Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Five Discount Cruises That Your Kids Will Love

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

You probably know that cruises are a great travel option for couples on a romantic getaway. You may also have gone on a cruise with a tour group, organization, or work colleagues. But what about families?

Do cruises lend themselves well to the traditional “family vacation experience?” Will your children have fun things to do for them instead of being dragged to adult-focused activities? And most importantly, will you be able to afford taking the whole family on a cruise?

Yes, yes, and yes!

Today’s cruise vacations offer a wide variety of events, attractions, and activities. And given that so many of these fun things to do are included in the price of your stateroom, cruises offer a huge amount of value for your money. Here are five ideas for discount cruises that are perfect for you and your kids:

<b>Bahamas</b>

The Bahamas are a popular choice for vacationers everywhere! And you can enjoy it on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Majesty of the Seas as you sail from Miami to CocoCay and back. Since it’s only a three night-cruise, you can experience an unforgettable long weekend for less than the price of an average airfare.

Your kids will be able to enjoy breathtaking beaches will all the accompanying activities. Or they may want to try their hand at snorkeling, parasailing, or even piloting personal watercraft. If they get too much sun, they can retreat to the ship and play in the video gameroom or visit the children’s play area or teen center.

<b>Southern Caribbean</b>

If you have a week to spend on a ship, you may opt for a seven-night journey on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Summit. This trip visits an astonishing six ports of call in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Lucia. It’s a chance for your kids to be exposed to several different places and cultures in a span of several days.

At any one of these ports, your children may be awed by the scenery, people, or shopping opportunities. They may choose to sign up for shore excursions like nature hikes, horseback riding, or off-road adventures. And at the end of a fun-filled day, your children may want to hang out in the ship’s swimming pool or whirlpool, or maybe be entertained by an on board comedian, singer, or dance group.

<b>Bermuda</b>

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn will whisk you from New York City all the way to King’s Wharf, Bermuda on a seven-night getaway. This tropical destination may be ideal for your family vacation not only because of its natural beauty, but also for its isolated location. Since the ship spends a total of three days at sea, you can maximize your “family time” by choosing to focus on activities that you and your kids can enjoy together.

During the three days and two nights in Bermuda, you may wish to try your hand at scuba diving, explore the island on an eco-tour, or watch a presentation which showcases the culture of Bermuda and its people. While the ship is at sea, your family may wish to compete in some of the deck sports offered (like shuffleboard, basketball, or a golf driving range); join the ship’s staff for some of the many scheduled activities every day, or take in a movie at the on-board cinema.

<b>Alaska</b>

For something a bit different than the traditional tropical cruise, you may want to book a trip to Alaska and experience the wonder and beauty of America’s 49th state. Holland America’s ms Amsterdam departs from Seattle and takes you to Glacier Bay, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan in Alaska and finishes up in Victoria, Canada. All along the way, you’re likely to see bald eagles, seals, whales, and maybe even a bear or two!

An Alaskan cruise features shore excursions that you may not find anywhere else. Your kids may want to board a whale-watching boat, hike along a glacier, rock climb up a real stone wall, or visit a dogsled camp. Back on the ship, they may wish to relax in an indoor pool or see a Vegas-style show in one of the vessel’s clubs or lounges.

<b>Western Costal Europe</b>

If you want your children to see the world that exists in a different hemisphere, why not do it in style? Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade departs from Barcelona, Spain on a whopping nine-day journey which stops in Casablanca and Aqadir, Morocco; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; Funchal, Portugal; and Malaga, Spain. This vacation blends several different cultures and landscapes into a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

This cruise has something to offer for practically anyone’s tastes. Your children can enjoy the beaches of the Canary Islands, the majesty of Spain, and the unique timeless culture of Morocco. After an exciting day exploring a port of call, your kids can tell all their friends back home about their adventures from the vessel’s Internet café or relax in the hot tub.

What makes these cruises an even better choice for a vacationing family is that all of their meals are included, as are many of the ship’s onboard amenities and activities. So if you want to plan an affordable vacation that you’re kids will actually look forward to, be sure to check out these or many other discount cruise packages!

Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about several topics including <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’);” href=”http://www.discountcruises.com/”><b>discount cruises</b></a>

How to Make Your Kids Happy—Buy Real Estate in Mexico!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

By: Jim Scherrer

As parents, we all strive to raise good, productive, and happy kids. This goal is so important that there have been numerous articles and books written by psychologists and other experts in the field dedicated to the subject of raising children.

Most of the experts agree that giving kids anything they want, when they want it, only leads to spoiling them. Instead of creating happiness, this practice all too often leads to disappointment; kids that expect every wish to be fulfilled eventually find  insecurity, inability to make decisions, low frustration tolerance, low self esteem, disregard for others, unappreciativeness, and general unhappiness. Most experts suggest that gifts to kids should be made when they are deserved or when the kids are mature enough to be appreciative.

The experts also agree that spending more quality time with your children is one of the key factors to raising psychologically healthy and happy kids. Sharing thoughts and stories during idle time, enjoying healthy activities out in the sun, and discussing plans, strategies, and goals creates lifelong bonds which lead to truly happy kids.

Okay, so how long should we try to satisfy our kids? As we all know, we of course want to make them happy during their entire lifetime; itâ??s never too late to please the kids! Now, enough for making our kids happy; letâ??s think about how we can simultaneously make ourselves happy!

As we approach retirement, in all probability, the kids are pretty well grown up and their personalities have already been shaped. However, itâ??s still not too late to please them while at the same time correct some of the mistakes that might have made while raising them by paying attention to and spoiling the grandkids!

Can you think of a better place to enjoy the kids and grandkids than in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Just imagine, you retire to a beautiful new condo in PV with jaw-dropping views of the Sierra Madres and Banderas Bay and you have nothing better to do than play golf, tennis, fish, or just relax poolside under the sun with a cool one in hand. What better gift for yourself and your kids than to have them visit your little Paradise south of the border during the Christmas/New Year holiday period, a birthday celebration, or perhaps some other special occasion?

In Vallarta, the seven month â??high seasonâ? of November through May offers perfect weather with an average daily temperature of 73*F and virtually no rain. The abundance of activities for young and old will allow you and your family to have the time of your life together. The only time the kids will be unhappy will be when they have to return back home to the â??real worldâ? and face the hectic stresses of routine daily life.

Keep in mind, Vallarta is situated on the same latitude as Hawaii yet it is only 2-4 hours away from the kids. There are four modern hospitals in town staffed with well qualified and trained English speaking doctors that can handle just about every problem that a geezer is apt to encounter. The entire community is clean and safe with most of the condo complexes staffed with 24 hour security. Modern supermarkets and shopping malls are located throughout the city; high speed internet, satellite TV, VOIP telephone service, and all the other amenities that youâ??re accustomed to are also readily available in Vallarta. Fine dining, limitless activities, clubs, and organizations for retirees (sorry, no shuffleboard!) will guarantee you never have a dull moment, unless you wish to have one!

For most of us, the key to enjoying retirement life to its maximum in Vallarta is to live in a community near other retirees with common interests. There are numerous condo complexes in Vallarta where the majority of residents are from the US and Canada. Most of these complexes are quite secure and are located either on one of the beaches or on one of the hillsides overlooking the beaches. They are almost universally within minutes of all the activities and of course, all offer world class views and sunsets.

Due to the fact that the local developers overbuilt during the past decade and then got hit by the global recession (and border town drug war news along with the swine flu media hype), there is currently a glut of more than 7,000 new condos on the market in PV from which you can select your retirement nest. With the supply of condos far exceeding the demand, itâ??s the best buyerâ??s market in Vallarta that weâ??ve seen in a generation.

Beautiful new beachfront and hillside condos are being sold today at near pre-construction prices; not much more than the cost of construction. With the recent availability of Mexican mortgages, these incredible condos are well within the reach of most everyone nearing retirement. This opportunity should be especially attractive to Canadians as their dollar continues to strengthen over time. 

As they say, all good things must come to an end; we all will pass on and when we do, the kids will probably be near retirement age. Hopefully, this will be a sad occasion for them however inheriting a beautiful condo in Puerto Vallarta will surely ease the pain! Since the title to the Mexican condo is held by a Mexican bank in a 50 year trust with your kids as the beneficiaries, it will automatically pass on to them. Regarding inheritance taxes; weâ??ll leave that matter up to you and your tax attorney-think about it! Last, but not least, this will be the ultimate gift to the kids and allow them to regain their happiness as they begin their own retirement planning.

So, come on down to this Mecca south of the border and check out the real estate opportunities that await you. In doing so, youâ??ll have the best time of your life; while self indulging, youâ??ll also make your kids really happy!

Jim Scherrer has owned property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 26 years and resided there for the past twelve years. The mission of his series of more than 60 articles pertaining to retirement in Puerto Vallarta is to reveal the recent changes that have occurred in Vallarta while dispelling the misconceptions about living conditions in Mexico. For the full series of articles regarding travel to and retirement in Vallarta as well as pertinent Puerto Vallarta links, please visit us at Puerto Vallarta Real Estate Buyers‘ Agents

Orlando. Attractions for Kids and Grown-ups

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Orlando is located in Florida. This is the most «summery» city in the USA, known for its excellent weather, beautiful and lush nature and well-developed infrastructure. Travelers from all around the planet head for Orlando in search of fun. The name of the city derives from the name of a soldier Orlando Reeves, who died here during the war against the Seminole Indian tribe.

Few people would know of Orlando if the Walt Disney World — the unique theme park – was not constructed here. That is why one can say that the year 1965 has changed the city’s history. This was the year when Walter Disney, a famous Amercian film producer, started to implement his plans of turning this deserted land into the world of fantasy. The giant Disney World occupies a 113 sq.m. territory. Its the place where children and kids alike dip into the magical fairytale world, the world where dreams come true. The park’s territory is divided into several areas, each with its own name and its own attractions.

If you’ve never been here you can’t even imagine how great the park is. Altogether «Disneylands» of Los Angeles, Paris, Spain and Tokyo are only a half of that in Orlando. But don’t think that the park was built for children only. In addition to kids areas, there are golf courts, night clubs and what not.

Each area has its attractions. For instance, Magic Kingdom contains an Adventureland, with rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise, a Liberty Square has the Hall of Presidents and other democratic attributes. Fantasyland is filled with the Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh spirit. There is also a Tomorrowland with such attractions as the Starcade, Astro Orbitor, Disneyland Railroad and others. Names of the parks speak for themselves and describing their advantages would take too long. But one of the park’s most visited attractions is Disney-MGM Studios where visitors can meet their favourite cartoon characters.

Inhabitants of the sea — from polar bears of the Arctic to inhabtitants of the tropic waters — can be observed at the “Sea World” — one of the most popular marine mammal parks of the USA. You can even stay at one of the Walt Disney World’s hotels — rates are a bit higher than that in Orlando (the resort is located 20 miles from the city), but each hotel is a true sight: imagine you live in a Polynesian hut, or in a Wild-Western style hotel, or even a music-themed hotel called Disney?s All Star Music.

The only drawback is that there are no natural reservoirs close by, and it takes 1,5 hours to reach the ocean by car. But there is another attraction – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort — located on Atlantic coast.

Both children and grown-ups will like Universal Studios Florida where one can «jump into the action of the movies», and entertain oneself at one of its attractions like «Terminator 2:3-D», «The Simpsons Ride», «Revenge of the Mummy», «Animal Actors On» and many others.

These are just a few of Orlando’s attractions and parks. The city of course has numerous galleries, museums and scientific centres. But that’s the subject for another story.

Hotels in the USA – United States. Hotel reservation.

Hotels of Orlando – Orlando. Hotel reservation.

10 Vacations Your Kids Could Never Forget

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Maybe you discovered the hard way that kids are not exactly content wandering through murky museums or art galleries, gazing at massive cathedrals, or lunching in a lush setting. If you have a couple of 4-5 year olds, maybe you can get by with a few amusement rides and the hotel swimming pool. But once kids hit elementary school through high school, they will make your family vacation miserable if it’s boring. I’ve researched ten super family vacations that are kid-friendly. If you have grade school and high school kids, you may have to split up during the day, but that’s okay. So here’s my list.

1. Okay, Okay, I’ll cave and include Disney World first so you don’t keep bugging me. There are far too many attractions to describe in detail. Let’s see, there’s the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Epcot Center, MGM Studios, Legoland, and much more. In my opinion, the only attraction that’s getting a bit old is Epcot Center. The others are terrific. Just a word about the Animal Kingdom. The lodge is decorated with earth tone walls and African ambiance. Thirty-three wild acres contain over 100 different species including impalas, zebras, giraffes, Thompson’s gazelle… Your kids will love Orlando.

2. The Out ‘n About Treesort in the woods of Takilma, Oregon is a kid’s dream. What child hasn’t dreamed of living in a tree house? Well, families can actually live in one during their vacation. There are fourteen tree houses sleeping 2-8 people each. Lodgers use rope swings, swinging and suspension bridges, fire poles, and a 160 foot-long zip line to get around! During the day, families can take courses in tree house building or they can go rafting, swimming, or horseback riding, scale a 51-foot rope climbing tree, or take arts and crafts classes. The kids won’t stop raving about this place.

3. Atlantis Resort in Reno only cost $850 million to create. The complex includes 20,000 guest rooms, 38 restaurants, 11 exhibit lagoons, 50,000 animals, 11 pool areas, 7 water slides, including a 60-foot Mayan Temple drop into a tunnel submerged in a shark infested lagoon. Kids feel like they’ve just discovered the infamous lost continent themselves. If you live closer to Florida, there’s an Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas which includes many similar attractions to the Reno resort. But while we’re talking about good old Nevada we might as well mention the other fabulous kid-friendly resort, Circus Circus. It’s only the biggest permanent big top in the world and 3.5 million people flock there each year. Circus performers do their amazing feats non-stop, plus there are 200 arcade games, plus carnival games, and wandering clowns. As if that’s not enough, there are over 20 rides in the theme park, miniature golf, and laser tag.

4. Now for something completely different: dude ranches. Tanque Verde Ranch, in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, is one of the best known. Throughout its 640 acres roam over 120 horses. There are riding lessons, as well as every kind of trail ride you can imagine. Naturalist guides offer hikes through desert wilds, yawning canyons, towering cacti, and even secret waterfalls. Kids also can take tennis lessons, swimming, and arts and crafts. Appealing to adults are the delicious steak cook-outs, gourmet picnics, the square dancing, and the beautiful mountains rising in the distance.

5. As more and more vacationers are discovering Alaska, it’s becoming a top favorite. Alaska is still a bit wild, with 14 major mountain ranges, glaciers, much wildlife, and almost 34,000 miles of coastline. Ideally, it’s best if you can take a land and sea cruise to enjoy the best of both worlds, but do what your pocketbook can afford. Summer is the most comfortable time of the year and there is plenty to do. You can whale-watch or view a vast panoply of wildlife at Denali State Park or another refuge. You can tour a gold mine, count moose, backpack, bird watch, camp, cross country ski, dog sled, hike, salmon fish, visit Mt. McKinley, stargaze, take a riverboat discovery tour, or visit the Imaginarium Science Discovery Center. And this is the short list. I don’t think the kids will get bored.

6. New York City is sometimes left out as a kid-friendly place for whatever reason. But there’s a lot for kids in New York’s Central Park alone. You’ll find horse-drawn carriage rides, Heckscher Playground, lake boating, Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Central Park Zoo/Tisch Children’s Zoo, Billy Johnson Playground, the Wollman Ice Skating Rink, and Belvedere Castle Nature Center. In the Broadway area, artists set up shop on the sidewalks and draw personalized names in a colorful pattern of dragons, pandas, and dolphins. These are extremely popular with kids. But the big draw, of course, is what Broadway offers. Disney invested $34 million to restore the old Ziegfield Follies haunt, the New Amsterdam Theater, to stage The Lion King in 1997. It’s still playing to packed audiences. More recent Disney extravaganza include the Little Mermaid. Other popular family-friendly fare includes Mary Poppins, Wicked, and Hairspray. What can I say? This only scratches the surface in regard to what New York offers. Check it out.

7. Most don’t realize it, but while some other states slept, South Carolina has been quietly becoming the #2 state for tourism, after Florida. Myrtle Beach alone welcomes over 13,000,000 guests per year. It’s a 60-mile stretch of sand called the Grand Strand and features a great beach, water parks, amusement parks, dinner shows, the Hard Rock Park, special hotel and beach activities, and much more. MagiQuest, a major attraction, is a uniquely interactive experience. It takes many elements of a child’s fantasy world, combines them, and creates a special place where children can be heroic, valiant, and brave. Children can fight the dragon, run around a Magical Kingdom, wave magic wands, and have lots of fun doing it. MagiQuest even brings out the child in all of us big kids too! So, if you’re looking for some great fun, or wish to burn off some of that rambunctious child energy, you’ve got to take the kids to MagiQuest.

8. I’ve got to include at least one choice that’s considered extra easy on the family budget. It’s the YMCA in Winter Park, Colorado and it goes by the name of Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch. Last time I checked, rates for a two-bedroom cabin with kitchen started at $126 per night. If you cook a lot of your own food, you can get off pretty easy. The area comprises 5,100 acres of pristine near world-class ski resorts. There is hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, a climbing wall, an indoor pool and gym, and horseback riding in the summer. And best for families with kiddies, there’s a full kids’ program for ages 3 and up. Who likes winter sports? This is for you.

9. Club Med Ixtapa may be the attraction on the list that would appeal most equally to both adults and kids. It is 30 acres along Mexico’s western coast that hosts over 20,000 visitors a year, 60 percent of them grade schoolers. Kids of every age group are kept gloriously busy with all sorts of outdoor activities, fun shows, and crafts. If you want, there’s even a perfect kids-only dining room. Meanwhile, the parents get to play! There’s tennis, scuba, archery, kayaking, water polo, volleyball, and gourmet picnics. Families venturing off the Club Med property can visit the island, take a sunset cruise, go fishing, or take an excursion into the Mexican fishing village of Zihuatenejo. Then melt your troubles away at the Ixtapa Club Spa and get an outdoor massage or whatever else your heart desires.

10. There’s a reason Caribbean cruises corner almost 50 percent of the cruise line market in the U.S. It’s because the Caribbean offers the vacation so many have dreamed of for years. Imagine yourself on the largest, sleekest ocean liner imaginable, watching a brilliant sunset against rippling waves out of your cabin window. Then imagine eating superb food whenever it strikes your fancy, day or night. Imagine wonderfully entertaining shows, on-shore excursions to lush islands, and see yourself relaxing or engaging in activities according to your fancy. Then realize that, if you wish, the kids will be engaged for much of each day in a children’s program tailor-made just for them. This is what you call an all-inclusive vacation. What more could you want?

Go ahead, Google your favorites if you want. Choose your family vacation of a lifetime and begin planning for it. This will be the vacation that your kids will still remember fondly when they have their own kids. Cool.

Debra Fortosis is a professional travel agent. You can book travel on her user friendly website. She can even help you easily launch your own turnkey e-travel business.
Book Travel: http://www.mndgetaways.com
Contact Debra: mndgetaways@comcast.net

The Art Of Parenting Non-Conforming Kids: Six Ways To Teach Your Kids To Live Fearless, Authentic, And Wildly Successful Lives

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Parents take note: We’re living in a time when being “different” actually pays off.
How to nurture individuality in the formative years.

By Robin Fisher Roffer 

Few jobs are more daunting than raising well-rounded, happy, confident kids. On one hand, you adore what makes your child unique: your daughter’s all-consuming love of science (she’s bordering on nerdy!) or your son’s quiet disposition and curious spirit. On the other, you worry that being too “different”-too shy, too short, too tomboyish (or, in the case of boys, too sensitive), too anything-is a sure path to unpopularity and isolation. What’s a conflicted parent to do? Urge your child to succeed within socially prescribed boundaries? Or let him or her break the (unspoken) rules and risk being labeled “weird”?

First, stop fretting. Your hand-wringing desire for your child to “fit in” is surely borne of love, but it’s also misguided for an age in which diversity is celebrated. Even if your child does face a few bumps in the road, learning to be herself (or himself) will pay off in the long run.

Kids who are confident in themselves, their background, and their unique way of thinking, looking, or acting are more likely to succeed, not in spite of their differences, but because of them. The benefits of being a bold individual just keep on unfolding as your kids reach adulthood-especially these days.

We are living in an era that celebrates uniqueness-not for its own sake but for the tangible benefits it yields throughout life. There has never been a better time to be yourself. Embracing and nurturing your inner “fearless fish” brings far richer rewards than conformity ever could.

Your unusual personality, outlook, appearance, or background-really, any attribute that sets you apart-is not a liability but an asset. Being different gets you noticed, whether it’s in the office, at school, or at home with your own family, and that is the first step to gaining influence with those around you.

When you refuse to hide or downplay your uniqueness, it makes you more authentic-and people gravitate toward those they like, trust, and believe in. Take Barack Obama, for example. His entire campaign celebrated his differences and used change as a cornerstone for his message. Today, he’s the President of the United States because voters saw that he was authentic and true to himself, and they were drawn to him.

Today’s kids are growing up in a time of exhilarating change, an era in which they face more opportunities (and yes, more challenges) than any group before them. Read on to learn how to help them navigate the road before them by being a fearless fish out of water (just like you!): 

Be a truly fearless leader. One of the most effective ways of teaching our kids is to lead by example. Our children look up to us and mimic the behaviors they see in their parents each day. If they see a person who is comfortable in her own skin, who dares to go against the flow, and most importantly, who is happy, they will learn to do the same for themselves. If this doesn’t describe you, well, it’s time to take a look in the mirror. 

Your children are watching you, and usually when you least expect it. If you are an authentic person and you live your own life as a fearless fish, your kids will see that and it will serve as a powerful lesson for the people they will become. Make sure to be who you are wherever you go-at work, at home, at your children’s school-and when they see the confidence you exhume and the respect you command, they will follow your lead. 

Help your kids to fit in the right way. It’s only natural for kids (of any age) to want to be like their peers-and that’s okay. The compromise to this scenario is to encourage your kids to associate with kids who are more like them. That way, they can feel accepted and part of a group while being themselves. Encourage your kids to join clubs or local groups that cater to their personalities and interests. 

If your son is a music whiz, sign him up for a local music class so he can make friends with other kids who share his talent and passion. Or encourage your daughter to join the science club or debate team at school, depending on her interests. Find a place where your kids can still fit in and feel like part of the group, while at the same time fostering their individuality and unique talents. 

Foster and encourage your child’s unique gifts. Nobody knows your child as well as you do, which puts you in the perfect position to identify those qualities that will make him stand out from the crowd and pave the way to a successful future. Take a cue from Tiger Woods’ father. When he noticed that his child was a budding golf prodigy, he saw the opportunity and ignored the odds stacked against a young, bi-racial golfer in a sport dominated by older white men. We all know how his story ended. 

Every parent has a child who is an individual, who is unlike anybody else on this planet. You have known this person from his first minute in the world, and you know what makes him special. At a young age, children aren’t in a position to leverage themselves in the real world like adults can-and this is where you are their biggest asset. If you know why your kid is unique, don’t just gush about it around the water cooler-get your child involved in ways that will benefit him now and well into the future. 

Teach him to use his differences to make a difference. Kids who learn to give back at an early age are that much more likely to do so well into their adult lives. Getting involved is a great life lesson, and a great way for you to spend time together as a family. Let your child pick a cause that he cares about, and then help him to use his differences to make a difference in the lives of others. 

If your child is a star athlete, teach him to use his sports star status to raise money for a charity. You can ask the team’s sponsor to help, or have fans donate $1 per goal to be donated to a good cause. Or does your daughter have a way with animals that reminds you of the dog whisperer? Sign up to be volunteers at the local animal shelter. Working together on a common cause can have only positive results. You get to spend time as a family and you get to help out the community-all while teaching your future fearless fish an important life skill! 

Let her change her mind. Nobody wants to raise a quitter, and sometimes that can mean we force our kids to stick with activities and hobbies that may not be right for who they are growing up to be. If Sally LOVED horseback riding last month, but this week she will absolutely die if she doesn’t get to join the local 4-H, it can be enough to make your head spin, and your wallet shrink. While it’s not okay to let kids have free reign over your schedule (or your budget!), it’s important to pay attention to their changing interests and to encourage them to pursue different things until they find what suits them. 

While the outlet for your child’s passion may change, the root of who she is stays the same. Clearly, Sally has a passion for nature, and through different experiences she will learn to use that passion to stay relevant and current. As a fearless fish, you have to keep reinventing yourself, changing with the times and with the places you work and live, while holding on to the essential you. If your kids want to pursue something, let them try for a year. Once the season is over, if they want to move on, it’s okay to let them. Forcing kids to stay involved in something they don’t care about will only smother the fire in them that you’re trying to stoke. 

Know when to let go. It’s inevitable: You can’t protect your kids from everything, and sooner or later (and it’s probably sooner!) they are going to be faced with a challenge that will rock their world. Maybe a bully at school has made Susie her new target, or Timmy didn’t make the basketball team and all his friends did. For kids, upsets like these are devastating. But they are also perfect opportunities for them to learn how to overcome obstacles by practicing the ABCs for fish out of water-action, belief, and courage. 

Don’t try to swoop in and make it all better. That may be the worst thing you can do. Instead, help your child equip himself with the means to solve his own problems. If Timmy didn’t make the team, but you know he’s a talented artist, encourage him to get more involved in the school’s art program or sign him up for advanced art classes at the local community college. Or help Susie boost her self-esteem and confidence by enrolling her in a karate class or debate team; her bully will move on when she learns that her victim can stand up for herself. 

There’s a great bonus that comes with striving to raise fearless kids: In the process, you perfect and refine your own journey toward fearlessness.

Parenting is as much about your growth and evolution as it is your child’s. As we teach, we learn. And there’s no richer or more rewarding path than learning how to cast aside our fear and be true to ourselves. Living an authentic life successfully is fulfilling beyond words-and an opportunity that no child should go without.

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About the Author: 

Robin Fisher Roffer (Los Angeles and New York) is CEO of Big Fish Marketing, one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent brand marketing and digital advertising agencies.  She has provided the rocket fuel that has ignited the launch pad of dozens of brands all over the world, developing brand-building marketing plans and promotional campaigns for top media companies like Sony, Time-Warner, and Twentieth Century Fox. 

Roffer has written strategic plans and executed marketing tactics for a prestigious client list that includes ABC, A&E, AMC, Bloomberg, Bravo, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, History, Lifetime, MTV, Oxygen, and Turner Networks. Today, her client roster includes over 25 television networks, a global cosmetics company, and several insurance and investment firms. 

A dynamic and engaging speaker, Roffer has given keynote presentations to some of the nation’s biggest companies and organizations, including AOL, Mattel, Verizon, Wharton School of Business, and many more. In addition to her work with Big Fish Marketing, she serves as a strategic branding consultant for a variety of corporations.  

Drawing on her experience in creating some of the world’s leading entertainment

brands, Roffer penned her first book, MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF: Eight

Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success.

 

Her latest book, THE FEARLESS FISH OUT OF WATER: How to Succeed

When You’re the Only One Like You, hit stores in February 2009. It shows professionals how to stay connected and relevant at work while maintaining a unique identity, how to fit in without blending in, and how to transform exclusion into high impact. 

 

Roffer’s core belief is that entertainment should be leveraged for a greater good. She has received accolades for developing community outreach programs like Lifetime’s “Women Rock,” a concert event designed to raise awareness for breast cancer issues; CNN’s “Your Choice Your Voice” high school-based election promotion; FSN’s “Reading All-Stars” literacy campaign; The History Channel’s “Save Our History” initiative, which raised money and awareness for the World War II Memorial; and Comedy Central’s “Comedy RX,” a hospital-based program promoting the healing powers of laughter. 

  

About the Book:  

The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You (Wiley, 2009, ISBN: 978-0-4703166-8-9, $24.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. 

For more information, please visit www.robinfisherroffer.com and www.fearlessfishoutofwater.com.

 

Robin Fisher Roffer is author of the new book, The Fearless Fish Out of Water

Golf Tips- 5 Fun Tips for Teaching Golf to Kids

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Golf tips for teaching golf to kids should always revolve around making sure that the kids have fun. Sure, it would be great if your son became the next Tiger Woods, but golf should be treated as a game, not a life or death struggle. These 5 tips will ensure that a child learns golf and enjoys it at the same time!

Tip 1) Keep Your Instructions Simple

If a parent is a golfer themselves, they have a tendancy to be technical about elements of the game. Trying to explain concepts like “tempo’ or “swing plane” will only confuse a child. A confused child is easily frustrated. Start by taking the child to a driving range, and start practicing putting. The child will gain confidence by successfully making contact with the ball.

Next, teach the child how to chip the ball. This is a good second step, because chips require little backswing. The child has a good chance of success striking the ball.

Finally the child will progress to the driving range area. When instructing a child on a full golf swing, it is important to make sure they keep their feet on the ground, watch the ball, and strike it. Keep your golf tips on taking a full swing VERY simple.

Tip 2) Let The Child Progress At Their Own Pace

One of the best golf tips I ever recieved as a child was to practice most frequently the parts of the game that I enjoyed most. This advice ensured that I would stay with the game long enough to see success. Once I saw success with the elements of the game I enjoyed most, I ventured out to practice new areas of the game. Never push a child to improve too quickly. Patience is the name of the game with children.

Tip 3) Have Fun!

Once a child senses that golf is no longer fun, they have a much greater chance of losing interest. Try to structure competitive, but enjoyable games. It is important to make sure that all the children are winners. Constantly praise and encourage the participants.

Tip 4) Use Good Judgement In Purchasing Golf Equipment

Buying a child expensive golf equipment is a risky decision. Children tend to lose interest in new areas very quickly. The wisest decision is to purchase a used set of clubs intended for women. The clubs will be light weight, and easy for a child to control. If the child has demonstrated that they will continue to play golf, professional instruction might be appropriate. Just make sure the child is getting golf tips from a pro who has lots of experience teaching kids.

Tip 5) Teach Golf Etiquette

Children should learn golf etiquette very early in the teaching process. They should understand very basic rules such as standing still when another golfer is striking the ball. Certainly they should learn never to speak when a fellow player is putting etc.

Hopefully, these golf tips for kids will enhance the possibility that a child will not only get involved with the game, but enjoy it as well!

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The Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Golfing With Your Kids

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Golfing with your kids is a lot different than golfing with adults, obviously.


Your kids have a shorter attention span, and they are also shorter than your friends.


Your kids have to be supervised the whole time, whereas your friends do not (usually).


Your kids sometimes act like they are being tortured just by being on the golf course, whereas your friends do not (usually).


It would be so much more fun if your kids acted like they were having fun rather than being tortured when you are out golfing with them. It be even better if they looked forward to going and told all their friends how much fun golfing is, right?


I have spent a lot of time with kids on golf courses over the last 15 years, and I have learned by trial and error what works and what does not. Let me share with you seven common mistakes I have made that you should avoid when playing golf with kids:


Mistake #1: Not Preparing Mentally


You want to be in the best mood possible for your sake and the kids. Do whatever it takes to get in a good mood before you go. Think happy thoughts, leave work and bills behind, stop at their favorite fast food place on the way there, whatever it takes. If you are not in a good mood, they will know it and it will affect the enjoyment for all.


Mistake #2: Not Preparing the Equipment


The last thing you and your kids want to be doing on the course is fumbling around the golf bags looking for golf balls, tees, ball markers, etc. Take some time before you go to get all of the bags (including yours) set up with everything they will need, including a full water bottle or sport drink and snack. Make sure each person knows where these things are before you leave.


Mistake #3: Going at a Crowded Time


As mistakes go, this one is not so bad. It can happen regardless of planning. Just do your best to go on off times (the pro shop can suggest the best times to golf with kids). The less waiting you have to do on tee boxes, the less opportunity for distraction and boredom.


Mistake #4: Making Too Many Rules


There are many, many rules of golf, most of which we do not know and do not think about. Kids need to learn the rules, but not all at once. Start off with just the basics: no running on the green, do not hit until I say you can, be quiet when others are hitting, do not lay your clubs on the green. After a few trips, these things will become automatic and you can begin teaching them how to take proper relief and what the different color markers mean. You will be pleasantly surprised when, all of a sudden, you all play a round of golf and everything just clicks. Let me tell you it is marvelous!


Mistake #5: Yelling When They Make a Mistake


Kids are going to get angry and wild and make mistakes on the course, after all they are kids. In fact they are going to do things you never even dreamed of: throwing golf balls at each other, slamming clubs on the ground, hitting when someone is in front of them, climbing trees, etc. While it is tempting to yell at them to stop, I have found it to be much more effective to walk over to the offender and tell them the next time you do that we are all going to have to leave. This adds a little peer group pressure to the equation and works quite well. If the behavior continues, do not be shy about following through with your threat and taking everyone home. It just might turn out to be a great lesson for them all to learn, and pay great dividends in the future.


Mistake #6: Forgetting the Kids at the Course (Just Kidding). Let us call this one Taking too Much Time and Getting Stressed Out


I have always been a fan of prompt play. Nothing gets to me quicker than continually waiting on the group in front, or worse, watching the group behind leaning on their clubs waiting for a slow person in my group. When I first started playing golf with my kids and their friends, I would obsess over our pace of play – constantly looking back to make sure we were not holding anyone up. It really robbed me of a lot of the enjoyment I should have been experiencing with kids on the course. The next three ideas sum up the solutions I have found to ease this stress and increase the level of enjoyment for everyone.


Teach your kids that their place on the course is behind the group in front of them, not in front of the group behind them.


Teach your kids how to play ready golf to catch up to the group in front, i.e., it is OK to hit when you are ready, as long as no one is in front of you.


Teach your kids how to let the group behind play through. Make sure to demonstrate the proper etiquette, telling the group playing through to have a great round! What if you have to let more than one group play through? So what, you are out here to have fun, and the longer time spent having fun the better, right?


Mistake #7: Staying Too Long


This one takes a little observation and feel, kind of like the game of golf itself. If they are just getting a little tired, a few words of encouragement from you may work fine to get them through the last few holes. If, on the other hand, their fatigue is affecting their interaction with others (name calling, curt, angry responses to simple comments, etc.), maybe it is time to head for the car. You do not have to blame stopping on them, which will make them feel bad. You can say you are getting tired and you sure could use a cold drink. This way they do not feel like they were on the Bataan Death March and will remember a good time, which is critical in your quest to get them interested in golf.


Playing golf with kids is definitely different than playing golf with your friends, but it can be a rewarding experience. Their youthful energy and natural exuberance can even wear off on you, bringing a whole new level of fun to your own game!

How do you find the right golf clubs for three boys, ages 5, 7 and 9, at a decent price? Answering this question led Rick Fletcher and his wife Sandi to open their own on-line store, All Kids Golf Clubs, in 1999. With experience that can only come from custom building over 20,000 clubs for kids across the country, they truly know how to find the best in junior golf equipment.

How To Save Big Money On Sports Gear For Your Kids

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

I like many other fathers out there, used to leave shopping for the children up to my wife. She would take them to the store and I would get to sit on the couch and enjoy a football game with no interruption. Sadly, that’s all been changed thanks to the limited funds available at my kid’s school to supply the sports gear that they need. It is up to the parents to purchase what was once readily provided by the school and now I’m the one that makes the trips to the store with the kids in tow.

My wife and I have always encouraged our children to participate in sports because they teach them about teamwork and working hard to achieve their goals. These types of lessons will hopefully help them later on in life, as they attend college and then enter their chosen professions. Prior to budget cuts, getting their needed equipment was not a financial consideration for the parents. Now, in order for my children to continue to play their favorite sports, we have to cut down on other expenses to be able to afford the expensive gear.

Two of my children play hockey and this type of sport is rough on the equipment, so replacing it has become a fact of life. Just the cost of the skates alone practically has me looking in the want ads for another job. Even though we buy equipment made of good quality, my kids are constantly growing, so we are guaranteed to have to replace items with every season.

Then there’s my own gear that I use to go hunting with. I also fish and play golf. My wife plays tennis with her friends and between all of us; we should own stock in sporting goods companies. As it is, the sales clerks in the store that we frequent knows us by our first names.

We made sure to get on their mailing list for catalogs because they often contain coupons that will save money on the things that we buy. I have to admit that I love getting these catalogs because they keep me up to date on the new advancements in sporting gear. While I certainly can’t afford to replace my golf clubs every time they come up with an improved one, I can at least put them on my Christmas list with the slim hope of getting one of them. Recently, a friend of mine who is in the same boat that I am, told me about a sporting good supplier that sells high quality used equipment.

I don’t have a problem with buying used equipment, as long as it works well and will save me money. From what I understand, they will also buy my used gear or sell it for me on a contingency basis. This is a great relief because it will save us a bundle and I won’t have to get that second job after all.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as sporting goods online at http://www.sportinggoodsupply.com

Some Of The Most Popular Card Games For Kids

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

It may surprise you to hear that kids can be entertained by products other than high-tech, high-dollar video game systems, DVDs, and television. They don’t have to spend their game-playing time blasting aliens, swinging digital golf clubs, and blowing up buildings. Amazing as it may sound, kids really do enjoy traditional games like board games and card games. Card games are a great way for you to spend more time with your children and get them away from the television. In addition to being fun, card games can be educational.

One such fun, educational card game for children is CardWord. The CardWord deck consists of cards with letters on them instead of numbers. The object of the game is to spell words. It’s challenging and educational.

Another fun, thought-provoking card game for kids which you’ve probably played yourself is Concentration. This can be played with a conventional deck or you can purchase specially made decks which feature fun pictures, words, numbers, etc. The cards are laid out face-down and the object is to find the matching cards. This game, of course, develops concentration, and almost every kid loves it.

Some other old favorites are Old Maid or Go Fish. Probably the most loved of all card games for kids is War. Kids of all ages can learn the simple rules to this game which can keep them occupied for as long as any video game.

One of the more acclaimed card games for kids is Apples to Apples Jr. This game consists of cards that on one side have red or green apples on them, and on the other side they have a word with its definition. The object of the game is to match the word on one card that best fits with the word on another. For example, if the word “beach” is laid down, then the winning card will likely be “sun” or “ocean”. The winner is determined by a player acting as judge. This allows for a lot of leeway.

Uno is a game almost everybody has played. Uno is great because it can be tailored to suit children of all ages. If your child is very young and not able to comprehend complex rules, you can ignore the cards which involve skipping turns, drawing extra cards, and you can ignore the wild cards. With older children, you can utilize the entire deck and you’re likely to find yourself in quite the Uno battle with your progeny. Be assured that even if you’re playing your best, you’ll lose to your kids sometimes, and they’ll love it!

Card games provide a wealth of educational and entertainment possibilities for children. Even at their most formative stages, children can learn about words and numbers from card games. Card games will improve their concentration and enhance their logical reasoning abilities.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as toys and games at http://www.toysplusgames.com

Charitable golfers do it Fore the Kids

Saturday, June 12th, 2010


One hundred golfers took out their clubs for a good cause Monday. They golfed at Maple Creek Golf Club on the city’s east side in a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.