How to raise successful kids – Business Insider

There isn’t a set recipe for raising successful kids, but psychology research points to a handful of factors that could help.

Source: How to raise successful kids – Business Insider

Good parents want their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to do awesome things as adults.

And while there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success.

Unsurprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents.

Here’s what parents of successful kids have in common:

They make their kids do chores
“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult” said during a TED Talks Live event.

“And so they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole,” she said.

Lythcott-Haims believes kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their coworkers, are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like, and are able to take on tasks independently.

She bases this on the Harvard Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study ever conducted.

“By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life,” she previously told Business Insider.

They teach their kids social skills

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke University tracked more than 700 children from across the US between kindergarten and age 25 and found a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergartners and their success as adults two decades later.

The 20-year study showed that socially competent children who could cooperate with their peers without prompting, be helpful to others, understand their feelings, and resolve problems on their own, were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by age 25 than those with limited social skills.

Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.

“This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future,” said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research, in a release.

“From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted.”

They have high expectations
Using data from a national survey of 6,600 children born in 2001, University of California at Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues discovered that the expectations parents hold for their kids have a huge effect on attainment.

“Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” he said in a statement.

The finding came out in standardized tests: 57% of the kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go to college.

That parents should keep their expectations high falls in line with another psych finding — the Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy” — as well as what some teachers told Business Insider was most important for a child’s success.

They get along with each other for the most part
Children in high-conflict families, whether intact or divorced, tend to fare worse than children of parents that get along, according to a University of Illinois study review.

Robert Hughes Jr., professor and head of the Department of Human and Community Development in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois and study review author, also notes that some studies have found children in nonconflictual single-parent families fare better than children in conflictual two-parent families.

The conflict between parents prior to divorce also affects children negatively, while post-divorce conflict has a strong influence on children’s adjustment, Hughes says.

One study found that, after divorce, when a father without custody has frequent contact with his kids and there is minimal conflict, children fare better. But when there is conflict, frequent visits from the father are related to poorer adjustment of children.

Yet another study found that 20-somethings who experienced divorce of their parents as children still report pain and distress over their parent’s divorce 10 years later. Young people who reported high conflict between their parents were far more likely to have feelings of loss and regret.

When they do face conflict, they fight fair in front of their kids
When kids witness mild to moderate conflict that involves support, compromise, and positive emotions at home, they learn better social skills, self-esteem, and emotional security, which can help parent-child relations and how well they do in school, E. Mark Cummings, a developmental psychologist at Notre Dame University, tells Developmental Science.

“When kids witness a fight and see the parents resolving it, they’re actually happier than they were before they saw it,” he says. “It reassures kids that parents can work things through.”

Cummings said kids pick up on when a parent is giving in to avoid a fight or refusing to communicate, and their own emotional response is not positive.

“Our studies have shown that the long-term effects of parental withdrawal are actually more disturbing to kids’ adjustment than open conflict,” he says. He explains the children in this instance can perceive that something is wrong, which leads to stress, but they don’t understand what or why, which means it’s harder for them to adjust.

Chronic stress from repeated exposure to destructive conflict can result in kids that are worried, anxious, hopeless, angry, aggressive, behaviorally-challenged, sickly, tired, and struggling academically.

They’ve attained higher educational levels
A 2014 study lead by University of Michigan psychologist Sandra Tang found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same.

Pulling from a group of over 14,000 children who entered kindergarten in 1998 to 2007, the study found that children born to teen moms (18 years old or younger) were less likely to finish high school or go to college than their counterparts.

Aspiration is at least partially responsible. In a 2009 longitudinal study of 856 people in semirural New York, Bowling Green State University psychologist Eric Dubow found that “parents’ educational level when the child was 8 years old significantly predicted educational and occupational success for the child 40 years later.”

They teach their kids math early on
A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early can turn into a huge advantage.

“The paramount importance of early math skills — of beginning school with a knowledge of numbers, number order, and other rudimentary math concepts — is one of the puzzles coming out of the study,” coauthor and Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan said in a press release. “Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement.”

They develop a relationship with their kids
A 2014 study of 243 people born into poverty found that children who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s.

As reported on PsyBlog, parents who are sensitive caregivers “respond to their child’s signals promptly and appropriately” and “provide a secure base” for children to explore the world.

“This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that accumulate across individuals’ lives,” coauthor and University of Minnesota psychologist Lee Raby said in an interview.

They’re less stressed
According to recent research cited by Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post, the number of hours that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being, or achievement.

What’s more, the “intensive mothering” or “helicopter parenting” approach can backfire.

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” study coauthor and Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi told The Post.

Emotional contagion — or the psychological phenomenon where people “catch” feelings from one another like they would a cold — helps explain why. Research shows that if your friend is happy, that brightness will infect you; if she’s sad, that gloominess will transfer as well. So if a parent is exhausted or frustrated, that emotional state could transfer to the kids.

They value effort over avoiding failure
Where kids think success comes from also predicts their attainment.

Over decades, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered that children (and adults) think about success in one of two ways. Over at the always-fantastic Brain Pickings, Maria Popova says they go a little something like this:

A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.

A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.

At the core is a distinction in the way you assume your will affects your ability, and it has a powerful effect on kids. If kids are told that they aced a test because of their innate intelligence, that creates a “fixed” mindset. If they succeeded because of effort, that teaches a “growth” mindset.

The moms work outside the home
According to research out of Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits for children growing up with mothers who work outside the home.

The study found daughters of working mothers went to school longer, were more likely to have a job in a supervisory role, and earned more money — 23% more compared to their peers who were raised by stay-at-home mothers.

The sons of working mothers also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare, the study found — they spent seven-and-a-half more hours a week on childcare and 25 more minutes on housework.

“Role modeling is a way of signaling what’s appropriate in terms of how you behave, what you do, the activities you engage in, and what you believe,” the study’s lead author, Harvard Business School professor Kathleen L. McGinn, told Business Insider.

“There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother,” she told Working Knowledge.

They have a higher socioeconomic status
Tragically, one-fifth of American children grow up in poverty, a situation that severely limits their potential.

It’s getting more extreme. According to Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, the achievement gap between high- and low-income families “is roughly 30% to 40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier.”

As “Drive” author Dan Pink has noted, the higher the income for the parents, the higher the SAT scores for the kids.

“Absent comprehensive and expensive interventions, socioeconomic status is what drives much of educational attainment and performance,” he wrote.
They are “authoritative” rather than “authoritarian” or “permissive”
First published in the 1960s, research by University of California at Berkeley developmental psychologist Diana Baumride found there are basically three kinds of parenting styles:

  • Permissive: The parent tries to be nonpunitive and accepting of the child
  • Authoritarian: The parent tries to shape and control the child based on a set standard of conduct
  • Authoritative: The parent tries to direct the child rationally

The ideal is the authoritative. The kid grows up with a respect for authority, but doesn’t feel strangled by it.

They teach “grit”
In 2013, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth won a MacArthur “genius” grant for her uncovering of a powerful, success-driving personality trait called grit.

Defined as a “tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals,” her research has correlated grit with educational attainment, grade-point average in Ivy League undergrads, retention in West Point cadets, and rank in the US National Spelling Bee.

It’s about teaching kids to imagine — and commit — to a future they want to create.
They give their kids bias-proof names
A host of research shows just how much your name can affect your lifetime success, from your hireability to your spending habits.

Career-wise, people with names that are common and easy to pronounce, for example, have been found to have more success.

They apply behavioral control, not psychological control
According to a longitudinal study from University College London, parents’ psychological control of their children plays a significant role in their life satisfaction and mental well-being.

As Jeff Haden explains for Mic:

People who perceived their parents as less psychologically controlling and more caring as they were growing up were likely to be happier and more satisfied as adults.

On the flip side, the people whose parents applied greater psychological control as they were growing up exhibited significantly lower mental well-being throughout their adult lives; in fact, the effect was judged to be similar to the recent death of a close friend or relative.

Not allowing children to make their own decisions, invading their privacy, fostering dependence, and guilting children into doing what they want are all examples of how a parent might apply psychological control.

Whereas psychological control is about trying to control a child’s emotional state or beliefs, Haden points out that behavioral control is different in that it’s about setting limits on behavior that could be harmful. Examples of behavioral control include setting curfews, assigning chores, and expecting homework to be completed.

They understand the importance of good nutrition and eating habits
Successful people recognize that good eating habits can help you focus and be productive throughout the day.

As Business Insider previously reported, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a family and children’s clinical psychologist and author of books like “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,” told Slate that developing food habits in kids that are both mentally and physically healthy requires involvement from parents.

To help their kids develop a sense of body acceptance and a body-positive self-image, she says parents need to role model good attitudes about their own and others’ bodies, healthy eating habits of their own, and a positive attitude about food.

COOKIES & CONDITIONING! A great way to spend your snow day!

Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

Don’t substitute quick oats in this recipe; you’ll hate me because the cookies won’t look like the ones in the pictures. It’s old-fashioned rolled oats all the way here.


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons butter (1 3/4 sticks), softened but still slightly cool
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. While oven is pre-heating do 12 jump lunges followed by 20 toe raises on the stairs. 
  • Line large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Do another set of Jump Lunges and Toe raises.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Do 5 Press Handstands
  •  Stand in releve’ the entire time. In a large bowl (of a stand mixer or with a handheld electric mixer), beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until just combined, about 20 seconds.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until well mixed, about 30 seconds.
  • 5 more Press Handstands
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the flour mixture and mix until barely incorporated, 10-20 seconds. It’s ok if there are a few dry spots. Gradually add the oats and mix until well-combined, about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. If needed, give the dough a final stir with a wooden spoon to ensure that no flour pockets remain and that the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • 5 Push ups regular, 5 Push ups Narrow, 5 Push ups Wide, 5 Push ups “Beam hands” 
  • Scoop out about 2 tablespoon-sized mounds of dough and roll them to form balls. Place the cookies about 2 1/2-inches apart on the baking sheet(s) – about 8 cookies per sheet. They will spread quite a bit. Lightly press each cookie to about 3/4-inch thickness (I found after baking one sheet of these that I didn’t need to press them at all so use your best cookie judgment).
  • While cookies are Baking 30 seconds hollow hold, 15 rocks, 15 V ups
  • Repeat each side and arch.
  • Bake 1 sheet of cookies at a time until the cookies are golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers are still very slightly soft, 13 to 16 minutes. Cooling the cookies completely on the baking sheet will yield crispier, more perfect cookies.
  • Stretch Out While Cookies cool. 
  • ENJOY!

Atlantic Dover competes a Hip Hop Classic in Vermont

The Atlantic Gymnastics Dover Xcel team traveled up to Brattleboro, VT to compete in the Hip Hop Classic meet hosted by Woodman Athletics. The girls are in the middle of their competition season and have been working hard perfecting their skills and adding new elements to their routines.

The Bronze team competed Friday evening on February 24th. In the Junior B age group Izzy Rothwell took 1st place on bars with a 9.5. Samantha Bishop placed 3rd on bars with a 9.45. 2nd on beam with a 9.45, and 1st on floor with a 9.15. Sam also took 2nd place in the all-around with a 36.9. In the Senior A age group Kaitlin Cady placed 1st on vault with a 9.4, 1st on bars with a 9.6, 2nd on beam with a 9.4, and 1st in the all-around with a 37.6. It was a three-way tie for 3rd place on floor with a 9.2 for Katherine Indelicato and Averie Marcotte. Averie also placed 2nd on bars with a 9.55. Caitlin Klein scored a 9.5 on bars earning 3rd place. Cate Palmer, part of the Senior B age group placed 3rd on bars with a 9.45, 1st on beam with a 9.55, and 1st on floor with a 9.7. Cate earned 1st place in the all-around with a 37.7. The Bronze team took home 2nd place in the team division with a score of 112.95.

Atlantic’s Silver Xcel team competed on Saturday in Brattleboro. The girls did extremely well and took 4th place as a team with a score of 111.275. In the Junior B age group Savanah Hughes placed 2nd on bars with a 9.5. Brooke Helliwell earned 2nd on vault with a 9.2, 1st on bars with a 9.8, and 1st on floor with a 9.8. Brooke also earned 1st place in the all-around with a 37.85. In the Junior C age division Renee Remick took 2nd on bars with a 9.6 and 2nd on floor with a 9.15. Erica Chase, part of the Senior B age group, scored a 9.25 on bars earning her 3rd place and tying with her teammate Aaliyah McKenzie. Aaliyah also placed 3rd on vault with a 9.05 and 3rd on beam with a 9.0

There were two gymnasts representing Atlantic’s Gold Xcel team. Annie Beikman and Jillian Driscoll truly shined during this meet. Both girls were part of the Senior B age division. Jillian placed 2nd on vault with an 8.7, 3rd on bars with a 9.55, and 3rd on floor with a 9.275. Jillian also earned 3rd place in the all-around with a 36.475. Annie earned a 9.025 on vault and a 9.575 on beam placing 1st on both events. Annie earned 2nd on floor with a 9.525. Annie also placed 1st in the all-around with a 36.475.

Atlantic is gearing up for two competitions this coming weekend. The Bronze and Silver team will be competing in the Friendship Classic at Granite State Gymnastics in Bow, NH. Meanwhile, Atlantic’s Platinum and Gold teams will be attending the Tim Rand Invitational in Ft. Lauderdale FL. Best of Luck to all the competing gymnasts this coming weekend!

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Atlantic Gymnastics Xcel Team Shows Heart at Valentine’s Masquerade Meet

Atlantic Gymnastics Xcel Team Shows Heart at Valentine’s Masquerade Meet

Atlantic Dover’s Gold and Platinum Xcel teams participated in the Valentine’s Masquerade meet on Saturday, February 18th hosted by Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, NH. All the girls walked away proud of their accomplishments and ready to work harder than ever during practice. The Gold team placed 2nd overall with a team score of 113.1. Atlantic’s Gold gymnasts competed in three age divisions, keeping in theme with the meet: Cupids, Cherubs and Doves. In the Cupid age group Natalie Sicard earned 2nd on vault with a 9.275. Anya Marengo took 1st on bars with a 9.6 and 3rd on floor with a 9.2. During the meet there are also some special awards given out by the judges on each event. Anya earned the ‘Best Swing’ award on bars for her impeccable tap swings on the high bar. In the Cherubs age group Ari Bonney took 2nd place on beam with a solid routine earning her a 9.325. Julia Dirksmeier placed 2nd on vault with a 9.35 and 3rd on bars with a 9.4. Julia also placed 2nd in the all-around with a 36.85. Mia Orluk came away with 1st place on three of the four events: vault, bars and beam. Mia earned a 9.45 on vault, 9.625 on bars and a 9.375 on floor. Additionally, Mia took 1st place in the all around with a 37.525. In the Doves age group Jillian Driscoll earned 3rd place in the all-around with a 37.125. Annie Beikman placed 1st on beam with a 9.55, 1st on floor with a 9.6 and 1st in the all-around with a 37.2.

The Platinum Xcel team was short a couple members, but had just enough gymnasts to compete as a team. In the Love Bug division Gianna Coppola placed 2nd on vault with a 9.175 and 3rd on bars with a 9.175. Competing in the Sweetheart age group, Bethany Howard earned 3rd place on vault with a 9.125. Alexa Nelson placed first on bars with a 9.5, 1st on beam with a 9.55, and 1st in the all-around with a 37.2. Alexa also earned a special award; she scored the highest all around during her meet. Her meet session included Platinum and Diamond Xcel gymnasts as well as Level 8 and Level 9 athletes.

Some of the Gold and Platinum team members will be traveling to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to compete in the Tim Rand Invitational. The girls will compete on Saturday, March 4th at the Broward County Convention Center.

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Atlantic Dover Bites Back at Frostbite Invitational in Maine

It was a weekend full of successes for the Atlantic Gymnastics Dover Xcel team. Atlantic’s gymnasts made the trip up to Biddeford, ME to compete in the (appropriately named) Frostbite Invitational hosted by Dudziak’s School of Gymnastics on February 11th and 12th. Not even the Blizzard could stop these gymnasts from competing!

Beginning on Saturday, February 11th the Dover Xcel Bronze team started the weekend off strong. The girls were divided into three age groups. In the Child division Samantha Bishop placed 2nd on bars scoring a 9.675, 1st on beam with a 9.45, 2nd on floor with a 9.45 and earned 1st place in the all around with a 37.25. In the Junior age group Katherine Indelicato took 3rd on bars with a 9.425. Katherine also placed 1st on beam, competing her newest skill, a cartwheel, with a 9.575. In the Senior age division Cate Palmer earned 1st on beam scoring a 9.5 and 3rd place on floor with a 9.65. Cate’s presentation and elegance on floor truly captured the audience. Atlantic Dover’s Xcel Bronze team earned 1st place overall.

Early on Sunday, February 12th Atlantic’s Silver team took the floor. Part of the Child A division, Savanah Hughes placed 3rd on bars scoring a 9.625. Brooke Kelly, a new Silver team member placed 1st on bars earning the highest score the Dover Xcel team has ever seen, a 9.9! In the Child B division, Gabby Harriton took 3rd on bars with a 9.675. Brooke Helliwell, competing in her first meet at the Silver level, performed extremely well. Brooke earned 3rd on vault with a 9.0 and 1st on bars with a 9.775. Brooke also competed her cartwheel on beam, a new skill to her repertoire, and took 3rd place with a 9.275. She also placed 1st on floor with a 9.55 and 2nd in the all-around with a 37.6. Renee Remick, part of the Junior A age group placed 2nd on vault with a 9.05. Also in the Junior A group, Gabby Sasien placed 3rd on beam with a 9.35. In the Senior age group, Audrey Choate took 3rd on bars with a 9.7. The Silver team has been working hard in practice to improve their routines. Their hard work showed through this weekend!

Atlantic’s Gold team was next to take the competition floor. In the Junior age division Natalie Sicard earned 1st on vault with an 8.925, 1st on beam with a 9.375 and 1st in the all-around scoring a 36.65. In the Intermediate division Anya Marengo took 3rd on vault with an 8.8 and 3rd on floor with a 9.275. Anya also earned 1st place on bars with a strong routine scoring a 9.525. Cadence Howard took 2nd place on bars with a 9.275. Cadence also earned 1st on beam with a 9.5, 2nd on floor with a 9.375 and placed 1st in the all-around with a 36.9. In the Senior age group, it was a 1, 2, 3 finish on vault with Julia Dirksmeier placing 1st with a 9.1, Mia Orluk in 2nd with an 8.925 and Jillian Driscoll in 3rd with an 8.75. Mia also took 3rd on bars with a 9.35 and 1st on beam with a 9.525. Julia earned 2nd on beam with a 9.5 and 3rd on floor with a 9.25. It was a close finish in the all-around with Mia taking 1st with a 37.025 and Julia in 2nd with a 36.9. The Gold team earned first place overall.

The Platinum team finished up the evening, even in the snow! In the Junior age group Gianna Coppola took 1st on bars with an 8.95, 1st on floor with a 9.3 and also 1st in the all-around with a 36.1. Sarah Bieniek took 3rd on vault with an 8.95, 1st on beam with a 9.25, 3rd on floor with a 9.2 and 2nd in the all-around with a 35.95. In the Senior division Alexa Nelson earned 2nd on bars with an 8.9, 3rd on floor with a 9.15 and 3rd in the all-around with a 35.85. Tori Downey finished in 3rd on vault with a 9.05 and 2nd on beam with a 9.05. Bethany Howard took 3rd on beam with a 9.0 and 1st on floor with a 9.325. The Platinum team earned 1st place overall.

Atlantic’s Platinum and Gold teams will compete next at the Valentine’s Masquerade Meet on February 18th hosted by Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, NH. This will be their last meet before they head to Florida to compete in the Tim Rand Invitational in Ft. Lauderdale. The Silver and Bronze teams will compete in the Hip Hop Classic on February 24th and 25th in Brattleboro, VT.Frostbite Bronze.jpg

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9 Essential Travel Hacks for Going on Vacation With Kids

Experts offer advice on how to make traveling with children infinitely easier.


Source: 9 Essential Travel Hacks for Going on Vacation With Kids | The Huffington Post

Do you remember what it was like traveling before you had children? You would pack just one small carry-on suitcase, nap on your flight, and spend your vacation leisurely reading magazines by the pool. Well, to say that traveling changes after you have children is an understatement. Traveling with little kids can be tricky. But have no fear — we’ve got you covered! We worked with Disney Parks and their more than 25 different resorts and asked parenting writers and travel experts from all over the world about their best tips for going on vacation with babies, toddlers, and older kids. Here are our picks for the top nine tricks. And if you have an awesome travel tip, let us know in the comments!

In the Air…

1. Consider a Night Flight

If you’re flying internationally and know that you will be in the air for at least six hours, then Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan of Momaboard advises parents to take “night flights,” especially if the children are preschool age or older. If you fly when your children are normally sound asleep in their beds at home, says Bhojwani-Dhawan, it’s likely that their biological clocks will take over and they’ll sleep on the plane: “I just did a 14-hour flight in economy with my 5- and 7-year-olds. They slept for seven hours, watched a movie, played a few games, had a meal, and we landed!“

2. Just Say “No” to Pre-Boarding

Families will often board the minute — the second! — that they are allowed to when they’re flying with kids. Not so fast, says blogger Kaley Ann, to parents who have toddlers or children (but not infants): “The goal should be to spend the least amount of time stuck on the plane as possible. If you are lucky enough to be traveling with another adult, divide and conquer! The first adult boards early and takes as much gear as possible… The second adult boards as late as possible with the kids. There is absolutely no reason to spend more time than necessary cooped up in your tiny airplane seat!”

3. Don’t Forget the Juice

Juice, in this case, doesn’t refer to orange, apple, or grape — but, rather, a battery charge. Screen time can be a terrific way to capture kids’ attention when you’re 36,000 feet up in the air, and you don’t want to rely on finicky in-flight outlets to get the job done. “Regardless of your children’s ages, make sure you have one of those portable battery devices that can power up mobile phones and tablets,” says Don Martelli of DadLife Chronicles.

At the Hotel and Resort…

4. Make Tubs Safer With Towels

Kristin V. Shaw, who blogs at Kristin Shaw, has learned that bathtubs in hotels and resorts can be quite slippery, which is why she invented her own travel hack: “Place a towel on the bottom of the tub and let your child sit or stand on it for washing. It keeps them from slip-sliding onto a hard tile surface.”

5. Sleep When the Baby (or Toddler or Kid) Sleeps

While Judith Luck’s daughters are now grown, the writer says that when they used to stay in hotels on family vacations, she always made sure to schedule plenty of downtime — for them and for her. “There should be no guilt about making sure you and your children rest, even if it’s just lying on a bed in front of the TV. Do-nothing-at-all time will make all of the other activities much more enjoyable for everyone.”

6. Turn On White Noise at Bedtime

Whether it’s a couple fighting loudly next door, rock stars partying below you, or you’re just trying to watch TV while your son or daughter sleeps, our experts have two words for you: white noise. “Even children who are heavy sleepers at home tend to wake more easily when you’re on vacation… which is really the last thing you need,” says Melissa Sher, who blogs at Mammalingo. “To counter unwanted noise, we always pack a white-noise machine when we travel, but you can also download a free app on your smartphone.”

7. Re-create Nighttime Rituals From Home

While we’re on the subject of bedtime, Nate Smith of Improvising Fatherhood has two pieces of advice: “Try to re-create your bedtime routine as much as possible by bringing books, pillows, blankets, and special stuffed animals. And if kids aren’t used to sleeping together, have the older one out of the room while the younger one falls asleep; then have the older one go to bed.”

On-the-Go and Fun Activities…

8. B.Y.O.W. (Bring Your Own Water)

Pack sippy cups or bottles of water and take them with you wherever you go, because when you find that you really need some H2O, it might not be readily available. As Julie Tower-Pierce from the blog Wanderschool explains: “Water is always handy with kids. You never know when they’ll be thirsty, not feel well, need a drink, or spill something that you would rather use water to clean up than Mom Spit.”

9. Pack a Change of Clothes

When traveling anywhere with very young children — whether it’s for a day trip to the beach or a visit to a shopping mall — our experts say it’s essential to have a complete change of clothes within reach. “If you don’t pack a change of clothes for your baby or toddler, there’s a 100 percent chance that he or she will have an epic blowout or create some other disastrous mess that will only become funny years from now… if ever,” says Sher. “Of course, if you do pack those clothes, nothing will probably happen. But do you really want to take that risk?!”

Atlantic Dover Competes at Manhattan Classic.

The Dover Atlantic Xcel Platinum gymnasts traveled to New York City over the weekend of January 28th. The Platinum team has been practicing their hardest skills in preparation for this epic competition. This is the first time Atlantic Dover has traveled to NYC to compete in a meet that hosts gymnasts from all over the country. Atlantic’s Platinum team competed against teams from many states including Tennessee, Vermont, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Sarah Bieniek, part of the Junior A age division, had a successful meet after lots of hard work in practice. Sarah took 4th place on vault scoring a 9.1, 5th place on bars with a 9.1, 5th place on beam scoring a 9.15. Sarah also nabbed 2nd place on floor with a 9.35 and 4th in the all-around with a total of 36.7 In the Senior A age division Alexa Nelson took 8th on vault scoring a 8.95, 3rd on bars with a 9.1, 7th on floor with a 9.0 and 3rd in the all-around with a 36.575. Alexa also performed a near flawless beam routine earning her 2nd place with a 9.525. Tori Downey earned 7th place on beam with a 9.0. Bethany Howard placed 5th on beam with a 9.075, 6th on floor with a 9.1 and 6th in the all-around with a 35.625. These four girls put on an amazing performance and will compete next in Biddeford, Maine at the Frostbite Invite.

Platinum Team (from right to left): Sarah Bieniek, Bethany Howard, Alexa Nelson and Tori DowneyManattan Classic.jpg