Helping Your Kids to Compete Without Stress

Guest Blogger, Brooke Chaplan

Kids benefit from having the opportunity to compete against others in sports and other activities that they love. When kids compete, they learn valuable social skills such as how to gracefully win and lose. They also develop the ability to focus under pressure, which is a skill that they will use for the rest of their life. While there are many wonderful things that your kid gains when they are encouraged to participate in competitions, they can also experience extreme pressure and anxiety that can negatively affect their growth. It’s important for your kids to push themselves, but also for them to have fun and relax. Here are some ways you can help your kids develop by enabling them to compete without stress.

Provide Enough Time to Practice

Being unprepared for a public performance is always stressful. Make sure to set up a regular schedule for practice times that include sessions at home as well as during their lessons. In some cases, your child may need to focus on only one sport or activity to make sure that they have enough time to practice at the advanced level. Once you have the practice routine in place, be sure to stick to it. Your child will feel less stressed during their competition when they know their routine by heart. Make sure your child also has enough time to play and enjoy their childhood—a major cause of stress in children can involve the constant parade of activities and sports to compete in.

Make It Easy to Stay Organized

Competition days are often filled with a frenzy of activity. This is especially true if you must travel for competitions. Trying to search for a lost shoe or pair of tights can generate unnecessary stress for your entire family. Help your child stay organized by having them pack days in advance. You could also take advantage of specialized duffels and luggage for specific sports that make it easy to know what to bring and where to store it. For instance, competition dance bags have mesh pockets ensure breathability for fabrics, and they also increase visibility so that your child can immediately see where their things are without having to dig around. Organization is key.

Balance Competitions with Fun

Many competitions are held in areas that are fun to explore. If your child is competing out of town, then plan something fun to do afterwards. You could take them to tour a museum or visit an amusement park. For local competitions, consider enjoying a dinner out that night. Tying the competition to something fun helps your child make positive associations with the activity.

Celebrate Personal Successes

Winning is always awesome, but your child should also know that you are proud of his or her efforts no matter what happens. During competitions, watch to find at least one thing that you can mention that your child did well. This helps you to remind your child that hitting personal goals is also important, and you can also boost his or her self-esteem.

The ultimate goal of having your child compete is to build their self-confidence. It is normal for kids to feel a little nervous before a competition, but you need to watch for signs that they are dealing with too much stress. If you notice that your child is tense or no longer enjoying a favorite activity, then make a few adjustments. Whether your child needs help staying organized or just a reminder of how much fun competing is, you can make a difference in your child’s enjoyment of their sport.

Author Bio

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Quick Tips for Improving Your Child’s Creativity

Quick Tips for Improving Your Child’s Creativity.jpg

Guest Blogger, Annabelle Short

Fostering creativity in your child is very important to their future. While they are young, their minds are very impressionable and susceptible to the things going on around them. With many bad influences surrounding them, it is important to foster good and creative ideas that will prepare them to be successful in the future.

While they might not grow up to be the next Vincent van Gogh, creativity is still beneficial. It exposes their mind to a different way of thinking and opens new pathways, allowing them to really discover their interests and to grow and learn new things.

Here are some great tips for improving your child’s creativity:

  • Discuss creativity with your child. Your child will have an easier time letting themselves be creative, if they know exactly what it is that you are trying to get them to do. Let them know that it is fun to draw, paint and try new things. You are fostering creativity by making them aware of it.
  • Design a place for them to be creative. By giving them the atmosphere to be creative, they are more likely to take advantage of it. Set up an arts and crafts station. Put out pens, pencils, notebooks and stickers. A great way to really interest your child in the area is by adding personalized stickers! You can order stickers that are specific to things that your child is interested in. This will be sure to catch their attention and make them feel special. You could do something as simple as put their name on them, to something more special that they enjoy. They can use these stickers in their next creative project!
  • Avoid micromanaging. Let them be. Leave your child alone to be creative. While it is important to still keep an eye on them, don’t hover. They cannot be creative if you are standing right over them guiding them in what to do. Allow them the time and the space to develop and foster their own ideas.
  • Avoid only coloring books. Instead or pre-printed designs and books, try just giving them some white paper. This gives them a blank canvas to create something totally their own. This will avoid them just following the rules and allow them to think of something totally outside of the box.
  • Let them get messy. This might be the hardest part, but it goes right along with avoid micromanaging. Sometimes, they need to get messy in order to truly foster their creative ideas. Obviously, don’t just ignore it totally and let them get unruly or destroy the house, but sometimes a little paint on their hands and in their hair, is okay. They are learning.
  • Be creative yourself. Kids do learn by watching. If they see that you are being creative and trying new things, they will often want to do so themselves. This is also a great opportunity for you to encourage it. You could even say something as simple as, “See, mommy is being creative and making a new project. Why don’t you try?” This also goes hand-in-hand with discussing creativity, but this is the leading by example part of that.

Make Your Road Trip Family Friendly: 7 Step Guide

7 Tips for Traveling with Kids

Guest Blogger, Jonathon 

Whether you’re hitting the road or soaring in the not-so-cordial skies, the probable hassles are plentiful. Regrettably, we can’t bring gas prices down, promise you extra space on the airplane, or make your finicky, bored child suddenly fascinated by the scenery. But we can equip you with funky ideas, survival tactics, and practical guidance to lend a hand in your planning to make your tour half the fun.

These ideas will work for kids of all ages- some are apparently better-suited to juveniles or bigger kids, so pick what works best for you and your itinerant companions.

Here are seven boredom-ousting family-friendly road trip ideas that cover everything from what to observe, local eats and where to crash!

1. Packing strategy

Don’t just stow every item, pack everything but in small quantity for uncomplicated access on the road so you wouldn’t have to excavate around in baggage. Don’t forget to keep mosquito repellents – in a paper bag in the car’s cabin. If you’re going to a temperate climate, keep swimsuits and towels in a beach bag – you never know when you might trip up on an enormous swimming hole.

2.  Choose your music shrewdly

Great music and road trips go so well together also making the hours go by much more rapidly. Choose music that everyone can enjoy. Perhaps select a soundtrack from a dearly-loved movie or some catching retro tunes.

A car with a steady sound system helps too.

3.  Prepare for pit stops

Regardless of how well prepared you are or how keen on getting to your destination well before bed time, you’ll have to halt along the way. The exquisiteness of a road trip is you can pull over anytime and get out wherever you fancy.

If it’s a family tour that involves traveling with toddlers and younger kids, try to avoid driving for longer durations in one stretch. Expecting kids to sit immobile for much longer is pretty unworkable.

4.  Pack lots of snacks

Keep abundant of beverages and snacks on hand. Foodstuff that can survive traveling well includes bagels, pretzels, granola bars, and cereal. Bring an insulated container for string cheese, tubes of yogurt, and other prone to decay provisions.

Expert’s Tip: Nuts and dried fruit and spill proof, sippy cups for smaller kids. Fresh fruit and juice cans can cause the mess.

5. Entertainment

Keep your children entertained with activities such as songs, stories, and jokes. Toddlers are crazy about sticky label books. If older kids are accompanying you, try audio books, stories or they too can be kept entertained with games. You can get travel adaptations of many that are all the rage, from Battleship to Scrabble. Be sure to choose the versions for car trips which have pieces that slide or attach by magnets. A travel journal can keep kids busy and capture memories of your family trip. Give each child a notebook and washable crayons or markers.

6.  Play some movies

Talking about keeping kids entertained and not watching movies while journeying, something’s definitely off! Use an iPad or moveable DVD player if you don’t have en suite screens in the car.

7.  Make them giggle

Lay your hands on a few manuscripts of jokes and consent to children taking turns telling them. Chuckle along with the kids on a few punch lines!

Here our valuable suggestions come to a stop. In the end, we only hope that you travel safely and soundly with your kids, as, safety is above all.

Happy traveling!!!

Author Bio:

Jonathon is an IT expert and a researcher. He is obsessed with cars and all the digital accessories. He regularly posts at

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