Archive for February, 2013

Travelling With Kids.

An article I wrote earlier today for Helium: 


We’ve all been there: You’re sitting on a plane or a train, and suddenly the child behind you starts incessantly kicking the back of your chair. You turn around only to find their father or mother completely oblivious, reading a novel or listening to music on their iPod. The child is clearly bored, and has nothing better to get up to. Perhaps you think to yourself, “Why doesn’t this kid have something to do!?” Even worse, what if you are about to go travelling with your child and you are that parent who has no idea how to entertain them on the way to your destination? Continue reading for some great ideas!

Before the Airport

Sure there are tons of places and shops to look at once you actually get to the airport, but what about the ride in the vehicle on the way to the airport? If your child is tall enough to see out of the front window of your vehicle, take turns looking out for license plates that come from different areas. Another option is bringing along a couple disposable cameras, and allowing your child to snap pictures of the scenery on the way to the airport. A disposable camera is also not too expensive to replace, just in case your child drops it accidentally. Purchase a pack of stickers for your child to decorate the disposable camera with as well. This adds a little extra fun to the activity, as well as helps develop their fine motor skills (i.e. mastering their “pincer grasp”).

Transition Times

You’ve finally arrived at the airport, or the train station and now have to wait a couple hours for your actual departure. Now what? Well, if you are at an airport you do have the luxury of being able to explore the different gift shops, restaurants and comfortable waiting areas. When those have been exhausted, your children may get bored. Now is the time for activities such as coloring. Coloring is a popular activity with both girls and boys, of many ages, so this can work for almost anyone. Be sure to have enough coloring markers/crayons/pencils and paper for everyone to share if you do have more than one child. If you have forgotten to bring along a coloring book or crayons, chances are the airport will have some for you to purchase. 

If your child knows how to read, bring along a couple of their favorite books, or the one they are currently reading. If they enjoy games, bring along a pack of cards and teach them a game that you used to play as a child, such as “Go Fish” or “Crazy 8’s”. Try playing “Mad Libs” together and making up silly stories. This can actually be a great bonding opportunity for you and the kids. 

On the Way!

You are now on the plane or train. The children are so excited for the coming adventure that they are becoming restless. What to do!? Well, since you already have the coloring books and crayons, the children can continue that activity or choose to do something else. If you are fine with handheld video games, you can allow them to play on the console during the trip. Have the kids listen to some music or watch a movie on a mini DVD player. If your little ones are tuckered out easily by travelling, don’t forget to bring a small, plushy pillow and travel sized blanket to allow them some quiet resting time while you are on your way. Most important of all, have a fun and safe time travelling with your children! 


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Don’t Want to Know What You Really See

I had a rough few days this past week, but the clouds have lifted a bit, and I’m starting to feel a tad better. If you are going through a stormy patch with your anxiety or depression, or just generally having an unpleasant day, here are some tips to help you feel better. They worked for me, and I hope they will work for you as well. 🙂

1. Listen to your favorite “happy” music. I know it can be tempting when we are down to listen to melancholy music. Misery loves company, right? Well, if you really want to get out of that funk, you have to listen to something more positive. For me, it’s “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scizzor Sisters, or “Gangnam Style” by Psy, because frankly, that song and video is just hilarious.

2. Watch a comedy. Make sure it’s a comedy you are into, and not something you will think is asinine, causing you to get angry and throw your remote at the TV. You want to be happy, remember!?

3. Find a cute, fuzzy animal to cuddle with. Pet the fuzzy animal and say “Aww!” You will instantly feel better. Probably. Unless it bites you, which I hope it does not. 🙂 Also, petting animals, or spending time with animals has been shown in studies to calm people suffering from anxiety.

4. Maybe your sister or brother in law needs some time to themselves – offer to take your adorable niece or nephew out to the park while the parents go off on a date or shopping together.  Sometimes kids say the most random, hilarious things, and I know that always cheers me up!

5. Breathing Techniques: I was taught a lot of different breathing techniques to calm myself over the years, but the one I find works best for me is breathing in through the nose for 7 seconds, and out through the mouth for 7 seconds. You count the seconds while breathing and really focus on your breath. This takes you away from whatever else you are thinking about, and it can be done anywhere, even at work!

However, do not write sad, depressing poetry reminiscent of your teenage years, such as I did the other day. Here’s mine:

Thoughts untold 
Nobody can trust you
And it’s starting to get old. 
Tried to redeem yourself for all the pain
But some of them think
You can’t really change


Have a nice day! 😛

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