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Friday, October 13, 2017

How Your Family Can Get the Most Out of its All-Inclusive Vacation - s post

When you’re looking for an all-inclusive family vacation, you should be looking for quality service, activities for the children, and of course, value for money. There are many ways that your family can get the most out of its all-inclusive vacation, and return home knowing that all those months of saving were worth every penny. 

When we think of an all-inclusive family vacation we instantly think of a holiday resort, but there are options to consider, like cruises, glamping, and more. This guide will apply to them all.
Here are our top six tips for you to see how your family can get the most out of its all-inclusive vacation.

1) Find One With Activities Included

All all-inclusive vacation options include meals and accommodations, but there are many package deals that include activities too. We’re not just talking activities for the kids but there's a whole host of things to do for the adults too. From yoga session, tennis clubs, couple’s dancing sessions and more. As for the children, there are kids camps galore, offering pizza making, reggae music sessions, treasure hunts, and other fun stuff, depending upon the resort. 

To maximise what your family gets out of your vacation be sure to find a resort that offers activities as part of the all-inclusive package. 

2) Fit It To Your Style

Every family is different. Some love a high-end luxury, others are super eco-conscious and want the most organic experience possible. There is a style of resort or all-inclusive hotel deal to suit you and your family’s style.

Picking a style of vacation that suits you helps you get the most out of your time away as you’ll feel relaxed and within your comfort zone. Moreover, you are more likely to make friends or holiday buddies for you’re of the same ilk. 

3) Look For Evening Entertainment 

Just because the sun has gone down and the beach has closed for the day doesn't mean that the fun has to stop. Many resorts offer a whole array of different evening entertainment options for you to enjoy as a family. Alternatively, if you fancy some couple’s time, send the children to the kid’s show and enjoy the adult entertainment before reconvening at bedtime. 

Enjoying the evening entertainment is a great way for your family to make the most of your all-inclusive vacation by spending quality time together and making memories. At the live music sessions get up and dance, on karaoke night get up and sing as a family or get all dressed up and head to the fine dining restaurant for a touch of the high life. 

5) Find One That’s Specifically For Families

This is bigger than some people think, and many have made the mistake. Before you book, make sure your resort or hotel is family-friendly. This is pretty easy to do.

Most family friendly resorts advertise as such on their sites, while the adults-only all-inclusives market for couples. It’s an easy distinction to spot, but it’s also an easy one to overlook. Don’t go to a couple’s paradise with your wife and three kids.

Go to a resort that will be accommodating to your family. 

4) Spend Time Together and Apart

The joy of an all-inclusive family holiday is the freedom to be together as a family unit and apart as parents and children. Parents have to relax too, and this aspect gives them the option for some one-on-one time. 

The kid's clubs will keep your children happy and active throughout the day while you and your partner can spend some quality time together by taking a beach walk or enjoying a couple’s massage. 

Dad can spend time with son and mom can spend time with daughter, and vice versa. Your children get some quality one-to-one time with their parents, too. This is an underrated, but important aspect to all-inclusive vacations. 

5) Scrap the Diet

On an all-inclusive holiday, there are so many food options available to you, some more healthy than others. 

To help you get the most out of your all-inclusive vacation, stop counting the calories. This will help you relax, and feel less self-conscious. By allowing yourself to indulge in foods you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to have, you not only get better value for money but you’ll also feel more like you’re on holiday…because you are.

Head with the children to the kid’s dessert corner and stock up on ice cream and sprinkles. They’ll thank you for joining in with the sugary fun too. 

6) Drink Up

Now, we’re not saying that you should fill your boots with the free booze every night, but with unlimited complimentary cocktails, wines and beers on tap, you’d be a fool not to have a tipple or two on your vacation. 

If you and your partner want to have more than a glass or two then book yourself one of the hotel’s babysitters to look after your little ones for you. You can relax knowing that they’re looked after, tucked up in bed and you can enjoy the full range of cocktails on the menu.

Worried about a hangover? Book the kids into kids club the following morning and recommence full on family time in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to Tell If Your Teen Has a Drinking or Drug Problem - s post

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that underage drinking is a serious health concern. In statistics published by the NIAAA, 7.7 million youth, ages 12 to 20, admitted to drinking alcohol in 2015.

Overcoming addiction is a process, whether the addiction is to drugs, alcohol, or other substances. But the first line of defense comes from recognizing signs of addiction.

Here’s what to look for to determine if your teen has a drinking or drug problem.

1. Physical signs.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence provides advice on physical signs that could be telling. The first step is to observe your teen's appearance. Does he or she have blood-shot eyes? Or are his or her pupils larger or smaller than usual? These are frequent markers of substance abuse and should be monitored if other red flags are raised.

Other physical signs to monitor include abnormal sleep patterns. For example, insomnia or sleeping throughout the day. One's appetite fluctuates as well when using drugs, so keep an eye out for sudden weight gain or weight loss.

If your teen develops a tremor, the shakes, strange speech patterns, or seems impaired, get help immediately.

2. Mood swings and abnormal behavior.

Mood swings are a common occurrence in teens. But if the mood swings become more pronounced and erratic, the fault could lie with substance abuse.

Watch for behavior that is outside of the norm. For example, if your teen has always been more outgoing, and she suddenly withdraws and isolates herself from her former circle of friends. This may be cause for concern. The opposite can also be true. For instance, if your teen has always been the shyer type, but suddenly seems to have new friends.

Teens who are using will try to hide this fact and will often ask for locks to be put on their door, or demand more privacy. Of course, children at this age are developing more independence, and part of this is the desire for privacy. But if your teen avoids eye contact, or appears secretive, this could be a sign of something more than teenage independence.

3. Behavior at school.

As parents of teens, a large part of a teenager's life is spent at school. So a parent must rely on the reports of teachers, whether their child skips classes, and the teen's grades. If you see a marked decline in grades or class attendance, these should raise immediate red flags in your mind and cause you to investigate further. Similarly, if your teen's teacher talks to you about your teen's behavior.

Other markers of possible drug use are when there is a change in who your teen hangs out with at school. If your teen's circle of friends changes suddenly, it would not hurt to inquire after the cause.

4. Stealing and lying.

Do you find yourself coming up short on cash, or are valuables going missing from your house? In order to support a drug or alcohol related problem, teens require money. If their access to money is limited, they may resort to stealing in order to get money to fund their drug or alcohol use. So if your teen has been caught stealing, there could be more going on under the surface.

Feel your teen has been lying to you more frequently than usual? There may be more going on that the teen wants to hide from you, outside of the average amount of teenage secrecy. Lying about where he or she was, or what he or she was doing also becomes a frequent occurrence when teens are on drugs or have an alcohol problem.

5. Unusual clothing choices and personal upkeep.

Has your teen has taken to wearing a lot of perfume or cologne? When previously he or she never did before? Or has she started to use air freshener in her room? Your teen might be trying to hide a binge drinking session. Has your teen always been fastidious with his or her clothing choices and suddenly cares little about how he or she looks? These signs could give you cause to take a closer look at your teen's emotional and mental state.

If you begin to suspect something is off with your child, dig deeper. A parent's job is not to be the most likable person in your teen's life. Rather, the responsibility of a parent is to teach their teen how to make good choices. And protect them from bad choices that could lead to devastating consequences. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to Be a Strong Caregiver When Someone in Your Family Falls Ill - s post

Accidents, sickness, and ailments are part of being a parent, despite our best intentions and precautions. When children or your spouse falls ill, it is left to the last parent standing to take care of the others. And the stress, if not prepared for such an event, can take an emotional and physical toll. But having coping strategies and a plan in place will help you weather the storm without succumbing to the stress that such events often bring.

Here are some tips that will help you be a good caregiver to your sick child or spouse all while staying on an even keel.

1. Consider if you need outside help.

Parents are used to fixing problems and being the person their kids can turn to when they have questions or need help. When your children are sick, all your instincts to nurture will be on overdrive. It is natural to want to spend every waking moment at your sick family member’s sickbed. And when you do take time away to do other necessary things, you may be plagued with guilt. Consider hiring a home health care service to step in if the sickness looks like it will take longer than a week for full recovery. Depending on the accident or illness, your sick family member may benefit from professional help. Or see if a family relative can come and help for a time.

2. Understand that this will be an emotional time for all.

Being sick is no fun for anyone. And if the sick family member is of a young age, it can be especially trying. Your child may cry, which will likely cause you to feel helpless and overwhelmed. At these moments, it is helpful to gain perspective by understanding that being sick is an emotionally trying time for all. Everyone's nerves are frayed. Expect that at some point you or your sick family member might lose your temper, feel impatient, or out of sorts. These feelings are to be expected. Understanding this will help you be more forgiving of yourself and those affected by the illness.

3. Find a way to keep calm.

Finding 30 minutes where you can take a walk, call a friend, or drink a cup of coffee away from the sick room will go far to soothe your nerves. Doing so will allow you to be that calm presence your sick child or spouse needs. Figure out what can be arranged so that you can take a short daily break. If the illness is long term, then this becomes doubly important to do.

4. Manage your fears and feelings of overwhelm.

Fear and overwhelm are common emotional responses when a parent finds themselves taking care of a sick family member. These emotions, however, are not very productive and can take a toll on your overall health and well-being. How can you manage your fears in a productive way? Fight fear with knowledge. Learn everything you can about your child's sickness. Talk with other parents who have gone through the same situation you are in now. When you are actively doing something, your fear has less room to breathe and cause you anxiety.

For feelings of overwhelm, remember the first point on this list: Ask for help. Whether from your family, or through hiring a caregiver. Now is also not the time to say yes to putting more on your plate at work. Simplify your life as much as possible so that the number of decisions you need to make is reduced. You can always readjust your priorities down the line when things return to normal, but for now cut the non-essential.

5. Keep to a schedule.

Even though your child is sick, both you and he or she will benefit from sticking to a daily schedule. While the time might not be broken into school hours anymore, you can still have a plan of ways to pass the time. For example, in the morning, your child reads or studies (if possible, depending on the sickness), and in the afternoon a time slot for gaming or TV. Prepare fun things to do each day so that your sick family member has something to look forward to. With your spouse, or with your children, brainstorm ideas of activities your children can do while in bed to help pass the time.

Keep in mind, the stronger you are – both physically and emotionally – the better-quality care you will be able to give to your sick family member. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Don’t Let Bullies Affect Your Child’s Mental Health - s post

Every parent knows that at some point his or her kid will face bullying. It is as much a right of growing up as is learning to ride a bike, or getting your first kiss. Unfortunately, in recent years bullying, and cyberbullying especially, has become more of a serious problem. Kids are faced with the possibility of near constant derision because of social media. It can be hard for some kids to escape that cycle.

As a parent you can take steps to help your child overcome bullies. We all want our kids to grow up strong and good. It is a parent’s responsibility to stop the symptoms of bullying and equip their children with the abilities to overcome it. It is a problem but not one that should rule your or your child’s life.

Common Signs of Bullying

If you can spot the signs of bullying in your child, you have already won half the battle. It may seem obvious but often these signs can go unnoticed for weeks or months at a time. Common physical signs can include unexplained bruises, bumps or cuts, as well as appearing to be depressed, sad or mood. Other symptoms to look out for include more time spent alone, a decrease in friends, a decline in grades of schoolwork and no longer enjoying school in general. Victims of bullying often take alternate routes to school or ask to “stay home” frequently.

More extreme examples include loss of appetite, physical sickness, trouble falling asleep and recurring nightmares. Many of these symptoms overlap, and sometimes work independently of each other, and could be linked to other issues separate from bullying. Still, knowing that these symptoms could be the result of bullying is the first step in helping your child.

What You Can Do

The number one thing you can do to find out if your child is being bullied or not is listen to them. Too often parents fall into the same traps as their kids do. Whether it’s being endlessly attached to social media, or too busy with work, the result is a lack of communication between parent and child.

Engaging in conversations, and listening without judgement when your child is speaking can increase the chance of you finding out whether he or she is being bullied. Often kids will test the waters, revealing a little bit of information without telling the whole story to see how a parent will react. A quick negative reaction can shut down avenues of communication. Being an active listener, by asking open-ended questions can go a long way.

Once you know your child is being bullied there are some easy common-sense steps to take. First Talking to the teacher or school counselor is a good place to start. They can give you insight to how your child or the bully normally conducts themselves in the classroom. Make sure you are specific in describing the actions the bully is doing to your child. Almost all schools have a code of conduct you can refer to. Use this to check if the school is doing what they are supposed to, which should be providing a safe environment for your child to learn in. Keep records of incidents, emails, and communication with any school officials. It could come in handy if things aren’t solved and you need to turn to legal help.

In some cases, parents are left with little choice but to pursue legal action. If harassment is not stopping, then using whatever legal means you can to end the bullying is necessary. Often it is the parents of the bully child that are on the hook for his or her actions. Showing that you are willing to pursue a personal injury claim, and hold the parents responsible for their kid’s behavior, can be motivation enough for parents to step in. Compensation can differ depending on the specifics of each case, so again it is important to keep a detailed record of everything that is said between you, your child, the school and any communication with the bully or their family. You can contact your local attorney, such as Ghozland Law Firm, an auto injury attorney in Diamond Bar that also specializes in personal injury cases, to find out what legal action you can take.

To Fight or Not to Fight?

For many parents the solution to bullying is simple, especially when it comes to boys. Stand up for yourself, and if a kid hits you then you hit back twice as hard. I know I was raised this way, and it can be true under specific circumstances. It can be worth it to teach your kids how to defend themselves. However, this approach also fails to identify the modern aspects of bullying. The big kid stealing lunch money and doling out wedgies still does exist, but the most destructive bullying you see nowadays is more psychological. The ubiquitous nature of social media means kids can experience bullying 24/7. You are better off improving your kid’s self-esteem and teaching them to think and believe in themselves than how to throw a right hook. Too often kids are left to deal with the consequences of being they are told they are inferior and worthless, without any tools to combat that negativity. Its ok to teach your kids to defend themselves, but be aware that might just be the tip of the iceberg.


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