Forced Family Fun |

Forced Family Fun (FFF) defined is a family adventure wherein all parties ‘unplug’ and experience conversation and bonding together in a setting atypical of everyday life. FFF at times may be ‘forced’, especially if at the parents’ suggestion, however, there is immediate buy-in from children who quickly realize the fun involved and take part in the planning of future adventures!As parents of four children, it became apparent early on that a close family unit was needed with competing technological and social forces vying for our kids’ attention; television, cell phones, online gaming, social media, etc. Much to our children’s dismay, we coined the phrase ‘Forced Family Fun’ and enacted it with a passion.You may ask how parents can ever succeed in suggesting Force Family Fun while gaining kid’s buy-in? To this I would argue, why make it an option? Rather, try your first outing and then brainstorm additional activities as a family, to ensure a complete democracy. Be courageous; everyone who participates is a winner! Then schedule FFF once or twice a month at least, to make it a habit.When was the last time you had family game night, took a nature hike or a family bike ride, tent camped, experienced canoeing, played tennis or badminton, built a garden bed, picked berries to make pies, participated in a sand castle competition or scavenger hunt? The possibilities are endless with fearless tenacity and enthusiasm.Our family has become so accustomed to Forced Family Fun that at times we venture into what we call ‘Extreme FFF’, to include a 22-mile Providence Bridge Pedal last August. Our 7-year-old son even completed the 8-bridge journey. Granted this was a citywide event in Portland, closing down bridges and highways, however, our kids were hooked by the promise of riding to the highest bridges in the city, normally impassable by bike, not to mention savory snacks along the way!Another unforgettable adventure this past summer was canoeing. A bucket-list item since our relocation to Portland, I informed my two older sons that we were embarking on a two-hour adventure, FFF style. Initial moans from my ten-year-old were inevitable, however, the sheer challenge of navigating the Willamette River while pretending to be chased by the Portland Spirit (a sightseeing cruise) and a tugboat pushing a load of gravel on the Willamette River, changed everyone’s perspective. A women’s team of rowers passed us at one point, to which I hollered, “I could use an extra teammate!” They laughed in reply, “You are a brave woman.” This was, without a doubt, a beneficial phrase to my sons’ canoeing ears. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, was the lesson I taught them that day, as we all felt a great sense of accomplishment and FFF camaraderie!Forced Family Fun accomplishment is generally our feeling as parents, whether we experience hours of family fun, or thankfulness having finished a seemingly impossible task outnumbered by four children, as was the case in Glenwood Springs, CO. In 2015, we set out on a gorgeous fall day hike to Hanging Lake, a top Trip Advisor destination, only to regret our decision as parents halfway to our destination. Coloradans at the time, we were not deterred by the difficult hike; however, in hindsight the trail should’ve been closed given the icy alpine terrain. Thankful to have survived the ‘Expedition Survival’ trek as a family, I promptly wrote a Trip Advisor review, urging folks to postpone until summer. Nevertheless, it was another spectacularly gorgeous Colorado wonder and memorable bonding experience as a family.Extreme FFF; don’t let the faces fool you…Not every Forced Family Fun event requires extreme conditions, great expense or extraordinary feats of athleticism. Tent camping while learning to build a fire and roast s’mores together and game nights wherein everyone chooses their favorite board game, can be equally entertaining.I’ll admit it’s easy to let electronics babysit your children or constantly say yes to teenage engagements outside the home, parenting takes stamina. On the other hand, building a garden box, discovering slugs and snails on a nature hike, and a sand castle competition on the Oregon coast have provided countless hours creativity and memories to last a lifetime.Parents, be courageous, don’t fret your children’s initial disdain, and remember, with participation, everyone can have a voice in your democracy. My children sometimes comply begrudgingly, however, they all value Forced Family Fun and their friends know it. Create family bonding experiences while you have the time together. No regrets. I guarantee success, from first-hand experience, if you make it a family habit!

What to Look for in a Family Dentist |

Whether the family dentist you had come to love and trust is retiring or your family is moving to a new area, you’ll need to begin the long, potentially frustrating task of finding a new dentist for your family.Now matter where you live, chances are there are multiple family dentists around.How do you begin your research?When starting your research, a good place to start is to ask for recommendations. As your current dentist if he or she knows any good dentists in the area your family will be moving to. If he or she is retiring, ask him or her about the dentist who will be their replacement and if possible, meet him or her.You can also ask friends and family members for recommendations. Recommendations from people you know and trust are always good starting places.If you can’t get a personal recommendation, your next bet is online. Online review sites like Yelp are helpful.When you have a list of potential dentists, visit each one and speak to them personally.What are the characteristics of a great family dentist you should be looking for?LocationYou don’t want to be driving clear across town for a dentist appointment, especially when your family has multiple appointments on the same day, hours apart.Availability of ServicesCan you and your spouse get your dental treatments done at the same office as your children? Is the dentist a true family dentist or does he or she only practice pediatric dentistry? While adults and child have the same basic oral care, but the dental needs of adults can be different than those of children. Children, for instance might need sealants while adults may need teeth implants.You’re a busy parent and you likely don’t have the time going to multiple dental offices to have the adults in your family treated in one place and your children in another.A dentist that offers a comprehensive list of services that meet both adult and children dental needs will save you time, gas money and headaches when trying to coordinate appointments.Level of Pediatric Dentistry ExperienceSome general practice dentist will label themselves as family dentist for the sole purpose of getting business and being more profitable. Their experience in interacting with and treating young patients may be limited.Pediatric dentistry alters and adapts the procedures of general dentistry for adults to make them safer and more comfortable for children. Specialized training and experience in child sedation, orthodontics, oral medicine, child anesthesia, child oral trauma and infant oral health are common among quality family and pediatric dentists.Besides altering various common dental treatments and techniques, a pediatric dentist will have a certain demeanor and an extra-friendly, welcoming attitude. Their customer service skills are tailored specifically to ease the fears and concerns of children.Pediatric dentist won’t only have the knowledge of treating children’s dental issues, but they will also interact with their young patients in a way that makes them feel comfortable and safe.A Kid-Friendly Office EnvironmentLet’s be honest. Most kids dread going to the dentist. It is scary and boring at the same time. Well-run family dentist offices will have friendly, energetic, supporting, interactive staff members as well as have fun child-friendly d├ęcor and furniture. Some may also have toys and/or a TV in the waiting room to keep kids occupied and entertained.These kinds of family dental offices typically reward young patients with stickers or dental hygiene packs for cooperating throughout their dental procedure.AvailabilityThere’s nothing more frustrating than finally finding who you think is the perfect family dentist only to have their office be closed on the only day or time of day that works for your family’s schedule.As you’re meeting with the dentist, ask what their hours are and when the best time is to schedule appointments.Type of Insurance AcceptedNot all dentists accept the same insurance. To avoid similar disappointment as in the previous point, know which dental insurance your family has and do an online search to find dental offices in the area that accept your family’s insurance.Finding the right dentist for your family is important for ensuring their proper dental care. If you know what characteristics to look for and where to look, the process of finding a new dentist can be less painful and time-consuming than you think.

A Supportive Family Is One That Builds A Home |

Let us love our family every day of our life. Don’t let the busy world keep us from showing how much we love and appreciate our family. I have found the best way to give advice to my kids is to find out what they want and then encourage them to strive and do their best to achieve them.It is natural to have conflict at home but the unconditional love given to kids for who they are matters than what they do. It’s a simple that we can hold in our hearts every day. Love is all that matters.In fact, no family is perfect. There is always argument and fighting to the point of not talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family… The love will always be there. The very reason why a mother discovers with great delight in taking care of her kids because of the friendship formed while raising them. A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching is your family. It means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life which is something that cannot be taken to you. It is intangible.A house is built by hands. A home is built by heart. Family is not just an important matter but everything. My family comes first. Maybe that’s what sets me apart from other woman. I would never turn my back on them. They are always my priority especially my kids.There’s nothing I value more than the closeness of friends and family. In fact, there is no such term as a broken family. Family is not determined by marriage certificates or annulment papers. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. Even if you are not together, you can still be considered a family because people can get connected no matter what happens. What’s important is the quality time that you spend together during the good times. It’s worth remembering than the worst ones.At the end of the day, a loving family is the only one who can find everything forgivable.