Dealing with car sickness kids

Dealing with travel sickness in kids

Travel sickness in kids can put parents on tenterhooks even for short road trips. It can turn what was supposed to be an exciting adventure into a nightmare.

Around one in three people are susceptible to motion sickness but it is much more common among children, for reasons not fully understood.

Travel sickness is a complex syndrome believed to be caused by conflicting signals in body senses and often stops when you switch activities or cease the motion. When your kid experiences motion sickness, they usually feel dizzy, develop a fever, or feel nauseous. The illness can really dampen the mood of your trip for everyone.

Fortunately, you can manage travel sickness in kids with the following tips.

Ensure your kid sits in the right position

Choosing the correct sitting location in the car can significantly reduce motion sickness. Therefore, you should place your child’s car seat at the backseat of your vehicle, preferably in the middle.

The middle gives an uninterrupted view of the horizon through the front window.

Focusing on a single view will prevent sickness by controlling their senses. You should also advise your kids to rest their heads against the seat. It will control the movements of their heads, which can otherwise cause disorientation.


Avoid screens and make sure they do not read in the car

Kids love playing video games on the road or watching movies in the backseat. However, if they are prone to travel sickness, video games and movies are a big no-no. The stimulations used in movies cause conflicts in their senses, worsening the symptoms.

Reading also confuses the sensory elements because the ears can detect motion, but the eyes are fixed to the book. You should find low-tech games for your kids to enjoy on the road.

Better yet, they can listen to music or audiobooks.


Find the appropriate time to travel

Children are far less likely to suffer from motion sickness when they fall asleep. So it makes sense to try and plan your trip around your child’s naptime.

If your kid is sleeping, their visual signals are non-existent, meaning there are minimal chances of conflicts in senses.

Also travelling at night is an excellent way to eliminate carsickness.


Kids should not travel on an empty stomach

Many parents think that travelling on an empty stomach prevents motion sickness. The reality is it worsens the symptoms of nausea. While they should not overeat, they should have some food in their stomachs before departure. Give your child easy to digest meals or bland snacks that are rich in protein.

You should avoid greasy and spicy fast food before a long ride as they tend to cause a stomach upset.

To prevent nausea, stick to ginger and peppermint snacks. A few sips of water can also reduce the likelihood of your trip being messy due to carsickness.


Watch out for symptoms

It is critical to prevent the symptoms of motion sickness as soon as it starts since they tend to escalate quickly. The illness may not stop until you cease moving entirely. Therefore, if your child starts experiencing symptoms like dizziness or nausea, encourage them to do some breathing exercises to normalise their stomachs. If they are developing a fever, have them remove some clothes.

If they can also close their eyes for a couple of minutes, the feeling of dizziness will stop. However, if the symptoms intensify, pull over and let them rest for a few minutes. It would help if you kept the car window open for fresh air circulation. Excellent ventilation reduces the symptoms significantly.


Try medication

When preventive measures seem ineffective, you can seek advice from your paediatrician. They will likely recommend medication that prevents nausea on the road. While Dramamine is safe for kids, it has side effects. Your kid may not be able to enjoy their trip since they will arrive at the destination feeling drowsy. Medicine can only be given to children over two years old. Therefore, if your child is below two, try other techniques of managing motion sickness.


There are numerous ways to control motion sickness, but the problem is that not all of them are effective for all children.  For example, acupressure or simple distraction might work for some kids, but not for others.  Fortunately, when your kid hits adolescence, they will hopefully have outgrown the sickness.  It’s just a case of handling it as best you can in the mean time!


Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

How to encourage your children to open up about school

How to encourage your kids to open up about school

Lots of parents find it quite the challenge to get their youngster to talk about their school day, and their education in general.

When asking them questions about it, they often answer with a single word and refuse to open up. If this sounds familiar, don’t panic; there are things you can do to encourage your child to share more with you. Here are some helpful tips from a preparatory school in London


Think about the types of questions you usually ask your child after school.

Are they the right type of questions that require more than a one word answer? If not, you’ll need to mix things up. Phrasing your questions differently may go a long way to pushing your child to give you more details.

However, don’t bombard them with these questions immediately after you have picked them up; they will probably want some time to unwind after a long school day.


Always show an interest in your child’s education and stay informed on what’s going on at the school.

The more you know about it, the easier it will be for you to start conversations with your child and engage with one another. You could read the newsletter and browse their website every now and again.

What’s more, you could even think about scheduling a meeting with your child’s teacher to talk about their progress and anything noteworthy that you should know about.


If and when your child does start to open up to you, make sure you don’t interrupt them.

Let them talk and share, without judgement, and only offer your advice and guidance when you’re sure they have finished.

Family meal times are a great time for you to all open up about each of your days.


Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

Should my child have a smart phone_

Should I let my child have a smart phone?

In today’s modern world, it’s more unusual if a child doesn’t have a smart phone than if they do. However, you shouldn’t let that pressure you into getting one for your own child if you don’t feel comfortable with it.

Of course, there are many advantages to smart phones; they give your child the ability to contact someone they trust in an emergency situation. They also allow people to stay in touch with friends and family all around the world. 

However, smart phones also have their disadvantages, including the cost and the unsociable behaviour young people often display when using them. For parents who are unsure when the right time is to give your youngster a smart phone, here is some helpful advice from an independent day school in Harpenden.


Firstly, you might be interested to learn that there isn’t currently a legal age for owning a mobile phone in the United Kingdom.

It’s entirely up to parents to make the decision, based upon whether or not they feel their child is mature enough to look after the device and use it sensibly. Think about whether or not your child actually even needs their own phone. 

Lots of parents tend to wait until their child has started secondary school, aged 11.

This is typically the age when kids start to make their own way to and from school and socialise in their spare time, so a phone is useful for allowing you to check in and ensure they are safe. Some smart phones will even allow you to track your child’s location. This functionality will also help you track the phone if it becomes lost or stolen. 

If you do decide that your child is ready for a smart phone, make sure that you talk to them at length about how to use it safely.

Be sure to add all of the relevant parental controls to prevent irresponsible use of the internet. 


Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

How to soothe a cough at night

The magic trick to soothe a cough at night

This may well by the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the time of year when everyone and his dog seems to be suffering with bugs and coughs and colds.

School-age children in particular seem to like sharing germs among themselves, and then bringing them home for the rest of the family to enjoy.

What’s so frustrating about coughs and colds is that there isn’t all that much you can do to chase them away.

If a cough is keeping your child (and the rest of the family) up at night though, there is a slightly random trick that you can try to soothe it.


All you need is a tub of vapour rub and a pair of socks.

You can use Vicks VapoRub or you can use an own-brand version from the chemist, it really doesn’t matter.

What you need to do is put a good blob of the stuff onto the soles of your child’s feet at bedtime, and then put a pair of socks on over the top.  The socks are mostly important for keeping the vapour rub from getting all over the sheets, but I think they also help by keeping the feet warm.

What you should find is that this is enough to soothe their cough; letting them get to sleep, and stay that way through the night.


Now I’ve read a fair few articles about this trick since I first heard about it, and no one has any real idea why it works.

Some people think it’s just a placebo effect.

Others think it might to do with reflexology.

The theory that I think sounds most likely is that the vapour rub on your feet acts as a counter-irritant, so your body focuses on that rather than the tickle in your throat, so you end up coughing less.


Whatever the reason behind it, so many parents have tried this on their children and themselves with amazing results.

I’ve done it myself when we’ve had troublesome coughs disturbing our sleep and it has worked like a charm.


So next time your child brings some lovely germs home from school, give this trick a try so you can all still get a good night’s sleep!


Have you tried this trick before?  Does it work for you and your children?

Good study habits for children

5 good study habits for children

If you want your child to succeed in school, they will need to adopt good study habits. It takes more than natural flair to do well as a student, although this undoubtedly helps.

Here are 5 good study habits, suggested by a senior school in Surrey, which will be valuable to your child. 



1. Get enough sleep

Of course, this is easier said than do for many children, but getting enough sleep is vital for excellent performance at school. As a parent, you need to ensure that your child has a comfortable bed to sleep in and they don’t eat too much sugar in the run up to bed time.

What’s more, hydration is also important for decent quality sleep so make sure your child drinks enough water. 


2. Have a positive attitude

Pessimism won’t get your child very far in life. Try and encourage them to be positive about their school work.

They need a can-do attitude, so you should try and focus on their strengths and praise them regularly when you see that they are working hard.


3. Tidy up!

A messy bedroom or study space will not aid effective thinking.

Your child’s study environment needs to be neat and organised so make sure to provide them with their own bin and perhaps a bookshelf where they can keep their text books. 


4. Set realistic goals

Encourage your child to set themselves small, achievable goals.

Ticking off short-term objectives will give your child a continual sense of achievement, which will help keep them motivated. This is far more beneficial to your child’s confidence than setting unrealistic goals that are then not met.


5. Introduce consistency

Short bursts of study each evening after school will be better for your child’s learning journey than relentless revision right before an exam.

The phrase “little and often” is important in this instance and will reduce the likelihood of boredom setting in.


Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

ways to get your children to do what you want

5 brilliant ways to get your children to do what you want

If you find getting your children to do what you want a bit of an uphill battle then this post is for you.

Whether it’s tidying up their toys or being able to trust them not to eat the treats you’ve put aside for Christmas, there are a few psychology-backed things you can try to get them to do what you want without feeling like you’re nagging all the time.


1. Ask them early in the day

If you want your children to make a choice that might be hard for them, like picking out some old toys to give away to charity, then the best time to ask them to do it is early in the day, but after they’ve eaten some breakfast.

The science behind this is that making hard decisions uses a fair bit of brain power in processing and thinking, so our bodies need higher blood sugar levels to do it.

When our blood sugar levels are low our brains take short cuts and we go to the default, easiest answer.  In this case your child will most likely default to not wanting to give any toys away.

When we’ve recently had breakfast though and our blood sugar levels are nice and stable then we’re better able to make these harder decisions.


2. Put more mirrors up at home

This is an interesting one.

If you want your children to be more trustworthy, they try hanging mirrors up at home so that they can see themselves more often.

Studies have shown that people are more trustworthy and collaborative if there is a mirror on the wall of the room they’re in.  One study in particular placed people in a room by themselves, with a jar of cookies.  They were able to buy the cookies with an honesty box type approach, with no one checking whether payments were made or not.

The researchers found that people were more likely to make a payment for the cookies they took if there was a mirror in the room.



3. Give them a reason.  Any reason.

Various studies have found that you’re more likely to get what you want from someone if you give them a reason.  Even if the reason you give them doesn’t make any sense.

One study in particular involved office workers.  When someone asked if they could jump the queue to use the photocopier with no reason given only 32 % let them.  But when they gave a reason for needing to push in 92 % of people let them.  This figure was pretty much the same when the reason was ‘because I’m in a hurry’ and when it was the ridiculous reason that they ‘needed to use the photocopier’.

So next time you want your children to do something, anything, just give them a reason why.

Tell them you need them to tidy up their rooms because it’s nearly lunchtime.  Or that they need to put their shoes on to go out because it’s Friday.

The reason you give doesn’t seem to matter, just the fact that you give a reason is enough.


4. Get subliminal

If asking your children directly to do something isn’t working, they try planting the idea in their heads instead.

You don’t have to go to full-on inception style lengths to do this, just casually mention the thing you want done in conversation.

Lets say you want your toddler to put all their toys away.

You might say “Look at how much fun we’ve had with all these toys.  Now I wonder who might put them back in the baskets”.  Or “It would be nice if these toys were back in their baskets, then we could ….”.  What you’re doing then is putting the idea of tidying up the toys in your child’s head, without directly asking them to do it.

It might not work on every child but a lot of the time doing this will be enough for them to do what you want, while thinking it was their idea.


5. Focus on positive reinforcement

Make a point of praising and thanking your child when they do what you want, and try to ignore it when they don’t.

So going back to the tidying their toys example.

If you notice they haven’t done it, don’t say anything.  Don’t nag them to get it done.

Try instead to make a bit of a show when they do tidy up.

You can also do this on a much more subtle level.

If you want your child to sit and eat nicely at the dinner table then catch their eye, smile and nod when they’re doing well.  And try to ignore the moments when they are a bit wriggly or picking up their food with their fingers.  This is something that Derren Brown does to control what people do.  He’ll keep a blank face and have his head still most of the time, but nod his head when people do what he wants.

This subconscious reward encourages them to keep doing what he wants them to do.


Have you ever tried any of these things with your child?

Which do you think would be most likely to work to get them to do what you want?


This post is linked up with KCACOLS with A moment with Franca.

gently stop breastfeeding

Try this little trick to gently stop breastfeeding

I think most women will agree that the early days of breastfeeding are hard.

Really hard.

When you don’t really know what you’re doing, and you’re exhausted and sore and wondering if you can do this.

Then you sort of find your groove with it.  You start to trust that you can ride out any tricky stages and get through the non-stop feeding that comes with growth spurts.

The next big challenge comes when you start thinking about stopping.


Figuring out the best way to stop breastfeeding can be really tricky.

If you want, or need, to stop when your baby is little then you need to find a way to move over to formula and bottles instead.  We were lucky with Rhys that we moved him to bottles really early on and he took to them straight away.

You might find that getting your partner or a family member to try giving a bottle works well, if your baby isn’t too happy about taking one from you.


If your baby is older and you have time to wean gently then there is an approach that worked well for me and Nerys.

Don’t offer, don’t refuse.


This approach to weaning is basically as it sounds.

You don’t offer your child a feed, but you also don’t refuse when they ask.


What I love about this approach is how gentle it is.

It lets you both adapt and adjust to breastfeeding less, with your child leading the way.

If you need to go back to work or need to stop breastfeeding quickly for another reason then this approach won’t really work for you, but if you’re in a position to take your time and wean gradually then this is a great way to do it.

At times of the day when you would normally breastfeed, try offering a cuddle instead or distracting your child with a book or game.  If they do then ask to breastfeed then go for it, but don’t be the one to offer it.


If you breastfed your child, how did you go about stopping? 

And if you’re still breastfeeding at the moment, have you thought about what you might do when you’re ready to wean?