku is also a very important indoor game that families can indulge in. This game act as a brain teaser and is more complex that really engages the brain. The game is good for teenagers and adults. While little children are engrossed in their drawing and painting, adults can have a game of sudoku by the fire.
As I mentioned before, Christmas can also be spent outdoors by engaging in various Christmas activities. Some of these includes building snow men and creating snow birds. It is also possible to engage in solving Christmas mazes. These mazes challenge the minds of children to think clearly and distinctly to find the way out of the maze. It is also possible for a member of the family to act as Santa Claus giving out gifts to other family members and friends.…

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General Article

Eczema in Babies and Toddlers

Eczema in Babies and Toddlers

Eczema in babies and toddlers is usually much more severe than it is in adults so treatment should be at least as aggressive. Fortunately, most children stop having outbreaks by around age 6, although they can recur later in life. Usually these later occurrences aren’t as severe as childhood eczema though. If your baby or toddler has eczema, here are some tips on what to do.

First of all, make sure to keep your child’s fingernails trimmed very short, as most children will scratch themselves when they itch, regardless of how many times they’ve been told not to. Toddlers simply don’t have the self-discipline necessary to suffer through an itch, and because children’s eczema flare-ups tend to be more severe than most adult’s, it becomes even harder for them to resist scratching. If fingernails are short, there’s less likelihood that children will spread the rash through scratching and also less chance of scarring.

Moisturizing the skin is just as important for babies and toddlers as it is for adults, so after your child’s bath, make sure you moisturize his skin well. It’s also recommended that during the bath, you substitute lotion for soap. At least twice a week, add an antiseptic to baby’s bath water to prevent bacterial infections that could develop in the skin. During after-bath moisturizing, use mineral oil or some other heavy moisturizer rather than lotion, as heavier moisturizers are better for baby and toddler skin during eczema outbreaks.

Keep in mind that using lotion instead of soap in the bath and moisturizing afterward with oil is bound to make your baby or toddler slippery, so make sure you take precautions. It’s best if you can sit on the floor during bathing sessions instead of trying to bathe baby in the sink or in a tub on a counter. Be prepared for accidents! Place a soft mat on the floor and place your bathing tub on the mat, then sit cross-legged on the floor (or any position that’s comfortable and secure) before you begin the bathing ritual. Bathing your baby or toddler daily is recommended, as young skin is more prone to bacterial infections if it’s not kept clean.

Doctors do often prescribe steroid creams for babies and toddlers, so do use those according to doctor’s orders. Don’t, however, use over-the-counter hydrocortizone creams or anti-allergy medications without first checking with the doctor. Some allergy creams that work just fine on adult skin may not be suitable for your baby’s skin.

As with adults, children often have eczema flare-ups after eating certain foods. Keep a food diary for your child and pay attention to what foods your child eats just prior to outbreaks. Often, babies and toddlers are allergic to dairy products. Try goat’s milk instead, or for babies still on formula, opt for soy based formula instead of cow’s milk. Breast-feeding is always best for babies if possible, as it builds a stronger immune system and may minimize eczema outbreaks in babies and toddlers.…

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Happy Family Show

Preparing Fido and Fluffy For Disaster – Emergency Evacuation Preparation For Pets

Disaster preparation saves more than human lives. It also saves the lives of those other family members endowed with fur, feather or scale. The time to plan is now, before the danger is imminent. It is important that your pet has a current identification and/or rabies license tag attached to a collar. Should you and your pet become separated, these identification tags will help insure a quick reunion. Many Wal-Mart stores contain a metal tag printing machine that allows you to print a pet identification tag for under $5.00.
You will also need to have a way to properly transport your pet, be it in a carrier or crate. These should be large enough to allow your pet to stand and turn around. If considering to shelter your pet, most shelters are operating over capacity and your pet may have to remain in its carrier for long periods. Whereas dogs can be walked, cats cannot, so your cat carrier should be large enough to contain a litter box.
If you are planning on sheltering your pet it is absolutely necessary that your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date as most boarding facilities will not accept your pet without them. Now is also the time to check with your local county emergency management office to verify if there will be a pet-friendly shelter in your area. Pet shelters fill up quickly on a first come, first serve basis. Call ahead of the storm and determine availability. Public shelters do not allow pets. However, the Red Cross does allow service animals for disabled persons.
Contact friends and relatives about the possibility of taking in your pet. Consider surveying boarding kennels or veterinarian clinics in different areas of your state to compile a list of those that would be a safe-haven for your pet during a disaster. If you still cannot locate a shelter in your area, you will need to consider taking your pet with you.
Taking your pet with you also comes with its own measure of preparation. Animals sense the heightened anxiety that you feel as well as the change in the natural elements or the nature of the emergency evolves. Be prepared to handle your pet’s anxiety with as much calm as you can muster. Be reassuring as you go about your evacuation plan. If you do not have family or friends to stay with, it is certain you will be looking for a pet-friendly hotel. A great place to start looking is online at Pet where you can find pet welcoming hotels and motels. Be sure to check for restrictions on size and number. Many times a “no pet” policy or restrictions are waived in an emergency. Exotic pets like parrots, ferrets, reptiles and fish are more sensitive to environmental changes and should really be placed with friends or a shelter outside the threatened area.
A quick checklist as you prepare to evacuate is essential to a smooth transition in exiting your home. Bring along your pets collar and identification, medications and updated photos in the event your pet gets lost. To ease your pets anxiety also bring along a familiar toy, the pet’s bed or blanket. You should include plastic bags and scoopers, cat litter, bird seed and food bowls with at least a two-week supply of water and food and a MANUAL can-opener. The aftermath of a disaster can leave an enormous amount of devastation and returning home may not be possible right away.
Horse and livestock owners are also encouraged to have an evacuation and shelter plan. It is a rule of thumb that trailing animals out of harms way should take place 72 hours if possible, so not to jeopardize the possibility of getting caught in evacuation traffic. A 1000 lb. horse should have 5 gallons of water and at least 20 lbs. of hay a day. It is best to take the time to acclimate your animal to the trailer it will be carried in to avoid having a frightened and unruly animal who could force you to leave it behind. You may need to rent a trailer or truck to haul your livestock. Take time now to reserve whatever you will be needing, chances of it being available when the danger is close is nil. Locating a facility out of harms way is very important. If you do not have friends or relatives to harbor you and your livestock, check with your local veterinarian for suggestions or even go to Craigslist online to look for potential shelters.
A crucial time to monitor your pet is after the emergency passes. Returning home is a time or re-orientation. Familiar scents and landmarks may be virtually changed and your pet may be confused with the new environment. It is a good idea to leash your dogs and …