Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Four Don'ts When Traveling With Kids

Many parents find it very difficult to travel with young children. Fortunately, your trip will go a lot smoother if you avoid doing certain things. Below are some of the don’ts of traveling with children:

Don’t Pack The House

You should not over pack. It is important to remember that you can always stop by a store and pick up a couple of things. You may also want to consider getting a Disney stroller rental instead of bringing your baby’s stroller. Furthermore, you should select a hotel with a laundry room. If you can do laundry while you are on vacation, then you will not need to pack a lot of clothes.

Don't Stay Up All Night

Small children are very energetic, so you want to make sure that you get the proper amount of rest. You will need to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. You should also try to take care of your errands early in the day so that it will be easier for you to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Don’t Drive for Long Periods of Time Without Taking A Break

You may be anxious to get to your destination, but it is wise to take frequent breaks throughout the day. Small children have a tendency to get restless if they sit in their seats for too long. They may also begin to annoy each other. Frequent stops will help prevent squabbles and restlessness. Taking frequent breaks is not only good for the kids, but it is also good for your own sanity. You will be able to focus more on driving if the kids are not making a lot of noise in the backseat.

Don’t Drive When You Are Sleepy

Many travelers make the mistake of driving when they are sleepy. They think that rolling down the window or turning up the radio will help keep them awake. However, it is best to stop if you feel sleepy. If you have to take a nap at a rest stop, then you should not hesitate to do it. Many people have lost their lives because they refused to stop driving when they were tired.

Don’t Panic If You Get Lost

Your first impulse may be to panic if you get lost. However, you should try to keep your cool if you happen to make a wrong turn. You can always stop and ask for directions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is the Alcohol Industry Grooming Your Kids to Drink?

Government agencies, the press, and the public, have all had a pretty interesting relationship with the commercial alcohol industry over the course of the past century. In a recent battle ignited by the British Medical Journal, the battle between promoting alcohol and warning of its dangers may begin anew. This time, though, the battle will focus on particularly young targets of commercial advertising.

Targeted Advertising: "A Combination Between MySpace and High School Musical"

In documents obtained by the Commons Health Select Committee, the body that publishes the British Medical Journal, top-secret memos from major alcohol producers aspire to commercial campaigns that many deem inappropriate. That's because the campaigns were described as a "combination between MySpace and High School Musical," two things that are most common among those who are still too young to drink and should not be targeted by advertisers.

The goal of the campaigns, as can be seen in the memos passed around by marketing and advertising executives at these companies, was to create a culture of "cool" around some of today's biggest brand. By grooming kids to drink at an early age, and informing them about which brands are best for young people like themselves, companies were setting themselves up for an unquestionably strong revenue stream in years to come. The campaigns in question began airing just over a half decade ago, in 2007, and nefarious tactics continue today.

Pushing the Line on the Voluntary Control Measures, or a Gross Misrepresentation?

Officials from the medical journal point to the youth-targeted advertising as proof that the UK's voluntary self-regulation of alcohol promotions just isn't working. Those voluntary guidelines place advertising to minors off limits in virtually all cases, largely because the impressionable age group should not be driven to conclusions before they are able to make an independent decision about the merits of alcohol and their preferences within the industry.
While British members of the press, and some British officials, are worried that voluntary self-regulation might be a lost cause, alcohol industry executives are fight back with tough words of their own. Diageo GB's managing director, Simon Litherland, released a statement calling the journal's findings a "gross misrepresentation" of industry policy, and one that had done unneeded damage to the image of several brands in Britain.

A Tough Battle Ahead for Officials, Executives, and Parents

Despite the war of words between officials and company executives, the real merits of self-regulation lie with parents in the UK. Though advertising might be increasingly youth-targeted, effective parents have always educated their children about the dangers and merits of alcohol in a wide variety of settings.
Moving forward, it's likely that youth-targeted advertising won't go away anytime in the near future. Parents, then, should be keenly aware that their teenagers are being targeted by these advertisers, and they should make it a key point to address the lure of alcohol and its potential pitfalls among the youngest adults in British society.

Author Bio

Jennie is a drug counselor, author and blogger residing in Florida. To learn more  about the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction, or to seek help for someone you love struggling with addiction, visit

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adorable Must Haves for Your Child's Dress Up Box

Children tend to have some of the most vivid imaginations we know of, and with those imaginations they can create an entirely new world using their minds - and props! You can help inspire your child's dream or adventure by having a box filled with dress up clothes for them to play "pretend" with!

Professional Outfits

There are a lot of different things you can put in your child's dress up box. Often times, children like to pretend to be what mom or dad does at work, so if your job has a general uniform that kids can easily identify, include it! If your child has another profession they'd like to be when they get older, add that too! You can also add in other "famous" profession outfits like doctor clothes, nurse scrubs, ballerina outfits, dress-suits, etc.

Imaginative Outfits

Professions are fun, but most children's imaginations extend beyond the reaches of reality. Adding other types of outfits of characters that they hear about in stories is also a great idea to get kids thinking on their feet. A prince/princess costume, a wizard costume - even a dragon! Even if you don't think your child might like an outfit that you have found, you should add it anyway because you never know; they might think that princess outfit looks good as a wedding dress too! 

Historic Outfits

Add pieces from different time periods. The roaring 20's, the 50's, 60's, and 70's all have trademark items that children and adults can easily recognize from books and television such as poodle skirts. Even if you can't find any, you can always recreate them! There are plenty of patterns in crafting stores that can help you recreate the 60s vibe. Flower patches that you can attach to bell bottom jeans to represent the groovy 1960's. 


Accessories can also add to the fun when a child is playing dress-up, so if you can find hats, gloves, shoes, and other relative props you can always add them to your child's dress up collection as well. Even items you might not think would be relevant could play a part in your child's dress up dream. If you're not sure where to find accessories for a dress up box, try visiting local garage sales or thrift stores. Who knows, you might even find more dress up clothes! 

You can never have too many options for your children to play with! Dress up boxes are a great way for kids to have fun by themselves and also with friends.

Author Bio

Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer. At the moment she is promoting 50’s costumes such as the Poodle skirt. She often blogs about parenting and children, and enjoys traveling with her family.

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