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Modeling bravery for your child—8 tips for fearless flying, with kids

#2—Deep breathing.I practiced focusing on the steady rhythm of slow breathing.With each respiration, I became calmer.

Modeling bravery for your child—8 tips for fearless flying, with kids

One of my foremost parenting goals is to model courage for my kids.


In certain situations, I ace this with flying colors. I’m cool as a cucumber when it comes to mice. I can navigate Colorado roads when they’re coated with snow and ice. Even San Francisco’s earthquakes don’t give me the shakes.

However, when it came to flying the “friendly skies,” my fortitude used to fly right out the window.

“Aviophobia” was not something I wanted to display for my kids. Plus, there came a point in time when flying was mandatory—there was an upcoming flight I couldn’t avoid. My 12-year-old daughter Christie is on a gymnastics travel team and was scheduled to compete in New York City. Traveling by car with her siblings was not an option.

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So I dug in my heels and decided to conquer my fear.

Aviophobia is the granddaddy fear that sires numerous offspring. Among them are anxieties related to:

Crashes

Crowds

Confinement

Heights

Lack of control

Mechanical failure

Stale air

Turbulence

Terrorism

Experts often suggest identifying the causes of your fear—important to identify causes so you know what to tackle. When I read the list of typical concerns, I became overwhelmed. Every anxiety applied to me!

I decided to approach the dilemma like my daughter Christie does in her gymnastics routines, step-by-step.


1. Statistical Knowledge

It’s’s highly unlikely you’ll die in a plane crash. Your chances are one in 11 million. There’s a greater probability that you’d be attacked by a shark. Even the flu can potentially kill you. Traveling by car is reportedly 100 times more dangerous than by plane. When rare accidents do occur, they’re spotlighted by the media.

This knowledge put crashes in perspective. I slashed “crashing” from my list.

2. Deep Breathing

Connecting with your breath was recommended. I practiced focusing on the steady rhythm of slow breathing. With each respiration, I became calmer. I used this method when elbowed by a throng of people.

Armed with this relaxation technique, I ushered “crowds” off my list.

3. Anchoring

Anchoring is linking a positive object with the negative experience of suffocating. I chose aromatherapy as my anchor. I dabbed some jasmine oil on my wrists before wedging myself in a friend’s Volkswagen. Inhaling the fragrance eased the nausea I previously had in tight quarters.

Now when faced with the prospect of feeling like a sardine, I apply a soothing scent. Lavender is relaxing, too!

Using aromatherapy, I was able to nix both “stale air” and “confinement” from my list.

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4. Progressive Exposure

For fear of heights, progressive exposure was suggested. You start with a low height and increase by degrees. My sister’s third-floor apartment has a balcony. Eva arranged a tea party for me, complete with chamomile. We sat and chatted and sipped. It was actually quite pleasant. The herbal tea melted my anxiety.

I progressed to scaling Lombard Street, San Francisco’s most crooked road. With eight hairpin turns, the curvy incline is steep! Eva and I hoofed it together, enjoying the flowers along the way. My crowning achievement was traversing the Golden Gate Bridge.

With this significant milestone, I erased “fear of heights” from my list.

5. Calming Kits

Coaching websites advised focusing on what I could control. I figured my thoughts were a good place to start. I took stock of what I could bring on the plane to occupy my mind. Here are the “tools” I packed for my calming kit:

MP3 player

Crossword puzzle book

Women’s World magazine

Distraction by an in-flight movie was another option. Not knowing if the plane’s film would be suitable for my kids, I assembled a game bag. As I created the “calming kits,” I found myself smiling.

Feeling empowered, I dropped “lack of control” from my list.

6. Safe Airline

I conducted an Internet search of the safest airlines. CNN published an article, naming 20 leading carriers recommended by aviation analysts. Two US companies made the global list—American and United. American Airlines had the cheaper fare, so I booked my flight with AA. The carrier’s motto also struck a chord with me, “Doing What We Do Best.”

Consoled by this slogan, I chucked “mechanical failure” from my list.

7. Wing Seat

Seats over the wing offer the smoothest ride, according to experts. The rear of a jet is most vulnerable to fishtailing. Annually, roughly 60 people get roughed up by turbulence in the US. Two-thirds of them are flight attendants, reducing the number of impacted passengers to 20. Contrast that with the 800 million Americans who take to the skies each year. The way to protect oneself from injury is to heed the seat belt sign.

I made a mental note and tossed “turbulence” from my list.

8. Travel Facts

I read an article by Wendy Perrin, Travel Advocate for TripAdvisor who reminds us that that most US cities are far more dangerous than airplanes.

Then I came across an ABC News brief. It said that a parent’s fear is highly contagious, creating a harmful influence on children. I didn’t want to increase my daughter’s tension in the face of her gymnastics meet.

For my daughter’s sake, I forged ahead, banning “terrorism” from my list.


I’m grateful to say I’m no longer a white-knuckle flier.

Hopefully, the eight tips above will help you as they did me. You can break free of aviophobia, one small step at a time.

Muster your courage, spread your wings, and soar the friendly skies.


A version of this article was originally published on Miami Helicopter.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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