Tips for Taking Extended Trips with Kids
Some family holidays can be
hectic, moving from one place to
another all the time. To make
your adventure happen as
smoothly as possible, here are a
avoid the syndrome of feeling that you have "been there, done that,"
cover diverse locations. Try alternating rural and urban locales and
iconic sites with brand-new destinations. It is a good idea to pick
spots that have similar climates, however, as it allows you to pare
back on packing.
Another tip is to ease children in and out
of culture shock by going to the most exotic areas in the middle of the
trip. If you are going to be flying regularly during the holiday, keep
in mind that some kids suffer ear discomfort because of it.
If this is the case for one in your family, there are specially
designed earplugs for kids that could make all the difference.
The world of make-believe: Kids and imaginary friends
Imaginary playmates are
common with young children studies suggest that 65 percent
of children age 7 and younger
have had them. Parents
sometimes wonder whether
they're a symptom of
psychological problems, though.
Shouldn't a well-adjusted child
be interacting with real people instead of invisible companions?
worry. Even though the line between fantasy and reality can be blurry
for toddlers, most children are perfectly aware that Mister Bear and
Princess Blue-Eyes aren't real. Imaginary friends can serve a variety
of purposes: They can protect children from perceived dangers; a
barking dog seems less scary when a child has a pretend lion walking at
his or her side. They can also allow children to deal with issues of
helplessness and control, allowing them to be in charge: A child who
gives an imaginary friend a shot may be working through anxiety about
going to the doctor. And they help children entertain themselves,
especially after a family move that takes them away from friends and
Pretend playmates can help children develop a richer imagina?tion
and vocabulary; they can also teach kids how to socialize with their
real-life friends. Often they serve as role models for correct behavior
(although they can also take the blame for misbehavior).
If your child prefers to play exclusively with a make-believe pal,
avoiding interaction with real children, or if he or she uses the
pretend playmate to avoid certain situations, you may want to find out
whether something serious is going on.
Otherwise, don't fight it. Pretend play is important to a child's
development, and setting an extra place at the dinner table for Danny
the Dinosaur is a small price to pay for your child's well-being.
The Causes of Common Allergies
than fifty-five percent of Americans suffer with allergies. For most of
them the condition is nothing more than a minor inconvenience, but
there are cases where people suffer such a severe allergic reaction
that they need to be hospitalized. A range of allergens, including
dust, pet dander, pollen and some foods, can cause reactions. It can be
very difficult to discover the cause of an allergy, and some people
resort to blood and skin tests. Once the cause of the allergy has been
identified, it can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription
Pollen is normally breathed in and thus affects the sinuses, mucous
membranes and airways as well as the eyes, throat and lungs. Symptoms
include watery and itchy eyes, sore throat and a runny nose. Allergic
reactions to pet dander include watery, itchy eyes and coughing and
sneezing, which are also symptoms of an allergy to dust mites.
Antihistamines are normally used to treat common allergies.
Make Downtime Part of Your Routine
One way to make sure that you have the correct work/life balance is to
make sure that downtime is built into your weekly schedule. When you
are planning your week, make certain that you have scheduled time with
family and friends, as well as activities that help you unwind and
Whether it is a softball game with friends, a night at the
movies with the whole family or a date night with your loved one,
this technique not only ensures that you will have something to look
forward to during the week but also means that you have given yourself
an additional incentive to manage your time successfully so that you do
not have to cancel the event.
It can also be a good idea to take a look at activities that may not
be enhancing either your work or personal life in order to see whether
you can reduce the amount of time you spend on them.