TEEN TIMES by Cody Chandler Hilton
If you survived Halloween parties, you can now get ready for Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday travel. With the economy being so bad, families are going to visit their aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins during vacation times, and not taking expensive trips by plane. Taking the train can be a great way to go visit a place you have never been, or to visit your grandparents in another city. The train has food and beverages, and you can use your computer or play games while you travel.
Amtrak has great trains in California, and they go from San Diego to Washingtron and further. You can sit in the obseratory car on top and watch all the towns go by or you can go to the dining car for all your meals. The food is not gourmet, but it's OK and the servers are nice. Sometimes we bring our own food and beverages with us. You can also sleep in little cars with private toilet facilities if you are on a long trip.
This Christmas you might want to think about taking a family train ride to spend time with your family members who live in other parts of the United States. I think it would be good if the President spent money to make more train travel for Americans.
Rainbow Light Unveils Two New Gummies:
Gummy Get Well™ and Fiber Garden Gummiesä,
Just in Time for Cold and Flu Season
Natural Nutritional Support Boosts Immunity and Digestion for
Children (and Adults)
Gummy Get Well Soothing Herbal Drops is the most potent, 100 percent natural, stimulant-free kid’s immune formula. With vitamin C and a calming herbal relief blend that includes elderberry, eucalyptus and peppermint, Gummy Get Well provides soothing comfort for sore throats, stuffy noses and respiratory discomfort. It is the only gummy-form remedy available in the market to deliver more than 1,000 milligrams of potent, calming herbal relief per gummy drop.
Fiber Garden Gummies provides over 3 grams of fiber per serving, more than any other brand. Delicious, 100 percent natural and sugar-free, Fiber Garden Gummies is a great way for kids – and adults – to get more fiber, fruits and vegetables in their diet. Since dietary fiber helps reduce after-meal elevations of blood sugar, sugar-free Fiber Garden Gummies are also appropriate snacks for adult consumers with pre-diabetes, with blood sugar imbalances or those dieting.
Fiber Garden Gummies’ prebiotics further support digestion and immunity, and its high-ORAC antioxidant blend equals two servings of fruits and vegetables. Instead of added sugar, Fiber Garden Gummies are sweetened with natural sour berry, sour apple and sour mandarin flavors, and with xylitol, which is proven to benefit dental health by preventing dental cavities and reducing tooth decay.
“Many children are picky eaters and don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. Rainbow Light’s new gummies can help promote immune resistance, digestion and regularity for both children and their parents,” said Linda Kahler, president of Rainbow Light. “They are a smart addition to any family’s diet and medicine cabinet this season.”
The two products are the newest introductions to Rainbow Light’s Gummies line that experienced triple-digit growth in 2008, with combined sales growing 222 percent, according to SPINSscan, the leading natural products industry data-reporting agency. The company’s children’s supplements line grew 24 percent from January through June 2009, greatly outpacing the 1-percent category growth industry wide. SPINSscan data, July 2009
Gummy Get Well and Fiber Garden Gummies are formulated by Rainbow Light’s Director of Herbal Product Formulation Christopher Hobbs, an internationally renowned herbalist and author who successfully used these formulations in his clinical practice for more than 30 years. The new gummies are available at fine health retailers nationwide and online at www.rainbowlight.com.
KIDS KALEIDOSCOPE - November 2009
JAKKS SPECIAL FUN FOR GIRLS
Jakks has created some great gift items to keep young girls happy and busy. From candy jewelry to actual cakes and cup cakes for the whole family to enjoy. Other items include do-it-yourself spa essentials or plug-and-play guitars based on pop sensation, Hannah Montana, JAKKSTM has its finger on the pulse of the fickle 'tween girl market.
Through new food technologies and creative execution, JAKKS breathes new life intothe food play category with the innovative and hip Girl Gourmet™ Cupcake Maker, Ice Cream Sandwich Maker and accessories. After filling up on Girl Gourmet goodies, young girls can pamper themselves with the Spa Factory™ create-your-own spa basics. Both are great activities for birthday parties or sleepovers!
KIDS AND MONEY --The Family Financial Crisis: 10 Ways to Help Your Kids Handle Tough Economic Times
If you’ve had to face losing your job or home—or if you’ve just had to make some major cutbacks—you know how tough it it is to struggle financially. But did you ever stop to consider how it’s impacting your kids? Parenting expert and author Dr. Michele Borba offers ten ways to help your kids handle harsh economic times…and even grow as a family in the process.
Let’s face it: the past year hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for most of us. We’ve lived through months of financial uncertainty and unprecedented levels of job loss and foreclosures. And even if you haven’t taken a personal hit—yet, anyway—you’ve certainly done your share of hand wringing. This is especially true if you’re a parent. You naturally want your children to have happy and carefree childhoods. So when an economic crisis means you can’t afford a lavish Christmas—or worse, you lose your home and their college savings account—what do you tell your kids?
Yes, having to face the loss of material wealth and creature comforts is upsetting in and of itself. But it pales in comparison to the realization that no matter how hard you try to shield your kids from the worry associated with a financial crisis, they are going to be affected—and Dr. Michele Borba says the way you handle the situation will make all the difference.
“Maybe you can’t save your job or even your house, but there are ways to help your family get through these tough times,” notes Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries (Jossey-Bass/A Wiley Imprint, September 2009, ISBN: 978-0-7879-8831-9, $19.95). “How you act and what you say these next days, weeks and months will affect your children’s emotional wellbeing now and in the long-term. No matter how upset or frightened you may be, it’s time to step up and be a strong parent.”
Borba says that there are ten simple tips that parents can follow to help guide their children through the murky economic waters. Read on for what you can do to prevent your own family financial crisis:
Remember that honesty is the best policy. Kids are perceptive and typically can tell when something is up, so trying to cover up a harsh reality to protect them only fuels their worries more. And chances are good they’ve already heard about the financial crisis from the television, the Internet, or their friends at school. While it’s not necessary to fill your kids in on all the facts, Borba says that you do owe them an explanation that is tailored to their level of understanding.
“Kids will pick up on your worry and stress, and the right kind of explanation can help to ease their minds,” she explains. “For a young child, say something like ‘Daddy and Mommy are a little worried about work right now but we’re doing what we can so everyone will be all right.’ If your child is older, you may try something similar to ‘I know you’ve heard about how bad the economy is right now. Things will be tight at home for a while but we’re working hard to try to make it through this.’ If you are about to lose your home or job, make sure you are the one to tell your children. It’s important for them to feel that they can trust what you say.”
Own up to your worries. Your child is picking up on your worries, so don’t deny your state of mind or try to fake cheeriness. (It won’t work anyway!) Begin with a simple: “I know you’ve noticed that Dad and I have been upset lately, so we wanted to let you know what’s going on.” If you don’t acknowledge it, your kids may begin to assume that the problem is bigger than it really is, and stress and worry can have damaging effects on children’s health and school performance.
“Your child may not seek you out, so go to her,” Borba explains. “If you don’t, she may be stressing over problems that actually don’t exist. Once she knows what is actually worrying you, she can begin to feel better about it and she won’t worry over hypothetical scenarios.”
Keep the lines of communication open. With school back in full swing, it’s inevitable that your kids will likely hear all kinds of rumors and misinformation from their friends and classmates, so keep up an ongoing dialogue with them. Be there to set them straight about the facts and tone down those doom and gloom reports. And be aware that kids won’t always come to you to clear things up, so you may have to do a little probing. Ask them what they have heard at school or what their friends are saying to get a clue into what they may or may not know.
“One of the biggest concerns for tweens and teens in particular is what their friends will say about their family’s financial situation,” Borba says. “So let your kids know they are not alone. Foreclosures are everywhere and unemployment has never been this high. Let them know that there are other kids with families who are suffering as well. It makes them feel better to know they are not alone.”
Set a budget. This year, families all across the country have been forced to cut back and stick to a strict budget. But if you simply start cutting out the extras without explaining why, your kids may start to worry about how much money your family has and whether or not they will be provided for. There’s no need to go into every detail about your family’s finances, but do explain to your kids that you need to cut back, at least temporarily. Involve them in finding ways to cut spending and make it a challenge for the entire family to stick to the budget for at least a month. This will give them a sense of control and confidence in your family’s financial situation.
“Dozens of American families are taking the ‘Frugal Family Challenge,’” Borba asserts. “Add up all of your expenditures and then figure out ways to cut back. Maybe you have a movie night at home, rather than heading to the theater—or perhaps you enlist your kids to help prepare and freeze meals to eat at home, rather than going to a restaurant several nights a week. Not only will you ease their worry and teach them a valuable financial planning lesson, you’ll also help to curb their materialism in the process!”
Cut back on the conflict. When the economy is down, tensions run high. But just because you’re stressed and your temper is on edge doesn’t mean it’s okay to yell in front of your kids. Studies show that during tough economic times, it’s not dad losing his job, the electricity being turned off, or losing their home that causes kids the most emotional damage. It’s the constant parental conflicts.
“With tensions running high and a household that is already stressed to the max, its time to call a truce,” advises Borba. “Go to a counselor, sleep in separate bedrooms, or instate a no-yelling policy. Do whatever it takes to reduce those battles. And when you absolutely must have it out, wait until the kids aren’t around. They’re already nervous enough and seeing an unstable, divided parental unit will only make matters worse.”
The more things change, the more you should keep the same routine. Kids thrive on routine. Keeping things consistent encourages predictability and boosts their sense of confidence and security. This is especially important during a time of crisis or stress. As much as possible, keep daily routines mostly the same. And if you weren’t a family of rituals and schedules before, consider starting now. Your children will take comfort in the minute parts of their day that are controlled and in knowing what they can expect.
“While everything else around them may seem to be crumbling, it’s the bedtime rituals, nighttime stories, hot baths, hugs and backrubs that remain the same and bring them comfort,” says Borba. “These are all things that don’t cost any money and can be done no matter where you are. They will help exponentially in creating a sense of security for your kids, which in turn will reduce their stress and worry.”
Nix the news. While it’s a good idea to say informed, the evening news can be a scary place for a youngster who is already feeling worried. Keep an eye on what your kids are watching or what news stories they may be Googling—and be conscious of the little eyes and ears that may be in the room when you are tuning in yourself. If you are open and honest with your children about what is going on in the financial world, then you can be the only news source they’ll need.
“Kids admit those stories are scaring the pants off them, so make sure you are monitoring what they are being exposed to,” warns Borba. “Media reports will often use words and phrases that make stories seem more threatening or serious in order to grab viewer attention. Kids don’t understand this scare tactic and may inadvertently hear things that aren’t necessarily true. If they are watching the news, be there to hear what they are hearing so you can answer any questions they may have.”
Keep yourself calm, cool and collected. Not only do kids pick up on our worries and stress, they also have a tendency to mirror our moods. If you are worried or upset, they will be too, so the best thing you can do for them is to try to stay calm yourself. Take a few deep breaths or walk away until you can get your own emotions under control. As parents, you are the pillar of strength to your children and if you are in control, they will feel that way too.
“It’s also important to find no-cost ways to reduce stress together as a family,” Borba adds. “Meditate with your kids, do yoga with your daughter, ride bikes with your preschooler, listen to relaxation tapes with your kids. Not only will you reduce your stress, but you’ll also help your kids learn healthy ways to minimize theirs at the same time. And they’ll definitely benefit from the added together time!”
Tune into your child and ask for help. When a stressful situation presents itself, watch your child carefully to detect stress signs or behaviors that are not typical for them. Studies show kids can suffer from depression and stress as young as the age of three, so don’t assume that yours are too young to feel the effects of a family financial crisis. And if you do find that your child is suffering, don’t be timid about getting some help.
“Enlist a relative or friend who cares about your child to spend a bit more time with him,” suggests Borba. “Call the guidance counselor or school psychologist, go to your minister or talk to your doctor for advice. If at any time your child’s emotional or physical wellbeing is at stake, pick up the phone ASAP. Don’t wait. While this financial crisis won’t last forever, the damaging effects of not treating a child’s emotional health can last a lifetime.”
Help them find hope. If you’re lucky, the worst case scenarios won’t come to fruition and your family will make it to the other side of this financial crisis just fine. But for some, the devastation may be severe. If your family is worried and hurting, it’s important to remember that this is only temporary and the bad times won’t last forever. Kids are resilient creatures, but in order for them to bounce back they need reassurance from you that no matter what happens, you will make it through this tough time together.
“Tell your kids that you don’t know how things will turn out, but that you will do everything possible to make sure your family stays safe and provided for,” says Borba. “And above all, give your kids a message of hope: tell them that whatever happens, your family will be together. That really is what matters most.”
If you’re like many parents, you’ll find that shifting your attention from your financial worries to the wellbeing of your kids is a huge relief, says Borba. It reminds you that it’s the people you love that truly matter in life. No job or house can begin to compete.
“The most important thing that any parent can do is to pay attention,” she concludes. “Don’t let yourself get so caught up in what’s happening that you forget about how it’s affecting the youngest members of your family. If you keep your focus on your family and cling to what’s really important—each other—you and your kids are sure to come out on the other side of this recession just fine.”
TIN LIZARDS TALES
This is a wonderful read on traveling by train.
Schuyler T. Wallace takes you along
on some fun adventures.