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How To Get Your Kids Along On Your Next Hike

How to get your kids along on your next hike is really a challenging question to answer. No matter, whether you are an experienced hiker or just a beginner, perhaps this is the biggest dilemma a parent can face in their lifetime. Most of us think that it is almost impossible to go on hiking with kids, especially on long and risky trails. But you can get your kids on your hike by considering two things i.e. making some modification in your goal and another is little planning. ...

kinds, hiking, trekking, backpacking, scouting

How to get your kids along on your next hike is really a challenging question to answer. No matter, whether you are an experienced hiker or just a beginner, perhaps this is the biggest dilemma a parent can face in their lifetime. Most of us think that it is almost impossible to go on hiking with kids, especially on long and risky trails. But you can get your kids on your hike by considering two things i.e. making some modification in your goal and another is little planning. What type of goal you should choose for hiking with kids and what you should plan are two keys for a successful kids hike. Needless to say, if you win over these two things or combat these two issues then you can certainly take your kids on hiking.

Although you may face a little difficulty with kids but it would be a wonderful experience to carry them with you. Kids really like outdoor events and they can reap different benefits with outdoor events. As a parent or guardian you must take your kids on relatively shorter hikes. Outdoor events such as hiking increase their knowledge, increase their team building skills, and increase their endurance along with other health benefits. Hiking with kids would be a great decision from the perspective of family health and it is also fun. For many children, it's the journey that's important, not how long the journey is. So, whenever you get a chance to take them along never miss it. So make your hike a fun with kids; surely you can do it, you don’t need to give up your hiking as you have kids. However, you need to be a bit more careful and planned than usual, but it is not very difficult especially when both of you are determined.

So, guys when you plan your hike with kids change your goals. According to experts, goals should be based on the ability of the youngest child, as they are the weakest link in the whole chain. Perhaps the best idea is to take some of their friends or siblings along with them, so that they won’t feel bored. As these young buddies are slower, delicate and inexperienced, so they can’t move like you adults. Think carefully about your goal or destination where you wish to go, and as far as possible keep your goals easier if you are taking your kids for the first time. While deciding the visiting place keep in mind that it should be easy to reach and near the home because you have a little creature with you and which is not tough like you.

Next, as far as possible encourage them to carry their own backpack as it gives them a sense of belonging as well as a purpose to be there, but be prepared to carry their backpack in case they get tired or exhausted. Sometimes, they don’t like to carry their own backpack even when they are not actually tired. In such events encourage them to carry their backpacks and motivate them by candies or chocolates as special treats or rewards. Quite obviously, keep their backpack small and light, otherwise they may hurt themselves. Initially, instead of backpack, you can encourage them to carry their own water bottle or snack. As they get stronger and experienced, let them take their own small backpack. There are different types of child backpacks available in the market, so you should get a good quality backpack for them.

Keeping your goal shorter and easier has multiple benefits. First, you yourself will not be able to go very far or high because you have a much heavier backpack than usual because you have to carry many extra things for kids like napkins, shoes, clothes etc., second there is a less strong companion with you in terms of abilities, third kids often lack in patience and if their delicate feelings are hurt in anyway they may not like to go along with you next time. Therefore, better to start small children on short trails over easy and low terrain. Although, it all depends upon the strength and temperament of your kid along with few other factors, but according to experts in terms of ability, children can cover about 1 mile for every year they are in age. That means if your kid is 4 years old then he/she has an ability to go for 4 miles. But, never treat this formula as a rule of thumb as they may not actually want to hike that far, but in general they could have the ability to do so.

In addition to the above mentioned considerations, actually there are many more things to be considered while going on hiking with kids, such as special kids clothing & footwear, Wet wipes and tissues, kids backpack, water & snacks along with a compass, a map, a flashlight, waterproof matches, bug dope, sunscreen and a whistle.

Last but not the least, you should pay utmost respect and attention to various safety considerations. As they are young, delicate and inexperienced, so you need to be very careful about their safety. First of all equipped them with right gears and accessories such as running or tenis shoes instead of open-toed shoes, adequate clothing as per the weather conditions in several layers that can be removed easily when they get warm, and added when they get cool, special purpose kids backpack to distribute the load evenly on their body. Next, when you go on hiking with kids, be prepared to survive from any injury because they are common especially in the case of kids. Never forget to carry a small, travel sized first aid kit for short hikes in the event of accidental scrapes or insect bites or other small injuries. Moreover, as far as possible keep them in your sight and watch them carefully even when you allow them to play with their buddies. Educate and warn them to keep away from bushes, steep ledges, overhangs, poisonous plants and dangerous falls. And ask them to make signals using whistle or any other alarming device in case of any emergency.

Well, if you can take care of these points, you will be having a rocking time together with your kids while on any hiking or trekking. Not only you will feel great, but your kids would also have a wonderful time in the outdoor trips filled with enough good memories of wonderful sights and time with their family. Although encourage and empower them to take initiatives, but never allow them unattended for a long time. Have patience, positive attitude and realistic expectations during the whole trip to make it more enjoyable and memorable.

I am sure, by following these simple tips, steps and ideas, your children will have a wonderful time in the great outdoors with you. And, the next time they will be more matured and learned to go along with you on longer hikes with more difficult goals!


How To Grow A Zen Child

When children are raised naturally, in accordance with Zen principles, their own intrinsic intelligence, joy, creativity and self confidence become strong. In order to do this, there are specific steps we can take to assist both our children and ourselves in becoming all we are meant to be. This article, written by a psychologist, author and long term Zen practitioner, covers some of those steps. Direct guidance is provided.

child rearing, children, family, guidance, child development, disciplining children, parental guidance, toddlers, family therapy, healthy children, understanding your child

When children are raised naturally, in keeping with their own true hearts, there is nothing that we need to teach them about Zen. In fact, the children then become our teachers, reminding us of what is important and expressing themselves naturally.

To grow a Zen child, means to raise a healthy, expressive, creative child--a child easily in touch with who they truly are. This child is naturally curious about life, experiencing each day as an adventure, going to sleep happy at night. This is a child to whom sharing comes naturally, who can laugh when things are funny and cry when they're sad, who is not terrified of the consequences of their behavior or focused unnecessarily upon reactions of adults. This child then becomes strong and stable, able to weather all kinds of conflicting demands and pressures.

Actually, all of Zen practice comes simply to teach us how to become a child once again. Not how to become childish, but child-like, how to tap the natural knowingness and spontaneity we were all born with, to find delight in our days and share it with others.

In order to grow a Zen child certain basic steps need to be honored and taken. These steps are not difficult though they may be different from the ways in which we have usually been trained to think about child-rearing.

Some Steps To Growing A Zen Child
1) Honor The Child's Natural Wisdom And Gifts
Most of us feel that we have to fill our children with information, knowledge, skills, direction. From the moment they are born we must "mold" them in the right direction, so that they will grow to fulfill our values and images of a successful adult. We do not stop a moment and question how these images have impacted upon us, how fulfilled and whole our lives are. We teach our children much more by who we are than by what we preach.

All children have their own innate wisdom, rhythms, sense of exploration, and ability to express what is most dear to them. Our job as caretakers is to create a loving, safe environment in which both we and they can discover who they are. Raising children, (like Zen practice) is a process of discovery. We must take our lead from the children, not impose ourselves upon them.

When children feel so deeply respected, all that is best and natural emerges easily. Their full intelligence and abilities become available to them. This kind of child will not become aggressive, distracted and filled with all kinds of fears. When a being's basic nature is not interfered with, it becomes empowered to function at its best.

2) Don't Compare Your Child With Others
Conformity and competition have become a craze (and plague) in our nation and in the process of child rearing. Nothing could be worse for both the parents and children. Comparing your child's progress, scores or abilities with those of other children tell you absolutely nothing about who he/she is, or how they will do in their lives. There are many ways and timetables for developing, and different gifts and abilities that different children have.

Remember that being different doesn't mean being better or worse. Many kinds of trees and flowers are needed in a garden. An apple tree will produce the best possible apples, don't force it to give you pears. Not only will that distort it's growth, but it will make the apple tree very sad. A garden with only one kind of flower would become uninteresting. Just as we need roses, tulips, lilies, etc. for the garden to be complete, we need all kinds of different children to make a whole world.

3) Allow Your Child To Express Who She Is
There are many, many constrictions placed upon what children are allowed to express. There is a demand for politeness, control and censure coupled with the intrinsic notion that certain thoughts and feelings are bad and cannot or should not be expressed. The child develops the sense that certain parts of them are bad and unacceptable. This causes these parts to go underground, and become the source of symptoms of all kinds.

Help the child find a way to communicate and express whatever he/she is going through. It can be done through words, song, art, plays, dancing together, planting flowers. Make sure you find a way to let them know you truly hear what it is they need to say. The child’s self worth will then grow.

4) Look For And See The Best In All The Child Does
Rather than find fault, criticize, punish and negate the child in the thousands of ways we usually do, specifically look for and see the best in the child and all that they do. Acknowledge it to them as well. Everyday let the child know something you are truly proud of them for and pleased with about them.

However, sadly, in many situations the opposite occurs, praise and acknowledgement is given rarely, in a context of criticism and complaint. Turn this around. Let the child realize that though they may have made an error, the totality of who they are is wonderful.

You can also ask them what they are pleased with and proud of about you. If there is something troubling them in the relationship, this is a time it will come to the fore. There is nothing more crucial than keeping open lines of full communication between parents and child.

5) Grow Yourself!
Of course as parents grow a Zen child, they are simultaneously growing themselves. The way we treat another, reflects back upon us. The beauty and goodness we find in another, we begin to see wherever we go. As we loosen the bonds and chains we tie our children in, we are always freeing ourselves as well. Power struggles disappear in these kinds of relationships, and make lots of room for love to grow.




How To Hire The Perfect Baby Sitter! Or The Child Care Conundrum!

Child Care is often at the forefront of many parents' minds. Because there are occasions when everyone needs to leave the home, and it is important to have a support network in place that can be called upon to assist if the need arises. Often, the people who are called for child minding are family members, which works great in general. However, family are not always available to help; and so it is important to have a network available outside of that. This is where hired chil...

child care, family, childcare, child, child minding, childminding, children, parenting

Child Care is often at the forefront of many parents' minds. Because there are occasions when everyone needs to leave the home, and it is important to have a support network in place that can be called upon to assist if the need arises. Often, the people who are called for child minding are family members, which works great in general. However, family are not always available to help; and so it is important to have a network available outside of that. This is where hired childcare professionals, or baby sitters can step in to assist. (If you have a very young child then check out for more resources to help you)

There are certain things that should be considered when choosing a baby sitter. First and foremost, the baby sitter should be credible -- meaning that he or she should have a good record with past employers. Second is that certain character traits and characteristics should be present in the baby sitter. For example, they should have at least a general knowledge of how to run a household. And being sensible about it, common sense is a good asset here! Ask yourself the question, 'Do I want this person in charge of MY child?'. If the answer is anything other then a definite YES. Move on. You can always get another babysitter.

And of course he or she should be patient when it comes to dealing with kids because that is really the bulk of his or her work.

Most parents prefer to be hands-on with their kids. Raising kids is a difficult job, but still parents want to do it themselves because they feel like it is the only way to make sure that they can properly train their children to grow up in the way that ideally they would want them to be. And also, children are fun! Why should the babysitter get all the joy, fun and abundance that looking after children can bring?

However some parents have no choice because both of them have to work to fend for the family so either they leave their kids with other family members, friendly neighbors or else hire babysitters to help out. This is not neccessarily an ideal solution. But sometimes it is the only option.

A baby sitter is often a stranger (at least at first), so careful thought should be given by the family about this decision from the time they say yes to the idea, to the actual choosing of the baby sitter.

It is also advisable to ask around people who have past experiences with baby sitters and child care so that you can have an idea how to set your criteria and how to actually find and eventually hire someone that will suit you. Mothers groups and baby clinics can also be a good source of advice in this area.

After the initial research you are now ready to do interviews for possible prospects. During the interview, you should not only concentrate on the resume or the answers but you should more importantly, watch out for the body language because this will tell you a lot about the person. How comfortable they feel with you, but also with your child. Ask routine questions but also come up with questions that will make you get to know more about the morals or the personality of the one applying. You don't want to come home to an impromptu party they decided to organise at you house! ;)

Finally, after choosing a baby sitter, make sure that you do some advance preparations like giving the babysitter a tour of the places in the house where he or she will be working, machines he or she will be operating, list of numbers to call in case of emergencies and talk to him or her about any special instructions you might want to give. Also, set down the family policies with him or her on specific behaviour, acceptable punishments for naughty behaviour etc. These are simple things, but making it clear at the beginning will mean that you don't have any future problems.

Hiring a baby sitter allows parents to have a greater focus on their jobs. But during the first days of the baby sitters tenure at your home, one of the parents should watch how the baby sitter is during active duty even for just a few hours. This is a sort of transition time and it is also a way of still being involved with your kids despite the fact that you already have a baby sitter. There are many good babysitters around and hopefully you will find the right one for your family and child care needs. Finding good childcare will not only free up your time and give you more flexibility, it will also add a very valuable team member to your family in the form of a baby sitter. So it is worth persisting and finding that special someone to take care of the people you LOVE.


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