During our recent vacation in Florida, my son had days full with playtime and playdates with his cousin Will. During the vacation we did some fun things with the kids including going to the beach, hanging out at a cool playground, going to a neat diner, and their favorite riding around my in laws’ property on the golf cart.
Watching the boys interacting and having fun reminds me of the importance of having regular weekend playtime and playdates for kids of any age. They are exploring the art of sharing, learning and having fun with each other.
Here are 5 important tips for a successful playtime:
One: Let them be kids
It’s important to have boundaries and let the other kids know those boundaries especially if the playdate is in your home. But some of us are too involved with our kids. When kids are not sharing, we interrupt and give our opinions right away, never giving them a chance to work things out. It is important to supervise playtime and step in when necessary. But kids are kids, let them learn the art of sharing and work things out on their own and have fun.
Usually their little disputes are over within minutes. If the behavior is “ugly” or the other kid’s habits are not a good influence then it’s important to re-think who you have regular playdates with.
Two: Have a plan
Having a planned playdate will help enhance kids’ time together. A playdate at the beach or local playground requires different planning and toys. Kids may become frustrated without proper toys at the beach.
I made the mistake of going to the beach without a shovel, swimsuit, or floatation devices. Luckily we had cars to play with and enough adults to hold on to each child while we played in the surf. It was fun but I “mom” ended up with wet shorts and when I needed to run into Walmart after the beach, I looked like I wet my pants…LOL!
Also have a backup plan incase things don’t go like you want. Keeping a stash of surprise toys, stickers, coloring books in the car or bringing to the playdate just in case is a good idea.
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to pack your essential oil Mommy Kit. Joshie’s little body wasn’t used to the Florida environment. Lavender helped sunburn and Purification helped keep the bugs away.
Three: Snack and drinks
Remember when kids get together they can expend a lot of energy and need replenishment. Snack and drinks are important during playdates. They need to hydrate and refuel their little bodies.
Not all kids are alike. Knowing what your kid’s playdate likes and dislikes are important before the start of the playdate (if you are hosting and providing snacks and drinks.)
Healthy snacks can include fruits and nuts or cut vegetables, crackers and hummus. Sometimes having a variety is a good idea if you don’t know what the other children like. Interestingly Will, a picky eater, after hanging out with my son an “almost everything” eater started eating more diverse foods.
One of our favorite snacks was cut up peanut butter, banana sandwiches with Yacon syrup and a little Coconut oil blended in. They were delicious! Yacon is probably the best natural sweetener for you. It may be more costly than Agave and Honey but it really has more health benefits.
Four: Indoor physical activities
My son likes to run and jump A LOT. Will can play with cars for 30 minutes at a time. Joy another one of our playdate friends likes dressing up. A fun playdate that everyone can enjoy something is an indoor Play Place. These are great if weather does not permit outdoor activities, like here in Central NY most of Fall, Winter and some of Spring. I discovered a place here in Central New York called Kidz Club Indoor Play and Party Place. They have good deals and your child can play for a very reasonable price.
Although most indoor play places won’t let you bring your own food, if you or your child have food allergies, or really don’t want them eating processed foods, talk to the managers to see if they mind you bringing in some specific foods. Remember to patronize them for water and the things you can eat because like movie theaters, the majority of their profits come from food sales.
Although I don’t recommend not keeping an eye on your child, the Kidzplace has WiFi so bring your smart phone and you may be able to muti-task or go with a group of parents and take turns doing work.
Five: Time limit
There has to be a time limit in a playdate. Keep it short and sweet. An over extended playtime may create overly tired and cranky kids. We found this out the hard way on our way home from the beach; two tired little 2 year olds who missed their nap made the rest of the night not so fun.
Playtime is part of our kids’ development, learning and growing process. It is important to carve out time for playdates for our children. According to a USA Today article, since the 70s kids have lost an average of nine hours of free playtime a week. There is a playtime deficit.
Do you schedule playdates for your children? What type of activities do they like? Please share.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.
We all have highs and lows in our life. It is inevitable and it is life. The lows of life are sad, tragic, depressing, and awful, right? What if the lows of your life were actually blessings in disguise or experiences to help you grow?
My 2011 Christmas Holiday was spent in one of those blessings and lessons. On December 25th 2011 while everyone else was celebrating Christmas, I was learning that I needed immediate surgery.
It all started with our 5-day vacation to Austin, Texas. I was 12 weeks pregnant and besides a lot of fatigue, nothing was abnormal. It was an awesome vacation and Saturday December 17th was one of the top 12 days of my life. Starting with a morning walk to a delicious Mexican Diner, followed by a trip to Zilker Park and a ride on the Zilker train, then off to the Austin Nature Center. Austin was beautiful, but it was the family time that made it so special.
Then that afternoon my husband and I set out on a 90 minute journey in the Hill Country of Texas where we saw hundreds of little deer and spent quality time talking. We arrived at the beautiful Meyer Bed and Breakfast, got ready and headed to one of the most special and beautiful weddings I had ever been too. A day of family, fun, friends, and romance who could ask for more?
The next morning, I had breakfast with some of my favorite people including my spiritual mentors Dr. Jack and Lavonne Atnip. We laughed and joked and shared stories of how much our lives have been blessed by this couple. But somewhere, something inside of me wasn’t feeling right. I was really tired and thought maybe I just ate too much cake. As I kissed Dr. Lavonne goodbye she said, “you take care of yourself and get some rest.” A normal, typical thing that someone would say to a pregnant woman, but something inside of me just didn’t feel right.
On the drive back to Austin, this once beautiful terrain made me nauseous and irritable. We arrived home and I laid down to rest for a while, but I just couldn’t get comfortable. My back ached, my legs felt weird, and then all of sudden I felt something coming out of me. I rushed to the bathroom to see bright red blood. OH NO not again. Am I having a miscarriage?
My first trip to the Emergency since a car accident in 1997, confirmed that the baby inside of me had no fetal heartbeat and was only the size of a 6-week fetus even though now I was about 13 weeks pregnant. They said you are having a miscarriage. Then they sent me home to mis-carry my baby.
My husband and I were heart broken as we had gone through this in June of 2011 as well. Our baby Rachel would have been born January 2012 and now our baby Jesse who would have been born June 30th 2012 was going to heaven too.
But as I said before, I trusted God completely and knew He had His reasons. So although sad, I started to see the blessings in it.
God had given me one of the most amazing days of my life.
He gave our family time to be “on vacation” for 3 weeks.
He ordained 2 weeks with my aunt and uncle who cared and nurtured me, my husband and our 22 month old son Joshua in a wonderful and loving way.
God blessed us with 3 weeks of sun and springtime weather.
I got to go heal for a week at Jones Health Essentials in Florida where I got to spend quality time with our in-laws, nieces and nephews.
We had excellent health insurance for the first time in 15 years.
We were 5 minutes away from one of the best hospitals I had ever been to.
I spent several days in the bathroom bleeding and what I thought was miscarrying my baby. Me, being a strong willed and natural Doctor, I sometimes think I know everything. I thought I was fine… but I wasn’t. It’s not that I didn’t listen to my body which I am known to do… but I didn’t follow the doctor’s directions… right away… and had I waited much longer, I might have lost my life.
The Lessons and more Blessings:
My Ego for natural medicine was so big, I would brag all the time that I haven’t needed to take any drug or even an aspirin in 11 years. A part of me thought “I will never need medical care”, “I will never need drugs.” “essential oils can take care of everything”.
Well I sure learned my lesson.
A second emergency room visit on Christmas day showed that I would need immediate surgery or I would risk never having babies again or worse.
I would need anesthesia for this surgery and the thought of surgery and drugs scared me a lot at first. I was very frightened and then like a blanket of snow, this PEACE fell over me like you can’t imagine. (more on that in another blog)
The Blessings and Lessons of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
For more than 13 years I have interned, taught and/or assisted clients at more than 17 hospitals all over the United States, including top ranked hospitals like Stanford. Out of 17 hospitals, I have never seen the excellent care and outstanding service that St. David’s South Austin Medical Center had. In all areas, they were excellent from registration to wheeling you out the door.
Have you ever been to an ER that was beautiful and clean, quick, comfortable, and had courteous staff? St. David’s did.
But it was my experience with the Doctors and Nurses who blessed me the most.
Dr. Glen, the ER doc, was compassionate and kind.
Joyce, my hospital room nurse was attentive, listened, and even let me put some essential oils on to relax.
Nancy, my OR nurse, talked with me while I had a 20 minute wait before being wheeled into surgery.
I was blessed with one of the best anesthesiologist in the state who listened to me and respected my wishes.
But the most outstanding doctor I have had the privilege to work with was Dr. Hemkumar, a female OBGYN who performed the surgery. She spent time talking with us, explaining the procedure, answering our questions. She had been a doctor in India delivering hundreds of babies and then went back to school here in the US for medicine again. She had 2 of her own children and really understood motherhood. She was compassionate, personable and really connected with her patients. I was blessed by her skill and person and St. David’s is highly blessed to have her on staff.
The Lesson I Learned Through the Blessing of St David’s Hospital is that we all are needed. Nature’s medicine as well as traditional medical intervention. Had I not had my medical intervention on December 25th 2011 and the excellent care of St. David’s Hospital, I may not be here to talk to you now.
After spending a day and a half at St. David’s hospital, I checked out okay to go back to my aunt’s to rest and heal. But before we left, a wonderful volunteer named Francesca came to wheel me downstairs. She was an elderly woman who had lost her husband and daughter, yet was one of the most pleasant person you have ever met. I realized then that life would be filled with highs and lows. But even with hurting hearts, we can choose happy.
Dr. Mary Starr Carter is known as the Total Wellness Doc. She has been training individuals about Natural Health Solutions for over 13 years. She is trained as a Chiropractor and has studied under the world’s foremost leaders in natural medicine. She is a mother and a wife and has created a balanced and total wellness life for herself and thousands of her clients using her simple wholistic approach to health and wellness. Her coaching, classes and ebooks help clients with Fibromyalgia, Hormone and Adrenal issues, Asthma, Diabetes, Weight problems, Thyroid and Chronic pain find resources and solutions to better health.
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