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~ Fun Summer Ideas For You And Your Family ~

How to make sure fussy kids eat well on vacation

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Home & Family | Leave A Comment

You arrive at your resort, anticipating a fun-filled day by the pool with your family, and then at dinner your child won’t eat anything apart from bread and ketchup. Fussy eaters on vacation are always problematic, but there are ways of working around those who are content with chips – and nothing else!

Firstly, and this is a big ask – don’t give in. British parents at the end of their tether, and fearing a foreign food backlash, have been known to be weakened by their child’s tantrums. Rather than go abroad, they vacation at one of Britain’s many holiday parks. This is a selfless thing to do, but we don’t recommend it! The most important thing you can do is never let your child’s food issues dictate your travel plans. It’ll only pave the way for more difficulties later on, and kids who get everything they want normally turn out to be spoiled, impatient brats.

Secondly, lead by example. Your child learns by watching you and your partner, and if you can make foreign food seem exciting and fun, you have a fighting chance at getting your little darling to try a small piece of fish/radish/hummus. If you or your partner don’t like foreign dishes, your vacation is the time to push that to one side, and enjoy what your location has to offer. If only one parent is trying the local menu, this gives mixed messages to your child.

Communicate as well as you possibly can before your vacation. Sitting down with your child and discussing their food fears is the best way to get to the bottom of them. You might find that they’re a bit concerned about texture, or the temperature of some foods – these are all clues as to how you can help your child overcome their eating habits.

Never, ever threaten your child with punishment before the vacation has even started. Aggressive statements like, “You’d better eat the food when we get there, or else!” will only frighten your child, and reinforce their fears about food. On the other hand, praise for trying new foods will work wonders. If your child relents, and eats what’s on offer at dinner, make sure that you let them know that you are grateful for them making mealtimes easy, and that their behaviour is very much appreciated.

When dealing with older children, another way to try to resolve food issues is not to address them at all. If you’re at a buffet, or a place with meze-style food, don’t start off the meal by shooting worried looks at your child or reminding them that it’s OK to try new things. Just let them choose whatever they like, and you may be surprised to see them wander back to the table with a plateful of normally-hated foods. Just don’t comment on their food throughout the meal and let them enjoy it in their own time.

Barter. If your child agrees to try a new food every night, offer to try something new every day. This could be something as silly as jumping in the pool without getting used to the temperature, or trying out a paragliding trip. Basically, it’s all about showing them you’re a bit scared of some aspects of modern life as well, and you’re willing to swap experiences!

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in Home & Family | Leave A Comment

Pets like warmer weather just like many humans do, especially if they’ve been cooped up inside the house all winter. Summer brings sunshine, increased activity, and a lot of opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Unfortunately, it also brings rapid spikes in temperature and high humidity levels. While these issues might not be much more than an inconvenience to us, they can be dangerous to furry pets that are unable to sweat or otherwise cool down. The following tips should make it easier to keep your cat or dog cool and comfortable this summer.

1. Water is a pet’s best friend. Cats and dogs cannot sweat to cool off. This means they must lower their body temperature by panting. Unfortunately, panting can quickly lead to dehydration if lost fluids are not replaced. Make certain your pet has plenty of clean drinking water available at all times during hot weather, especially during times of physical activity.

2. Your pet needs air. Never lock your pet in an enclosed cage or pen during the summer heat, and do not leave him inside a parked car for even a few minutes. Air does not circulate inside enclosed spaces, and temperatures can rise to life-threatening extremes within minutes.

3. Let him swim. If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in the heat, fill a child’s pool with a few inches of cool water, place it in the shade, and let your pet splash around in it when he needs to cool off. Remember to change the water frequently and cool it off every day. Pets, especially dogs, also enjoy lakes and full-sized pools, but it is essential to enforce safety rules at all times. Even good swimmers can drown.

4. Make some shade, if necessary. If your yard is not naturally shady, plant some shade trees or provide some sort of temporary shelter for your pet. Mid-afternoon sun can cause burns and even skin cancer. A large sun umbrella works well for smaller animal and has the added benefit of being portable. An awning off the back of your house or overhanging your deck also works.

5. Groom your pet properly. Cutting off your pet’s hair during the summer is not always the coolest thing to do. In some cases, your pet’s coat may actually be providing insulation from the heat. It also helps protect against sunburn. Speak with your veterinarian about the best way to groom your pet during the summer.

This important information about summer safety for pets was provided by VetDepot, a trusted retailer of pet supplies and medication.

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Jobs for Teens This Summer – Both Inside and Outdoors

Posted by on Jun 16, 2011 in Home & Family | Leave A Comment

School’s out and it’s time for fun in the sun, but how can a teen earn cash in a tough economy? There are still a multitude of job options available to teens this summer. Before suggesting a specific type of employment to your teen, or guiding them in any one direction, consider what they like. Do they enjoy being outdoors, or indoors? Does the heat make them sweat, or glow? Do they prefer to wear hip clothing or the same uniform every day? Are they people oriented or just plain shy?

Inside Summer Jobs
There are some fabulous job options for teens today. Social teens who love the great-indoors might avoid working outside as a landscaper, or lifeguard for the summer, and instead opt-in to a job of a different type.

Indoor based teens tend to enjoy working in retail stores. Consider which one is their favorite and encourage them to apply. Some teens really enjoy being around food, in which case a job at a restaurant as a greeter, junior chef, a server, or even flipping burgers at a fast food chain might provide cash and enjoyment. Employers that provide indoor summer work for teens might also include grocery store chains, government offices, and law offices. Bowling alleys and movie theaters are also excellent places to apply.

Outdoor Summer Jobs

Pool lifeguard

Let’s be honest, most teens would rather be in the sun during the summer than cooped up inside of a building just like they are throughout the school year. Help the teen create fun in the sun while earning money possible by introducing them to outdoor job possibilities.

One of the most popular and sought after jobs for those who live near water is that of a lifeguard. This job bears great responsibility and can develop skills that they use the rest of their life. They must be certified, and there are several agencies that can provide the training, such as the American Red Cross, or YMCA, or there may be local facilities that also provide certification. One the good aspects of the training is learning CPR, and how to use a defibrillator (AED). I see AEDs at most public places now, so it’s good for your child to know how to use one at any location.

Working as a lifeguard is also a great way to work on a tan while earning a paycheck. Friends can still be present at the beach or pool, and chat from time to time, and the teen will receive plenty of attention from others teens their age range.

Other fun in the sun jobs to consider are being a swim instructor, giving boating tours, mowing lawns, or working on a landscaping crew.

As this might be their first time applying, expect to be there to give advice, walk the applicant through the process, and tell them how to dress at an interview. In addition they will need to know how to fill out the application, and what to say when meeting with the manager. Remember that this can be nerve wracking for a first time job seeker. Remind the teen applying for the summer job that showing up on time means ten minutes early, already perfectly dressed, and calling in sick is almost unheard of for this age group. Prep them by staging a fake interview in your home so that you can catch any issues that they present during the interview session, and overall just remember to make the experience memorable and fun.

About the Author

Jane Warren, www.towabletubesdirect.com

Jane Warren is a water sports enthusiast who swims, scuba dives, goes boating & sailing, and rides towable boat tubes. Out of this love of water sports, Jane publishes the website TowableTubesDirect.com where she provides information and reviews on boating water sports equipment including GPS, towable tubes, skis, wakeboards, kayaks, and water trampolines. Some of the brands she has reviewed include Garmin, Sportsstuff boat tubes, Airhead/ Kwik Tek towables, and Body Glove. One of the best inflatable boat tubes this season is the Sportsstuff Super Mable towable, which is great for teens. The Garmin GPS Map 76 waterproof portable GPS is a favorite with the boating crowd.

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