Don’t Forget to Pack Your Patience

Family adventure in Australian park with kids

We’ve all been on that one outing in which everyone has lost the plot. It might have been on the train home from the city, or at grandma’s birthday party, or whilst packing the car for a camping trip. Patience is the key to any successful adventure, especially when it involves family.

Keep priorities in perspective

Many people fail to prioritise exactly why they are going to the trouble of preparing for a certain event. Second to that, they may fail to adequately prepare for it. Are you taking the kids to a museum so that they can quietly walk around, or is there an interactive display that will actually educate them? Are you going for you or for them? Either option is fine, as long as everyone is clear on the expectations.

Keep calm and breathe

We are all aware that nowhere has the creature comforts of home. There really is no point in getting into a high stress situation and forgetting to be patient over something that would be minor if you were at home. Sometimes it’s easy for things to escalate and get heated when you’re out of your comfort zone, especially for kids. They feed off the emotions of their parents.

Take a holiday

Most of us work hard to achieve the goals that we set out in our lives. While having goals is important to many, we should not forget that we need our bodies to deliver. Taking a holiday or travelling with family members is a great way of ensuring that you reset your mind and body and take a break from your otherwise hectic schedule.

Don’t ruin the family outing!

Recently I had the very unfortunate experience of totally ruining a beautiful picnic with my kids simple because my mind was absent on other matters. They wanted to go exploring and I was trying to focus on an impending deadline. It left me cranky and intolerant of everything they said and did. By the time we got back in the car and I saw their sad little faces in the rearview mirror, I realised what I had done and it wasn’t fair on anyone, least of all them. Family time should be about family and treasuring each other.

For family friendly outing ideas visit www.whatson4littleones.com.au

Appy Kids for the Holidays

School holidays can be definitely a time when boredom sets in and often the devices that parents own (end up being in the kids hands)!  Below is a table listing apps and their suitability, age bracket, price and platform. I have selected these apps based on their educational use and what I have reviewed for using in the classroom (as an educator myself). Both my children love mobile devices, yet can use them in two very different ways.

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When looking for apps for kids to use, keep in mind that there are two types of apps. One category is purely content and the other is creative/tool based. Game based apps such as ‘Cut the Rope HD’ is teaching them about physics and this app is purely content. However ‘Creative Book Builder’ is a creative app and fantastic for keeping a journal for holidays/travelling overseas and then being able to share with friends and family.

There are various ‘app directories’ for both iOS and Android that will help guide you in choice of apps for your device. I also like supporting apps that are made by parents or teachers because of the educational value (and the content within them). Tech Coach HQ also specialises in teaching parents how to keep your children safe when playing on the device (both Android and iOS).

Top five tips for looking for apps:
1. Look at reviews of an app (just don’t buy it because your child wants it!)
2. Look at in-app purchases, is it really free or is there a hidden catch?
3. If you are concerned about buying apps, buy iTunes cards (for iOS devices) as a means of budgeting what you purchase for the device.
4. Go to http://appolicious.com/ for the app directories, and see what is recommended.
5. Finally, limit screen time. This app is perfect for this (Screen Time – Media Manager) and for Android (Screen Timer).
Don’t forget there are parental controls that you can implement on the device and you can restrict iTunes purchases (this is very important when a particular app is free, but there are in-app purchases and parents have been caught out).
For Further information about apps for your mobile device and other ‘techie things contact Megan Iemma at megan@techcoachhq.com.au or http://www.techcoachhq.com.au

2Megan’s Bio: Technology Coach and “IT” girl Megan Iemma is a thought leader in the world of technology and its uses. An educator and technogeek, Megan combined her passions for education and technology and founded Tech Coach HQ working with businesses and their teams to improve processes and embrace the productivity technology has to offer.