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Family Relationships

How To Keep Children Entertained During Travel

Traveling with children can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you are planning a long trip in the car or a plane ride. Kids are usually pretty well behaved in the beginning, but as they become bored and stir crazy they will also start to be more fussy and ornery. These tips will help you keep them happy next time you are traveling:
Invest in a portable DVD player. It is amazing to see how long kids can be entertained by a simple little machine! Bringing a portable DVD player along with several of their favorite movies is a great way to keep the kids quite as you are traveling. If you will be on an airplane, be sure to bring headphones so that you do not disturb the other passengers on the plane.
Always have snacks available. Children are less likely to get grumpy if they are well fed! Having snacks available is a great way to keep them happy, I usually save the snacks and then pull them out when they start to get a little restless or grumpy.
Toys can be a great way to keep kids entertained, but make sure that you bring new toys or novelty toys that are different. Many parents make the mistake of bringing the same toys that the kids play with every day… and so the kids are more interested in all of the new things around them (that they shouldn’t be playing with) instead of playing with the toys that they have available.
Picture books are another good option, because children enjoy turning the pages to see all of the pictures. I suggest that you stay away from coloring books though, because it can be hard to prevent the kids from drawing on everything else that is around.
Yes, it can be difficult to travel with children, but it can be very rewarding! You will be creating family memories that last a lifetime, and it is well worth it!…

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Happy Family Show

How to Have a Happy Family Holiday With Your Teenage Children

The planning of last year’s family holiday brought me to despair.
The New Year has barely begun when my husband Steven starts planning the upcoming summer holiday. The internet is surfed for hours, plenty of the latest holiday brochures are arriving at the house and Stephen is in heaven.
We are a family of three and our ideas of a happy family holiday could not be different. The only thing we can agree on is a warm holiday in the ‘sunny south.’
Our first task is to find the right accommodation. A hotel is not suitable for my 18 years old daughter Caroline, because breakfast is not served after 11am. A picturesque little cottage in the countryside? This is also a definite no, because spending time with your parents in the middle of nowhere when you are young does not appeal. There are no activities, sports or a night life.
Stephen is happy with a tennis court and a good tennis coach. I would love some time to myself and a golf course nearby.
After several family dramas, we came across this place in the South of France. At first sight this place was not my idea of bliss. More than ten thousand people would stay there during the high season. The good news was that there were more than 16 tennis courts with very good coaches. Stephan was happy. There was a little golf course with wonderful views over the mountains and the sea. I was happy. But most importantly there were five pools, a beautiful beach, several bars and pubs. Now guess who was happy?
We managed to book a cute semi-detached house with the most wonderful sea view. Caroline suddenly decided to bring a friend which made the family complete.
After an early morning tennis lesson, Stephen brought some fresh croissants home and we started the day with a lovely family breakfast. The girls enjoyed their day at the beach or lying by the pool. Stephen and I had a relaxing game of golf and I managed to find some time reading a book in our tiny but very enchanting garden. We all met up in the evening for diner and the girls then enjoyed some time in a bar where they met several other young people of their age, while we sat on the terrace and had some delicious French wine.
This was one of the most relaxing, peaceful and happy holidays we ever had!
Would we do the same thing again? Most definitely, if of course Caroline wants to spend another holiday with us. I bet she will, because after all it is the cheapest holiday she will have and everything she wants is on the door step.
Yes, you can have a happy holiday with teenagers. We definitely had.…

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Good Relationship

Children In Broken Homes Need Emotional Support: How Can You Help?

Studies show that children go through faster recovery when parents decide to have a divorce sooner than prolong a marriage that has ceased to work out. But even if this is the case, it is the children who suffer the emotional brunt associated with a divorce, often leaving permanent emotional scars.

Statistics suggests that about half of married couples today are ending up in divorce resulting to what we call broken homes. Many preconceived notions about the effect of broken homes on children are true, while some unearthed truths are disheartening.

Children from broken homes are more likely to experience mild to clinical depression and other psychiatric problems which greatly affects their performance in school and their relationship with the outside world. There is a strong relationship between juvenile delinquency and broken homes due to the absence or lack of a male role model, so that children are less apprehensive to commit a crime. It is said that ?fatherlessness? is one of the main causes of the disintegration of a society; clearly emphasizing that parenthood should not be left to mothers or grandparents alone.

Divorce stirs up a stressful predicament on the children, which results in many emotional, intellectual, or psychological problems.

What you can do to help

Many parents who have the custody of their children often make up for the emotional lack that the absence of another parent brings by acting as both the mother and father. However, because of the bitterness a divorce causes there is a strong likelihood that custodial parents themselves are busy contemplating their own emotional turmoil, which is likewise unhealthy for the children of broken homes.

Children from broken homes usually puts the blame on themselves, and have themselves into thinking they caused the divorce of their parents. They need to understand that their parents? divorce is not their fault.

It?s beneficial that parents or caregivers are aware of the psychological and emotional impacts of broken homes so they will be armed on how to help children. That way, they?ll realize the importance of extending emotional support that the children needs during this time of life crisis. Broken homes produce children with low-esteem and depression which greatly affects their emotional growth so that parents and guardians should make sure they actively make sure children are cushioned from the trauma.

While it can be hard to save children from the traumatic experience of divorce parents, relatives, and friends should make sure children has a well of resources of emotional support. This can be in the form of listening what a child has to say about the divorce.

The prevalence of divorce in western countries is causing a flood of resources on how to help children in broken homes. You can do your part today in helping preserve the broken hearts of these children.…

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Good Relationship

Are We Losing Our Children? Learn How to Build a Healthy Happy Family

The breakdown of the family unit is the ultimate reason for the deterioration of our children’s behavior. Estranged family relationships, materialistic ideals and broken homes affect our children, read on to see how these affect our children and what we as parents can do about it.
Somehow it seems that our culture has shifted from adult oriented to peer oriented, as children spend more time with their friends than their parents. These friends they emulate in terms of lifestyle choices, morals and language.
The breaking away of children from parents can be seen as a natural progression to independence and a sign of the child’s individualism or maturation, but it should not be this way. The interaction and attachment between a child and a parent is very necessary, as it creates a strong foundation from which the child navigates their life. In order to build a healthy family this relationship need to be well developed otherwise the child would experience an orientation void, this is then when the peers substitute the parents.
Attachment needs to be intentionally nurtured as it does not always occur naturally. We as parents often use our position incorrectly, we tend to resort to threats and force and this only alienates the child. We should rather resort to meaningful communication and show empathy rather than use behavior that divides the relationship to build a healthy happy family.
At times our kids do vocalize their complaints about our parental control, but at the same time they assume that these minor battles are normal, and do not interfere with their happy family relationships. This should reassure us that our middle schoolers expect and do accept guidance from us. It does mean that they do hear our message, even though they are rolling their eyes at us in apparent protest. So do not back off too much, as they still need us to guide them.
In today’s consumerist culture characterized by wealth accumulation, status and commodities, we as parents spend more time working, and mothers are increasingly expected to work as well in order for the family to cope with the increasingly high cost of living. Our children are then in turn catapulted straight into the materialistic ideals of us as parents. Popularity has always been an issue in school, but somehow kids today are absolutely certain that the problem is more intense for their generation that it was for their parents. Kids believe that the right clothes, labels, makeup, piercings and appearance are the most crucial critical ingredient for achieving popularity. How do we manage to build a healthy family with all this pressure? According to some statistics, 50% of children between the ages of 6 and 7 have television in their bedrooms. And some studies have shown that children only spend about 40 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their parents. Comparing to the average of 1680 minutes a week they spend watching television. We need to find ways as to how to build a healthy family.
The internet on the other hand also seems to be a cause of the break down in today’s family relationships. The internet, but in particular the use of social networks play a huge role in emotional, psychological and social development of our children. Our children perceive anything on the internet as valid, regardless to whether it is good or bad, correct or incorrect information. We struggle even more to build a healthy happy family as our children retreat into the virtual world, thus letting go of the more personal connections with people, and letting go of the personal connections with us as parents.
Then the broken single parent homes are associated to our children reaching puberty earlier than they used to before. Especially our girls are reaching puberty much earlier. Precocious puberty is the term used for reaching puberty early, which is the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as the growth of pubic hair and the development of breasts. Although, the age for the onset of menstruation has largely remained unchanged. And although this trend is more pronounced in girls, our boys are not trailing very far behind. According to some studies, boys appear to be beginning puberty earlier than before as well.
Obesity seems to be the most significant contributor to precocious puberty, because fat tissue produces estrogen, which leads to breast development amongst others. Obesity is linked to a type of lifestyle that is characterized by a lack of parental care and largely sedentary accompanied by excessive television viewing and little exercise.
To build a healthy happy family, we need to look at the impact of divorce on our children as well. One of the alarming findings from a study on divorced or remarried homes is that the girls seem to mature sexually at much younger …

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Happy Family Tips

Saving Your Sanity, Teaching Children Respect and Creating a Happy Family!

Teaching Children Respect
It is always with astonishment that I see parents bully and belittle their children and then complain that those same children are hateful or disrespectful!
Honestly, how loving and respectful can a child feel about someone who constantly criticizes and frightens them? What must it be like for a little kid to be yelled at constantly? I wonder how it must feel to have Mom or Dad, the most important people in your life, always demanding that you DO something, eat right now – or else! Go to sleep this instant! Can you imagine always being threatened and being told to shut up! Sit down! Go away! Wow! It is an echo of our own childhood that is behind this crazy parenting behavior. We feel justified because it feels so normal and familiar. In reality there is no justification for such abuse towards the smallest and weakest among us. We should not condone this treatment of children and we should challenge ourselves to become better more enlightened parents.
The attitude of “spare the rod and spoil the child” is rampant in our society. Many parents that would never physically strike their child may still use the “rod” of words. Words can sting much more than a spanking and may never be forgotten. Think of your own childhood, and chances are that you still have a few hurtful sentences running around in your head! I know I do.
Children are born sensitive beings. From the moment they are conscious they are watching us. Learning from every example, every word spoken, every attitude that we project. The idea that children should “Do as I say, not as I do” is ridiculous! It might make a struggling parent feel better to say that, but it’s just not the way it is. Children learn what they see. They model the behavior that is in front of them. Parents are the most important and influential role models for their children. Hands down. I suspect that the saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is more from modeling than genetics! I certainly hear my Mothers words randomly coming out of my mouth!
Being a parent is a very challenging journey. It never ends, and children will always reflect back the dysfunction within a family. Perhaps the greatest challenge is not just the daily work of raising kids, the feeding, clothing, watching their every move, but rather in the personal growth that is demanded of a parent. My own on going journey through Motherhood has brought me to my knees more than once, and forced me to examine and challenge my own attitudes about everything. It has pushed me to mature and grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined possible, and at the end of the day has brought meaning, joy and connection to my life that has made it all worthwhile. More than worthwhile…Priceless!…

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Family Tips

Part 4 – Divorce Is Not Chess and Children Are Not Pawns

In my last article I wrote about the teamwork that is needed to make sure we don’t treat a broken relationship like chess and use children as pawns. We have the parents, the friends, family, new partners and sadly the children emotions all tied up in this horrible game of tug of war. Have you ever seen a real tug of war? It only ends up one way wherein one side is stronger than the other and the losing side usually ends up being dragged over a line that has been placed on the ground that they don’t want to go. The losing side then fall over and the game is over, stronger side wins. The other interesting part of a tug of war are the players on each team. The players have to really dig their feet into the ground to make sure they get a good strong hold of their position to make sure that the other team is always struggling for grip which makes the potential of losing even higher.
Now, do you see the similarities of tug of war and a couple who broke up?
Line drawn in the sand, feet dug in, make life as difficult as possible for those on the “other” side and in the middle we have the child or children watching this horrible back and forth and positioning.
Well what if the tug of war was a different game? What if on one side of the rope was all those involved in a relationship breakdown and what if the other side had as its team members all the nasty things that get involved those being, Bitterness, Anger, Rage, Pay back, Abuse, Denial, and the team captain BLAME. What if all those team members got dragged across a line and ended up in a big huge hole those got covered in dirt and was never seen again? Wow that would be prefect wouldn’t it? Am I dreaming is it possible? Could all sides totally cast away all ill feelings for each other and focus on the major goal? Is that goal being for the Children not to end up as pawns in a game of chess?
I believe it is possible and I have done it and so have many others and it comes back to what I closed my last article with. What we need to look at is TEAMWORK, but I will give you the heads up, it’s not going to be easy but nothing worth having is ever easy. The plan for teamwork will take eating a bit of humble pie, it will involve meeting and discussing situations and circumstances with people you have most likely vowed you would not spit on if they were on fire, but sorry better get that spit ready!
So how do we arrange the team, well the major players and usually the biggest enemies that being the Boy and Girl involved in the relationship, and that means you’re going to have to sit down and put all the other stuff aside that has nothing to do with the kids and work out a structured plan of how the role as “parents” will not only survive this trauma but prosper. Let me remind you I say the role as “Parents” as it’s totally separate from “Partner” and the game of chess is fueled by the inability to separate those two roles, so are we clear? NO choice or option on this if we want to move forward to TEAMWORK we have to bite the bullet on separation of roles, OK now I have your buy in on that we can move forward.
In your team meeting you have to look at every activity that normal parenting has as part of its role. That will be school, sport, family events, discipline, love, birthdays, doctor, dentist the list can be long but all of it is part and parcel of “Parents” not “parent” and once the list is complete there must be total agreement that both of you are responsible for all of it, yes there may be actions that are done by an individual but the planning, discussion and follow up is a PARENTS responsibility not a PARENT.
The next step of this meeting is to discuss what events would create the environment for a tug of war to begin? Let me help you out and remind you of the McDonalds access children change, if you think that will involve trauma both of you better eat some humble and stick to easiest of Changing station that being HOME. OK so he left you or she left you well sorry get over it, the house may have bad memories with the partner but to kids its home so get sued to picking them up and roping …

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Love Daddy

Nuture Your Children Right With These Essential Parenting Tips

Parenting is the most difficult and thankless job anyone can hold. Whether you have a strong support group to go to for advice or you are on your own, figuring out what to do with your child can be a difficult and sometimes, frightening experience. Read the tips in this article for suggestions on parenting techniques and ideas.

If your toddler is trying to climb out of his or her crib, lower the mattress if it is possible. This is because if a child is able to climb out of their crib, and they fall out, they could seriously injure themselves. Also, make sure to remove crib bumpers.

A great parenting tip is to not try and lay guilt on your child all the time. If you are always trying to make your child feel guilty for something they have done or haven’t done, your child will develop a complex and will greatly resent you for it.

If children live in your house, you should never smoke indoors. Actually, maybe you could quit completely! The effects of secondhand smoke can often be as bad as smoking a cigarette directly. Second-hand smoke increases the risks of asthma and various respiratory conditions in children.

To make hair washing an easier process, pretend like your child is visiting a hair salon. Allow her to lay her head up to the sink and place a towel underneath her neck. Give your child a head massage while you are rinsing her hair. Engaging in imaginative play, will make this task fun for your child.

Make sure to give your twins time with you that they don’t have to share. All too often twins are thought of as one complete unit. They are separate people and they need time to discover who they are on their own. Make time each week to take one twin to the park or the store with you.

Close Family

As a parent one should make sure to set time aside specifically for the family. This is important for maintaining a happy and close family, because with our busy lives it is easy to let other outside activities such as sports and work get in the way.

Good Relationship

As unfortunate an event it may be, divorces happen all of the time. In order for you, a divorced parent, to hold a good relationship with your college aged and older children you must never get them in the middle of your divorce. This will push them away for you and your ex-spouse.

Mom And Baby

Look into slings and baby carriers designed for twins. They do exist, and they are fabulous. There is a learning curve for getting two babies into a carrier, but the benefits to mom and baby are enormous. Wearing your babies will allow you to get things done with your hands free, and the twins get the emotional connection and intellectual stimulation from being right with you.

As stated earlier in this article, being a parent is a tough role for anyone. Apply the suggestions in this article to help make this difficult job, a bit easier. Whether you have one child or several, leveraging these tips gives you some additional choices, on how you interact with your children.…