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Family Health

Fun Ways to Connect with Your Kids

Anna Smith



Between the time commitments of work and personal life, it can be very hard to find time to spend with your kids. But if you keep letting time go by without setting aside some quality time with your children, their childhoods can pass by before you know it. If you are feeling that the days and weeks go by and you don’t know what’s going on in your children’s lives, it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, there are some simple, effective, and (literally) priceless things you can do every day or week to show your children that you support them and want to be part of their lives. Making that investment, even if it means adjusting your schedule or routine to make that happen, is well worth it. Even if your children are all that small enough anymore, it’s important you interact with them in meaningful ways. According to the Recovery Village, a lot of teens are becoming more and more vulnerable to mental illness, especially thanks to social media and cyberbullying. It’s important to cut their time on the screen by giving them other options of activities, preferably with you. Here are some ideas of fun, meaningful, and free or low-cost things you can do with your children.

Encourage Their Talents

Along with simply showing that you’re there for them and that you care, you can also improve your child’s confidence through encouraging their talents. When your son sees you cheering from the sidelines at his championship soccer game, for instance, or when your daughter looks out and sees you in the audience at the school play, it shows that you are there and care about what is important to them in life. If your child has a passion for something that can be done at home, such as painting or playing an instrument, you can even set up a small art studio or practice room.

Source: Brain Wonders | Encourage Your Child Enhance The Special Talent

Read Books Together

Another fun, easy, and rewarding activity that you can do with your children is read books together. This is a great way to spend quality time together. It’s also a good habit to get into as it encourages them to spend time learning and developing their creative imaginations instead of turning to technology for entertainment. A fun option with this activity is to take turns selecting a book to read. Perhaps you have a favorite book from your childhood that you’d love to share with your own children. This is a great way to introduce them to new authors and keep your favorite childhood memories alive.

Give Them Individual Attention

As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your children is to make time for each of them individually. And it doesn’t have to take place in a formal or fancy setting, either. Even just driving one of your kids to an after-school activity or picking them up from a friend’s house can give you the time you need to check in with them and give them a chance to talk to you. This may sound silly but remember and address them by name. Many times parents go through the list of their children’s name until get to the right one. If you remember specifically which name belongs to which child when addressing them, especially if you call their name while making eye contact or touch gives your child a “you’re special” message. This is a simple and effective way to keep up with their lives, and it gives them a chance to build confidence and trust in you.

Source: Perpetual Fostering | Raising a Confident Child

Work on Physical Fitness

Most people think of exercise as an individual activity, but it can also be a fun group activity with your kids. If your child is getting ready for the upcoming fall soccer or football season and needs to get in shape, for instance, offer to share a workout routine with him or her to get in better shape. This can be a fun activity where you act as the coach and keep encouraging your child to do better. Getting through a challenging workout together—and continuing to set physical goals—can be a terrific bonding experience that will help both of you become healthier.

Visit a Working Farm

Another fun and free or cheap activity to do with your kids is to visit a working farm. Perhaps there’s one in town or one that’s a short driving distance away. This is a great chance to let your kids get a dose of nature and enjoy some time outside. Fall tends to be the most popular time to visit a farm, considering it’s also a time to go apple picking and pumpkin picking, but it can be fun to go at other times of the year, too. Going in spring or summer, for instance, means your children can have a chance to see baby animals and admire the plants and trees coming to life.

Source: Money Crashers | 10 Fun & Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids

Spend Quality Time Outside

Another fun and inexpensive way to enjoy more time with your children is to get outside (with them) and get some fresh air. After a long day at work for you (and for them, school), there’s almost nothing better than going for a walk outside in the afternoon or after dinner. This is a great time for you all to get some much-needed fresh air and physical activity. If you have a pet, use this time to give it some exercise. Although you might not have the time during the week, you can spend longer periods of time outside on the weekend going hiking or going for walks in the local park.

Explore Shared Interests

If you can’t come up with something that you want to do with your kids, why not try something new? If there is something that you’ve both been curious about or wanted to try but haven’t found the time yet, this is a good opportunity to embark on a new hobby or activity together. If you’ve both watched tennis or golf on television, for instance, and have always thought it might be fun to start playing yourself, this is a good time to do so. Trying something new together will help you bond, and it can be a great way to find a new activity that you can both look forward to as a chance to improve and spend quality time together. For some families, they can even find new ways to bond with activities they are already doing. For example, if your family is active in the church community, then you can share your interest by taking an active role in church activities your child participates in.

Source: Life Church | Leading the Next Generation

Children grow up quickly, and it can be hard to find the time to connect with them while they’re still young. But before you know it, they will have become young adults, and your chance to spend quality time together will become more difficult to do. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to carve time out of your life’s schedule to give each one of them quality personal attention. Additionally, it is also fun to plan family activities or outings where you and all your children are included. From taking the dog for a walk together to starting an exercise routine, you’ll soon find that you don’t even have to spend money to have your children appreciate you and look forward to spending time together.

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Family Health

A Parent’s Guide For Breaking Out The Pool Toys

Anna Smith



white swan floater on pool

A pool is one of the greatest places to go in the summer. As a parent, you can relax in the sun, or jump in and play with the kids. Kids can find endless entertainment if you have the right toys. As fun as the pool can be, it is important to remember that pools can be dangerous. It’s your responsibility as a parent to keep an eye on your kids and make sure they stay safe.

Keep Them Clean and in Good Condition

Not only can dirty toys get the pool dirty, no one wants to play with them. If the toys are in bad condition, they can even be dangerous. Poolside basketball hoops need to be safely secured. A loose hoop could tip over and hit someone’s head. Floats should be checked for leaks. If a float pops and begins to sink a child can get tangled and dragged to the bottom of the pool. None of this should be a problem if you check the toys before tossing them in the pool.

Floating Toys vs Life Jackets

For some children, wearing a life jacket can be embarrassing. They see their friends without them and want to do the same. If your child is an adequate swimmer, this may be okay. If they are a beginner, you should not allow them into the pool without a lifejacket. They may ask if they can use a floating toy instead, don’t allow this.

Floating toys can be dangerous and should not be thought of as adequate substitutes for life jackets. Floating toys can be slippery. A tired and panicked child will have a difficult time holding on to one when they are struggling to stay above the water. A poor swimmer can also get stuck underneath floating toys, unable to come up for air.

Before letting your children swim without a jacket, you should make them demonstrate that they can swim the length of the pool under supervision. This should show you if they are strong enough swimmers to be safe.

Play Safe Games

Make sure the games that your children play are safe. Don’t let poor swimmers dive for toys in the deep end of the pool. Don’t let them run on the edges of the pool. Don’t let them jump onto each other, or onto floating toys. This can quickly lead to injury and an end to your pool trip.

When you go to the pool, make sure your children understand the safety rules. Take the time to explain the reasons behind these rules. This will help your children understand why they need to obey them.

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Family Health

How to Develop a Healthy Routine to Prevent Tooth Decay

Anna Smith



person with red lipstick and white pearl earrings

Maintaining a strong set of teeth will be easier if you follow the rules necessary to keep a healthy body. Eat a diet rich in calcium and fresh produce. Take care to keep your teeth clean and free of bacteria. Finally, drink plenty of water. Read on to find out how these steps affect your oral health.

Follow Standard Dental Hygiene

With daily brushing after meals and flossing before bed, you can protect yourself from a lot of dental damage. Never go to bed without flossing and brushing your teeth first. Make regular visits to your dentist to clean and protect your teeth. With regular dental care, any cavities that do form will be caught and addressed early. Minor cavities, such as those that are very shallow, can be treated without anesthetics. If you catch them soon enough, this will save you a lot of money.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Processed sugars offer little in the way of nutritional value and may cling to your teeth and promote decay. You can grow strong teeth with a focus on dietary calcium. Quench your craving for processed sugars by snacking on fresh fruit instead of candy. Drink water instead of soda. Be aware that acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and coffee, can be hard on your tooth enamel. Brush after consuming these foods if you can. If you can’t brush, rinse out your mouth. Try to limit your food intake to three meals and one or two snacks each day. Brush or rinse each time you eat.

Avoid Tobacco Products

Tobacco products attack your dental health in several ways. Tobacco will discolor your teeth and cause heavy plaque build-up. The use of tobacco on a regular basis will damage the ability of your body to heal itself. Gum tissue will not stay healthy and protect the roots of your teeth. Any tears or cuts to gum tissue will not heal efficiently if your circulation is being threatened by tobacco products, providing space for destructive bacteria to live and damage your tooth enamel. There are many tools and products that will make quitting smoking easier to manage. Every aspect of your health can be improved by breaking a tobacco habit.

Caring for your teeth is a habit that will serve you well for years into the future. The habit of brushing and flossing before bed will become so ingrained that you may struggle to fall asleep if forced to skip brushing and flossing. Keeping your teeth strong and healthy can be managed with regular cleaning habits at home and consistent visits to your dentist for check-ups.

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How to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Anna Smith



If you suffer from allergies your life can be limited in ways that people who don’t have allergies will never understand. Some triggers can bring about debilitating symptoms that can be legitimately categorized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Keep It Clean

The first barrier to attack is cleanliness. Vacuum, mop, wipe down and anything that will keep dust and pollen at bay. Inasmuch as rugs can hold allergens, it is better to have uncarpeted floors with rugs throughout your home than to have wall to wall carpet. Rugs can trap dust and other allergens in your home so they aren’t floating around the air. Wear a mask when vacuuming and cleaning the house. Use a vacuum with a bag to cut down on dust flying when you empty your vacuum.

Wash all bedding frequently, and replace your pillows often or use pillowcases that are antiallergen. You might change your pillowcases more often than your sheets since your face is directly on them, and you are breathing in whatever is being held in their fibers. Taking a shower or at least washing your hair at night will cut down on pollution that has taken up residence in your hair during the day so that it will not be transferred to your pillowcase when you sleep.

Keep Windows Closed

Fresh air is not always a good thing. Keep those windows shut, especially when pollen count is high. For some people, air flowing through open windows can wreak havoc regardless of the level of pollen and any poses a threat. A HEPA air purifier may help cut down on allergens inside your house.

No Furry Friends Allowed

Pet dander is one of the biggest causes of allergy exacerbation. It can be heartbreaking to have to get rid of a much-loved pet, but sometimes it is the only way for you to stay healthy. If you absolutely must have a pooch in residence, keep him brushed and shampooed frequently. If your beloved is a feline, she can be brushed as well. If you do it yourself, wear a mask, do the pet grooming outside, put your clothes in the washer immediately afterward and preferably take a shower. Even low dander animals have some.

Whether yours only crop up once or twice a year, or you need allergy shots on a regular basis, there are ways to get relief, though not always as quickly as you would like. Discuss new options with your doctor and be open to new ways to alleviate your symptoms.

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