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Enter Their World And Make Health Fun

Remember when you were young and you had your first experience of healthcare? It might have been meeting this taller gangly man with a face mask, with these strange bright lights on his head. For some reason he was looking inside your mouth with these metal sticks, clinging around. It might also have been something like getting a sharp pinch in your arm out of the clear blue sky. For some reason, healthcare is a scary experience for children. Part of it is because they don’t know what’s going on or why. However, usually it’s because they haven’t really been taught what being healthy is. It’s understandable why some parents would rather they worry about their child’s health rather than their child. Being young and innocent, trying to contemplate their own mortality is going to be something that’s too complex. But, you as the parent can make health fun and get them to like staying strong and fit.

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Brushing for fun

Many children see brushing their teeth as a chore. Don’t forget their bodies are developing quite literally day by day. So when they put a toothbrush in their mouths and start cleaning, it can be uncomfortable. The brush will rub up against their sensitive gums and weak teeth. Soft bristle brushes are great for children under ten years old. On the other hand, you could take them to one of the best dentist clinics around where you live. Providing services for children, on the first visit they’ll get a lesson in brushing and flossing. Understanding the importance of their oral hygiene and making learning about bacteria and plaque fun, is just one of the ways a good pediatric clinic will engage your children. They also use bright colors, flavored toothpaste and interactive cartoon characters.

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Strong and fast

It’s a well-known stereotype that young children don’t like vegetables. This is because of a mix of characteristics that are unfortunately instilled within them early on in life. For one the vegetables aren’t sugary and sweet. They want usually have a distinct flavor and in fact because of their water content, might not have any distinct flavor at all. However, you can make healthy eating fun if you can somehow combine it with physical activity. Children want to play, run, jump and shout. You could then, reward your children with time at the local park, at the jungle gym or play outside in the garden with them. If they can consume their daily amount of vegetables, allowing them to go wild will be a good energy release for them. Never underestimate how much youngsters value play, and using it as a bargaining chip for eating clean is a good tactic to ensure this.

You can’t blame young children for approaching the common health treatments adults are used to with some suspicion. They’re being introduced to a world their not familiar with, strange sounds and smells greet them. Getting them to respect their teeth and gums is much easier when you have an environment where their imagination is stimulated. A cast of characters and bright colors make a chore into fun. The same goes for healthy eating as children will push through a bad taste barrier to get their way to go out and play.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Unlocking Your Awesome Inner Child

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Feeling like a kid again is something that we all deserve to experience. But why? Surely we are grown adults now, and the idea of spending time respecting our childhood might seem, well, childish. Could it really serve any purpose? Might you look silly in front of your family?

Well, we’d argue it does serve a purpose. Getting in touch with your childhood self is good clean fun, but it can also help you reminisce and reflect on your life. It can help you understand the journey you have been on and celebrate the things you used to love. It can help you connect with your children more and understand their viewpoint on life that little more intimately. Lastly, there is an indulgent quality here of course.

After all, why not? It’s not as if every moment of your life should be spent in deep productivity. You’re allowed a little childish fun. After all, age is just a number, and the most youthful and joyous people are those who can connect to the magic of childhood.

There are many ways of doing this, but this advice might help you get started:

YouTube Is Your Friend

Now, we’re not suggesting you enjoy subscribing to vloggers or political discussion channels on YouTube. We’re not suggesting you watch clips from the latest kids shows to feel young. However, YouTube is much more than a simple video platform. It seems that almost anything that could be provided as content has been uploaded by now. This means that old children’s shows, old video game footage and even movies from a bygone era are viewable for free.

You might have a distinct and tangible feeling of nostalgic wonder seeing a SNES game you haven’t played since you were eight years old digitized for your entertainment. This feeling is a tangible, physical one, and can flood you with feelings and memories of being that age. This is a powerful thing, as sound and visuals are often strong ties to memories we used to hold. This is a fun exercise and it only takes a matter of moments, so why not try? You might be surprised as to what you remember.

Go Retro

Now, sometimes watching things on YouTube isn’t enough. If you hope to experience the media you used to consume as a child, sometimes finding it and watching/playing that yourself is more than worthwhile. There has never been a better time to do so. For example, recent efforts to restore old consoles such as the original PlayStation and NES have been met with widespread acclaim. It can be worthwhile to purchase these inexpensive machines and spend a day showing your children the games you grew up with. It might blow their minds to see a game with such diminutive graphics, but it can be worth doing so for the novelty alone.

It can also be worthwhile to burn an old-school mixtape of the songs you used to love and make that a soundtrack of your next week. It could be that Huey Lewis & The News, Phil Collins and Paul Simon fill your ears and mind for the near future, restoring you with memories of summer days lazily moving around the house and enjoying bike rides with your friends. If music is the soundtrack to our lives, then transporting ourselves back only takes this small effort to truly experience this time once more. Dancing on the sofa listening to ‘hip to be square’ could certainly help you feel young and silly again, and your kids are sure to love it. Just make sure you don’t actually put your hip out. Us middle aged folk do require a degree of sensibility, of course.

Visit Establishments You Used To Love

Of course, it might not be that the places you attended as a child are still around, or you may not be in any way proximal to them. However, finding a similar venue nearby could be just as promising. You’d be surprised how a day of bowling or laser rifling with your children can help you feel young and carefree – maybe even go-karting would help this too! Of course, one of the pinnacle places of our childhood was the arcade. Ah, the arcade, where the bleeps and bloops resounded through the halls and children cursed the prize claw in no uncertain terms.

Where tickets meant prizes and your friend would convince you he knew the cheat codes to games such as ‘Streets of Rage’ and ‘Street Fighter.’ These establishments still exist, and growing competition means they have doubled down on their quality to stay relevant. Places such as Rocket City Arcade not only serve as a wonderful blend of both modern and retro arcade gaming, but also functionally serve as a historical preservation museum for the most part, something that the tiring tide of on-demand services and cloud-based purchases will never replace.

Head to the local diner after a day here with a burger, some fries and a chocolate milkshake, and your transformation into your thirteen-year-old self is likely complete.

Bicycle Ride

We alluded to bicycle rides earlier. They deserve their own mention. A bicycle ride out with your friends was not just time spent riding a bicycle. It was time spent exploring, engaging in silly dialogue and trying to pull off cool tricks to impress your friends. While this last part might not be an option, it can certainly be worthwhile to see the importance in heading out to mother nature herself and exploring your local environment atop two wheels.

While a car encases you and a motorcycle brings with it it’s own dangers and terrain requirements, riding a bicycle off road brings back that accelerating feeling of freedom that you might just adore to feel once again. Heading out on the trail is also an awesome way to enjoy an intimate bonding with your family. After all, the best memories are crafted when out and doing something, as opposed to sitting in at home alone thinking of the past. This ‘active remembrance’ helps you feel like a child in more ways than just emotional. Give it a try. You might just adore it.

With these tips, your childhood might be just around the corner. Spending a couple of days reminding yourself of this wonderful period of time in your life could be just the emotional antidote you needed for ‘grown-up responsibility disease.’

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Making More Time For Your Family

In today’s world, where we are bombarded with distractions vying for your attention, it can be difficult to make quality time with your family a priority.  Indeed, even with things like movie nights where the focus should be purely on eating popcorn and watching a film have turned into a multitasking distraction fest.  Like Pavlov’s Dogs, we all seem to be living in reaction to the dings and vibrations of social media alerts and emails coming through every waking hour.

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In such a hectic and fast paced world, it’s important to balance your time whilst also making enough money to survive and nurture your career.  Time is an often overlooked and under-appreciated gift.  We are each blessed with 24 hours every single day, yet many of these hours are spent doing things that aren’t as important or meaningful to our lives as they could be – which is where making more time for your family comes in.

Check out these three time management tips to help you squeeze the most from you working day and free up your time.

1. WORK REMOTELY

If you are able to work remotely, from home, this will enable you to work more flexible hours meaning your work can fit around your family life.  Similarly, if you were to study say a professional microsoft outlook class there’s no need to attend a physical course, as today there’s a plethora of online courses available; anything from vocational short courses to advanced degrees.  The flexibility and time saving nature of these courses can help free up a lot of your time.

2.. ORGANISE YOUR TIME

We all seem to spend far too much time living in reaction to work – trying to fit our lives around work, yet it doesn’t have to be that way; the key to overcoming this is investing in a good planning system.  This way, you are living your life in response rather than reaction – which is a much calmer and productive state to be in.

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3.  THE PARETO PRINCIPLE

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule suggests 20% of our activities account for 80% of the outcome.  In simple terms, you want to focus on what tasks are going to have the greatest impact and get these done first.  Often, we can get lost in the small tasks that create a lot of “busyness” in our lives and detract from the time we need to manage our “business” – be that in a commercial or personal context.

BONUS TIP:  WORK WHEN YOU WORK AND REST WHEN YOU REST

Brian Tracy, a pre-eminent time management expert advocates the idea that you work when you work and rest when your rest; meaning, if you are sitting down to work – ensure you have a singular laser like focus on the task at hand in a distraction free environment.

Today, particularly when working from home, people multitask by working with their laptop on their lap whilst having the TV on in the background, or even dropping in and out of a conversation with their spouse.  By fully working when you work, you can reduce the amount of time you are needing to work – and you’ll get the added benefit of being able to fully rest when you rest.

 

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How To Keep Your Kids Entertained While Doing A Million Other Things At Once

Being a parent means your life is pretty much full of multitasking. There will rarely be a moment where you only have one thing to do at once. Mostly, you have a million things going on at the same time, and you’re like one of those street performers trying to keep the plates spinning at the same time.

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Normally, entertaining your kids is a constant on your list of things to do. But, how can you do this when you simply have more pressing matters to tend to? The solution is to look for ways in which your kids can stay entertained without you needing to constantly watch over and supervise them. In this piece, I’ve listed a few of my favorite ideas to do this.

Put Netflix On The TV

Normally, I’m not an advocate of sticking your child in front of a screen and letting it entertain them for you. However, there comes a time where you simply don’t have the time to provide personal entertainment. In times like these, Netflix is your best friend. It’s like your virtual nanny, it will help keep your kids entertained for a good hour or so while you do what you need to do. Don’t let them watch it for too long, I personally think this is a great option when you’re making dinner for 30-45 minutes.

Get Them A Playhouse

A playhouse is a really fun toy that your children can pretty much play with by themselves. They’ll lose themselves in their imagination as they play with this toy house, pretending it’s their own. Normally, these are reserved for outdoor fun. However, the best kids’ playhouse can be used indoors as well as out. So, even when it’s rainy, your children can still play with it while you work, cook, clean, or just do whatever you need to do in peace.

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Buy A Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way to keep children occupied without the need for constant supervision. A jigsaw puzzle can be placed on a table, and your child is free to try and solve it as they please. This is one of the best ways of occupying a child for well over an hour. They get caught up in trying to put all the pieces together and completely zone out from the world. If you work from home and have a lot to do, then this is a great idea for you.

Let Them Use Your Tablet

Again, I said it earlier, I don’t suggest you always stick a screen in front of your children!! But, your tablet is a great entertainment device for your kids. They can watch videos, play games, but also learn at the same time. My advice is to download educational games and apps that they can pass the time on while you’re busy. They stay entertained, they learn, and you get a little bit of peace and quiet.

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Being a good dad is all about managing your time well! If you can keep your kids entertained while also doing loads of other tasks, then you’re doing a pretty great job!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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