101 Changes: Change 18- Heal The Hurting Heart

I am writing a series of posts about small changes we can make it our life to make our daily living and health improve tenfold. If we try to make huge changes, it is often difficult sustaining it and we have sense of  failure but small changes made slowly becomes habits if done over and over for 21 days.

These are changes I have made or working on it. Would you like to join with me in this journey?

Check out previous 101 Changes Article: 101 Changes: Change 17 – Help Someone Even In Bad Economy


Life is funny in a way, as we do get most hurt by people closet to our heart, and not by someone whom we barely know. People close to us, be it close friend, sibling, cousins, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, can hurt us emotionally, sometimes with words and sometimes worse. We are going to talk about hurt by words, an emotional hurt here.

How to heal, when you are hurting and move on, when it is hard and you do not want to? I wrote a post not too long ago about being Have you gotten hurt , it was and is very hard for me to deal with.

We can not prevent of getting hurt by other person, as it would be impossible unless we lived alone in woods. But we can steps to minimize the pain and move forward. How so? Let’s explore.

1. Write down in journal or write a letter to them (Do not mail it, or give it to them, just write it for your eyes only) Write everything down you feel. Talk your feelings to someone else who will understand and not judge you. If you can not find/trust anyone to listen, that is okay, you can talk to a stuffed toy or picture of your friend and let it know how you are hurt and how it is making you feel in details.

2. Once your initial anger/frustration is out, you can try talking to a person who hurt you in person. Make sure, timing is good for both of you and there are no other distractions. When you talk, keep flow and mind open. Do not accuse or attack person but talk about situation in focus. Once you talk, listen to other person’s explanations. It simply could be that person, never realized that he/she was hurting you.

3. Once you talked your feelings out, see how genuine other person’s feelings are. If they are truly in dark or truly sorry, you can forgive and be friends with them slowly.

4. Sometimes, most of us are not so lucky, and other person may not feel they have done anything wrong and they accuse you instead. Try to remain calm but firm in your beliefs. Sometimes, you may have to walk out on that relationship for short-term or permanently, if you think it will not work out.

When relationship ends, it hurts a lot, specially, if you have invested so much of your time and efforts and your kids and their kids life have intermingled. Make a choice and stick to it, as it is not easy to do. Remember, your pride and dignity is important too, once you let someone walk all over you, they may do it again. Truly forgive them but you can choose not remain friends.

5. Forgive yourself for your feelings, it is okay to cry (yes, for guys too) but do not blame your self ,if relationship does not survive. One can not clap with one hand, you will need both parties willing to work out situation.

6. Friendships and relationship with people are complex as human emotions are complex. All of us want to be liked but sometimes, we can not please everyone. Do what you feel right for you and follow your gut feelings. Do not stop making new friends because old one hurt you. Sometimes taking a risk will benefit with new friendship that will be better suited for you.

No matter what happens, try to be open-minded and calm and try to resolve situation first. If you have hurt someone by mistake, tell your apology from heart, if you think you were not wrong, explain your situation and tell them you never meant to hurt them. All of us like to keep relationship intact but when it is not possible, move on without feeling guilty or blaming yourself.

Life teaches us new things and sometimes we became a better person because of it.

Do you have a story to share? Good or not so good ending? How would you handle your hurt emotions?

Gifts from heart during Holidays

Christmas is around the corner and many of us share or exchange gifts with friends and family around this time. Many times, these well meant gifts from people, after a few days or weeks, goes unused in some corner of our house and life. How should we give gifts that can be well liked and used by the receiver? Often time, it is possible to do with little thinking on our part. We will discuss a few type of traditional and not-so traditional gifts to give and receive.

1. Give gift of time

Giving gift of time is cost free, but very helpful. For example, give time for babysitting to someone who has small kids, so they can nap, go out or do something they like. You can take your elderly neighbor shopping, who may not be driving well. You can visit someone who is sick, deliver food, help someone with cleaning up their house, garage, mow their lawn etc., possibilities are endless. Make sure you know some tasks that may require longer time, volunteer and offer what you truly can, otherwise you and receiver both will resent it.
Sometimes, just listening others and being there in their time of need is more appreciated than any store bought gifts.

2. Gift of experience

Zenguy used to fly small plane, it has been a while since he has given up this expensive hobby. However, he has taken me and other friends, relatives on city flying tours and it has been wonderful for all of those who received it. You do not have to fly a plane, you can someone to a Museum they always want to go or subject they wanted to know more about. Cooking together also works, I cook meal with R, who makes mess of kitchen but it is a experience he will remember being part of. Watching stars, going camping, learning and doing something together will remain in our mind, long after, compared to silly plastic toys or gadgets.

3. Home made gifts

Simply made handbags, cookies in jar, soups in jar, hand made sweater or blanket, quilt has much more meaning to recipient. Here are some suggestions for home made gifts ideas from web.

Gifts and Crafts from a jar

50 home made gift ideas from the web

Free crafts and gifts made by you

4. Other suggestions

a. Give cash instead of gift cards, as some of the gift cards charges hidden access fees and expires as months rolls by.
b. If you buy store bought gifts, take gift receipt to recipient, so they can exchange freely without being guilty.
c. Ask them what they truly need or want before buying something you “think” they want.
d. Give partial or all money towards a big items they want/need to buy.
e. If you have large family, draw up names so every one needs to buy one or two gifts only, instead of 22.
f. Consider giving to others less fortunate people than you, charitable donation does not need to waited for Christmas time, and can be done through out the year.

Gift Free Christmas

How to celebrate Christmas without money

No Christmas gift this year has unique ways to letting your friends and family know about no gifts and suggesting alternatives instead. Check it out.

Remember, giving gifts from heart is more important than any expensive item. If we can not pay it with cash, or have money to pay when credit card arrives, we should not purchase it. You can celebrate Christmas without money or gifts and still have great time with family and friends.

Check out:

10 ways to help someone during bad economy

20 ways to be Romantic for Free (or cheap)

How to have Stress Free Thanksgiving

White Friday No shopping day

Meaningful Holiday Celebration from Heart, not wallet

How do you celebrate holidays with friends and family? What do you like or dislike about the gift givings? I sure would love to hear from you and your suggestions.


13 Ways To Be Compassionate

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Elephant Sanctuary: India  Photo Credit Zengirl

How do we feel and treat other with compassion? Maybe you see someone struggling to carry large bag, do we help him? Maybe someone is feeling dizzy and fainting, do we rush to help or move on our way hoping she will be alright? If you hear a small child crying in grocery store, do you feel annoyed or do you feel bad for mother or father and ask them if they could use help? On flip side of the coin, what if you were offered the help, and you get annoyed by them? Are we ready to offer and ready to accept help and compassion in this society without being judged? I sure hope so.

I believe most of the people are good natured and kind hearted and ready to offer help but somewhere along our hectic life, we may become annoyed at others, or we think our privacy is being invaded when someone offers the help. However, we can still live our life relatively fine and help others and accept the help from others. Here are a few ways to be compassionate and helpful.

Ways To Help Others and Be Compassionate:

  1. Trust others, most people are nice and not out there to hurt you, or con you.
  2. It is good karma, what goes around will come around.
  3. Try to think of it from their perspective, really, walk a mile on their shoes before judging them.
  4. It will make you feel good.
  5. Someone who you helped will be truly sending you best vibes/wishes your way. It may make
    your life better, somehow.
  6. The person you helped will be inspired to help others, starting a chain of “pay it forward” goodness. Can you imagine the impact of it?
  7. Truly listen to person or people asking for help, before saying no, yes or even maybe.
  8. Be open minded.
  9. Do not just help person in suit, or good looking girl/boy, help someone who needs help, regardless of religion, looks or status.
  10. Do it from heart, without any expectations.
  11. You may pass it on to your kids, spouse, or friends, being nice and kind that is.
  12. . For little time and effort the feeling of satisfaction you may get will be 10 fold.
  13. Just do it, you are helping your heart and soul at the same time.

How do you feel compassionate? Do you help others when they ask? Do you help when they do not ask but yet you see them needing help? Do you feel compassion is important? How do you feel when someone offers you help? Do you graciously accept or act like you have it under control? Some answers may not be easy, but if we think about it, it just may be easier to accept and offer help to total strangers and be happy about it.

Go out and do one random act of kindness today, if you can.


How To Have Less Stressed Kids


As a parent we want our kids to have best and do best, so we sign them up for classes such as sport, art, piano, violin, Language learning, lego and robotics and so many more.  3 months break in summer will give kids some break but no, we sign them up with summer camps during summer break. When do kids get a chance be a kid and play? It seems because of extra activities and fear for safety, kids are no longer free range kids as 30 years ago. Kids are showing stress signs but acting up, health issues and other disciplinary problems which may indirectly related to being so busy and high exceptions from parents, to school. One of the kids who  is in Private school 2nd grade has 2 hours daily homework, in 2nd grade, can you believe it? May you can but it baffles me.

There are many kids who are either bored and too much stimulated by activities that surrounds them. Parents are not happy either, many parents seems to think they are busy driving kids from one activity to another. If no one is happy, why do we parent do this to ourselves? Stress  survey done by Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s health (Palo Alto) found that over 50% of 9 to 17 years old were stressed out on average to high level of stress. That can’t be good.

Tips for Less Stressed Kids and Parents:

We can not eliminate 100% stress and worries from our own life, let alone our children’s, however, we can surely try to minimize it by doing a few things. I think it may help parents and kids both relax a lot. Last semester, we followed hectic schedule our 2nd grader, and we have slowed down this month so we can get a bit breather. Here are a few things that we did that might work with other children as well.( Note I write child as he or him but this case goes for both girls and boys.)

1. Slow Down:

You might think every waking moment your child should be doing something magnificent or learning. And it might be hard to see your child laying on sofa doing nothing, telling you he is bored. Creativity strikes right after boredom happens in many cases. Unwind after school activity for a day. Let them think and soak up all they did and did not do.

If you do extra classes such as music, art, swimming and other cool things, make sure your child has only 2-3 activities per week so give him time to relax his body and mind.

2. Create Mini Goals and Solutions:

If your child has tons of home works or things to do, it can be overwhelming. Sure it is overwhelming for adults too. Breaking down things to do list or a problem in to mini section and tackling it helps see the result much faster and keeps us motivated, same thing with kids. In beginning you may need to help your child do this, until he learns how to do that on his own.

3. Create a Space:

Majority of our stress comes from not finding stuff when you need it, especially for kids. If your kids or you are always looking for book, home work or a project you worked on last minute, it will increase blood pressure for all of you. Create a space for your child’s things, school works, hobbies so he can put everything in its place and find it when necessary.

If you teach kids to clean up since they are young, it helps them when they’re older. However, there is never too late to start, even for older child or even teen. Teaching them keeping their stuff organize and helping them by getting them bookcases, boxes to store stuff.

4. Make Time For Sleep:

It has been said that minimum of 8 hours of sleep is needed to function better, but little kids to teens sometimes need more than 8 hours sleep. Do you remember when your infant was born, he was sleeping or cat napping 18 hours a day? Of course, kids do not need less sleep as they grow older, they may need 8-10 hours sleep to feel refresh and function properly. So, make sure you have routine for them and they get enough sleep to feel rested.

I have a younger kids so it is easier for me to stick to sleep routine and Zenguy has perfected sleep routine with kids so well, they know it and do it well. I am not sure yet how to enforce on teens but they can be reasoned with as well.

5. Eat Together:

With family so busy with activities and things to do, we hardly tend to eat together. I fall in this category occasionally so I know. Making time to eat together as a family does wonder to kids self esteem and share what they liked on that day and what they did not. Young kids tend be chatty so we listen a lot or should I say we try to. 🙂

Seeing family life together and what everyone has done that day, makes everyone feel in “know” and be part of something special. At least, I know I felt that when I was a kid.

6. Talk and Listen:

Being a parent can be demanding and we have things to take care of, bills to pay, dishes to clean, and so on, but taking time to talk to your child if something is wrong will help by asking direct and open questions and then listening to them. Always ask questions that can not be answered in “yes” or “no”. If you ask how was your day, you may get answer like “fine”. You should ask “What happened during X event?”

7. Let Child be a Child

Sometimes we want so much from our children and we think of them as little people. They are not, they are still kids and will make mistakes. When I teach some concept to R, and I expect him to get it, and when he does not I sometimes get frustrated. I usually do not get upset with other child making same mistake. So I came to realize that wearing mom hat makes me expect a lot from my own kids, so I tried to wear teacher hat and try to be rational when I know a parent in me want a super smart child, instead of just human child.


We ll need help to lessen stress in our children’s life and our’s too. I am a work in progress and as I mentioned despite using pen name of Zengirl, I get un-Zen sometime, so I wrote this article for me to read when I need little motivation booster.

How do you keep your self or your child less stressed and more happy?

Image source:Stree Free Kids Curriculum

Giving Thanks: How Gratitude Can Improve Your Life

This article is repost and re-edited from my 2010 post, just in time for Thanksgiving day! Not really shopping Grey Thursday or Black Friday or Cyber Mondays deals here. Just pure Thanks, Gratitude and feeling of contented-ness!

We as an Indians just celebrated festival of Diwali last month, which is Major Hindu Indian festival celebrated through out India. Living in USA also means, we also celebrate other festivals such as Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Holidays makes many of us in festive, generous mood and I can feel the festivities, parties and business around that comes with holidays.

Along with generosity and Thanksgiving holidays, the point of these holiday is to remember things that we are thankful in our life for. We should thankful for not just for food, water and shelter but many more little and big moments and events and blessing that we get every day and through out the year.

Being thankful is easy to say but hard to follow sometimes, when we are going through some issues in our lives. We as people tend to remember bad memories and things much more than good deeds. I want to show you how giving thanks or gratitude can change and improve our life. We should be thankful and show gratitude not only during holidays but through out the year.

Here are a few ways we can give thanks and gratitude, through out the year.

  1. Write down things in Gratitude Journal: When I started writing in one, I started writing everything in it like good and bad and ugly things, that should be your regular journal should be. However, gratitude Journal should only have positive and things that we are truly happy for.  For example, I wrote yesterday: “I am truly grateful to see sunny day in November.” It does not have to be life changing, simple thanks surely adds up.
  2. Focus on What you have: Many times we compare ourselves with other people so much that we forget many good things we already have. For example, “I am truly fortunate to simplified my life to point that we can survive with savings while we are trying to focus on our passion and compassion for life”.
  3. Thank your Spouse and Kids: Your life is going smoothly is might be because the help we get from family and friends around. Friends and family makes life worth living and more enjoyable. For example, I was feeling bit down right now and my 5 year old R came and give me a kiss and told me a joke. That totally changed my mood. I am also thankful to Zenguy, who is watching both kids so I can finish writing this article. That are many small and big things that our friends and family do, through out the year for us, let us thank them from bottom of our heart.
  4. Thank your Parents: Your parents have done so many things for you since you were born. I did not realize how blessed and hardworking parenting can be until I had my first child. Now, life has become very busy and hectic but I truly appreciate my mom and dad, who took care for me, taught me things to make a better person.
  5. Thank you In-laws: In many culture in-laws can be dreaded words as some of the in-laws tend of overly critical of you or very possessive of your spouse that may make pleasing them bit harder. There are good in-laws also who become your second sets of parents for you. Regardless of how you feel about your in-laws, I think we should thank them. I am truly thankful to my in-laws for raising a wonderful guy like Zenguy, who is good husband, best friend and greatest dad and most of all kind human being who wants me to make my life more positive.
  6. Thank your friends: Friends are family that we choose for ourselves. Many times friends have been there for us, when we were down, when we needed some lifting up. You may have one good friend or many, thank them for truly what they do everyday, just for being there for you.
  7. Thank other people you do not know: Now, this might be a alien concept, how to thank someone you do not know but it can be done. Many times people are helping you without us realizing it. For example, I am truly thankful for parents who started homeschooling and making it legal in USA so that I can choose to home school my kids today, if that is what I choose to do. I am thankful for technology advantages to I can blog today and share my thoughts to who wants to read.
  8. Think positive from bad situation: If you thought #7 was tough, this may seem even harder and tough. How can we see anything positive from a bad or worse situation. I will show you how, for example, “I am thankful to that slow driver who cut in front of me so I had to slow down and avoided getting a speeding ticket from a police who was just 200 yards from where I was.”  Do you see the difference? There is a silver lining or positive in almost all situation, so let’s try to improve out life by thinking positive.
  9. Thank Animals: Many times we only think of thanking only humans and our loved ones, when we stretch the limit to thank other living things in life that have given joy, our life truly becomes happier as it is filled with gratitude. For example, I had great fun with my brother’s dog Ruby and my room mate’s dog, when I took them walking, and playing with them, they gave me unconditional love and tremendous joy. If you have dog, cat, fish or any pet that gave you moment of joy and cheer, thank them truly. Think about the any animals that have given joy in your life: Dogs that love you as soon as they see you or  cats that think your lap is the best place to nap in the whole world, birds whose songs uplift your spirit and so on.
  10. Thanks Plants and Vegetables: Have you ever visited a tranquil garden with flowers, butterflies and bird chirping? It has so calming and soothing effect on me and I am sure many of you as well. I am thankful to all trees that have provided shade to me from sun’s heat, flowers with beautiful colors which has given me an inspiration to draw something or sing a song. And most of all, I am thankful to all vegetables and fruit plants to give me nourishment to live and eat healthier.

How to share Gratitude and give Thanks in simple ways

While some things may sound weird to a few of you, go ahead try it. there are many ways to take your part in random act of kindness and you can help during bad economy too.

  • Thank someone or something today. If friend has helped you, send him or her an email or call and just say thank you for being there.
  • Hug your spouse and kids, just because they are part of your life.
  • Tell your parents how much you appreciate them
  • Sing a song with bird in garden, even though you think you can not sing.
  • Find a positive in worse situation to lift up your mood.
  • Pick up garbage and put in trash bin, just because you want to.
  • Give thanks not only during holidays but every day.
  • Write in your Gratitude Journal for things that makes you happy and smile
  • Make someone happy today
  • Help someone at grocery store, who might be struggling with bags
  • If you see any child cry somewhere, instead of being critical, help the mom or dad to see if you can help.

This article is my contribution to Eric’s Eden Journal’s this month’s campfire. See below.

Your Turn:

How do you give thanks? Do you have gratitude Journal?  Did you share your gratitude with anyone today?

Check out other related articles:
Being enlightened
How to reuse Halloween Candies
Stress Free Thanksgiving Party

What is the Personal Development Campfire?
Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)

  1. Eden Journal
  2. Giving Thanks: Heart and Mind
  3. 5 Reasons to Give Thanks | Han of Harmony
  4. Gratitude – How to be thankful in trying times

Image: br3akthru / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Have a Safe Halloween

I admit, I celebrate Halloween much more as a parent then when I was in college. Sure, as single gal, we did costume party and gathering but now as a mom we do pretty much whole October month as a Halloween celebration that includes, visiting many pumpkin patches, petting zoo, jump houses, attending fall carnivals, costume party and family gathering sometimes. Most kids love Halloween, what is not to love? Dressing up as their favorite super heroes, princess or character is fun and getting free candies while playing dress up! It sure seems like logical fun holidays for most young kids, some teens and a few adults too.

Kids loves trick or treating and we attend a few safe school or neighborhood trick or treating. My kids also love when other kids come and trick and treat at our place. We have fun guessing what they are dressed up as. As a parent safety during trick or treating is important to all of us. Here are a few quick tips to make Halloween fun and safe for kids and parents both.

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids :

  1. Go with your kids to trick or treating, specially if they are younger. For older kids, still go together, some parent may choose to follow older kids with  bit distance. My kids being young I or Zenguy usually go with them.
  2. Do not go to strangers house or dark houses you do not know well. Try to visit your local street or people you know for trick or treating.
  3. Always watch out when crossing the road and hold hands, specially young kids.
  4. If older kids or teens want to go alone, make sure they carry cell phone and tell parents the path may they take and stick to it.
  5. Pick and choose a costume that is safe to walk in to. It can be store bought or home made.
  6. I am always shocked at sexed up costumes for young girls, avoid it and choose age appropriate costume that is well suited for kids and colder evenings during Oct 31st. You can make some easy costumes at home as well.
  7. Do not over plan and make a busy Halloween with trick or treating, parties and gathering. Keep it simple as younger kids tend to get tired and cranky easily.
  8. If you host a party for family, try simple decor as too much scary decor will scare some kids.
  9. Keep simple finger food, music for fun gathering for family and kids alike.
  10. Most of all, make sure do not finish all candies on same day! That goes for mom and dad too!

With simplicity and clean fun in mind, Halloween can be fun for all ages of kids, teens and adults.

Here are some fun Halloween read you may like;

How to Create great Halloween Bash!

How to Use up leftover Candies

Have a fun and Safe Halloween!

Image source: here

How To Fight Driving Fatigue

Img source: cornell.edu

As an adult many of us are driving daily to work, groceries, errands and social and official gathering. Things gets more hectic, if you have kids as a parents we tend to drive kids to one class or sporting event to another. At the time as mom of 2 kids, I feel like a overworked driver sometimes. It is easy to feel tired and get driving fatigue, if there is a such thing as that!

While talking to other parents, I realized that I am not the only one, other parents also feel similar ways along with a few single people who seems to be doing lot of driving for various reasons. So, how do you fight the driving fatigue? How do you keep yourself energized? I found a few tips that helps me when I am feeling driving or parenting chauffeur fatigue, I am sure it may help you as well.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Most of my problem of fatigue that I do not get enough sleep. As I am busy all day with house, kids and other things, I sometimes stay awake after kids go to sleep to read a book, do bills or even watch a movie. Nothing wrong taking sometimes for myself but problem is I get little less sleep so next day I am usually bit tired as soon as the day starts. Not a good way to start a morning. So getting enough sleep for what your body need is first step to stay awake and energetic.

2. Eat Well Balanced Diet and Snacks

I notice that when my toddler is cranky and acting out, usually is that either he is sleepy or hungry. After having a snacks, he is best kid again. I came to realize that might be true for adults too. At least it is for me, when I am rushing to get house chores done, I am eating on run. That means not eating well balanced food or not eating well. Now I stock my car with salted and roasted nuts, mixed fruits and nuts, granola bars, water so just in case when we are running late, me and kids have some snacks to eat to keep us going. I even keep small plastic bowls so I can put some snacks for kids to eat during go. It has been so helpful.

3. Listen to upbeat Music

Sometimes when we are stuck in traffic or have 30 minutes or longer drive to a class, I put some fun songs or music for us to listen. Sometimes we get also upbeat and start singing with radio or music CD. We might look crazy to next car driver but it keeps us happy during traffic jam.

4. Get Some Air

Sometimes when we drive air gets stuffy, so I open some windows to get fresh air in. It changes the mood quickly. When it is hot outside, we blast off Air condition in car for sometime. Cool air just lower our body temperature and cools us down too.

5. Take some Break

With little kids, most of our drives are around 30 minutes or so. When occasionally we have to drive longer, we take break after 40 minutes for restrooms or stretch a leg. Most of the time, it is rest room break with young kids for me, including one who is being potty trained so it is very much needed. Sure, it takes us longer to reach a destination but we are happier when we get there.

How do you fight fatigue when you are driving a lot?



How To Travel With Kids

During summer break, our family traveled around US, and India for 2 months. With 2 young kids, we learned a lot about traveling and adjusted as needed. Most time kids loved outdoors and new places but still needed some what familiar routine. Our younger one was traveling outside US first time, so I was bit apprehensive but in end kids adjusted much better than us. 🙂 Who knew?

Traveling With Kids: Tips for Tired Parents

Here are some lessons I learned during our long long trip and I am hoping our next one will be much smoother.

1. Keep all Kids Legal Document with you

If you are traveling by air line, make sure you have either birth certificate for domestic travel and Passport of international travel. In some cases, parents have been asked to show some legal documentation such as birth certificate for even infant. It is always good to have extra precaution to carry legal document to be on safe side.

If you have passport, make sure it is current. If country you visit, need a visa you will need to get those for yourself and kids too.

2. Keep Travel Itinerary light

We learned this hard way, when we decided to travel for months with visiting many places we thought kids may enjoy. Surely, kids would have loved it all, but young kids need break and free time in between so plan for it. Keep one big site seeing or little 2 things to see and do daily. Keep enough time for possible naps, relaxing play time and restroom breaks.

3. Carry small carry on suitcases with toys and books

Carry a small carry one suitcase or back pack just with kids small toys and books. We also carried crayons, coloring books and small easy crafts that can be done on go. It sure helped. In addition, we carried Dora and Diego DVDs or back up to see on Zenguy’s laptop when boredom hit with what they already played with.

4. Carry extra snacks, juice, Diapers and wipes

You never know what emergency may come during travel, so I always pack extra kids favorite snacks, juice boxes, diapers, wipes and extra change of clothes in carry on bags. It is also good idea to carry kids medicine and over the counter Tylenol just in case needed. When one is driving during road trip you may stop and buy things but it is hard to do when you traveling in plane or train so carrying extra is always better for parents, it was for us.

5. Bring Car seat or stroller for young ones

Most infant car seats and some toddler car seat will fit in airplane seat so bring it. You child will nap better and his or her neck will be rested on car seat better compared to regular seat on plane. You can use stroller at the airport before boarding and you can check in stroller at the boarding gate and pick it up when coming out. It will help you keep small sleeping child safe and secure in his stroller. Use heavy duty, umbrella stroller suitable for traveling. If you have a small infant check out 10 tips for flying with Baby for useful tips.

6. Take turn and Use help

Luckily both of our kids were fine and on very good behavior but surely seat next to us, kid kept on crying making it hard for parents. As a parent we were sympathetic and offered our help for a bit. If you are traveling with a spouse, use his or her help. Take turn for sleeping, eating or taking care of kids. I am double lucky as Zenguy helped me out a lot and kids were good on plane as long they as they had something to do and someone to talk to. If you are traveling alone with kids, ask help from air hostess or friendly person sitting next to you for little bit to give you a break.

Some little kids may cry during take off and landing as their ear hurt, so you may want to give them a sippy cup with milk, juice or pacifier, or even breast feed during those time to ease of pressure of those little ears.

7. Keep flexible

Having low expection and being flexible will keep traveling much smoother on you. Do not compare your crying child to easy sleeping child in seat behind you. Or do not expect you 3 year to travel as same as your infant, sibling may travel and have different temparament. Keep low expection and change as needed. Sometimes letting go of being in control and surrendering to reality of parenting may be a good thing.


While our airline traveling was much smoother, we did plan too many activities once we landed. Kids did not get enough rest as they needed and we all got sick and it was surely not fun looking for doctors and medical stores in new strange places but we became flexible and adjusted our plans as needed and still managed to survive and have fun in process. Next time, we will do short traveling and little less site seeing to make trip even more fun. Read How to travel with Children for more ideas.

How about you? What is your best travel tips with kids or as a single or married couple?

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