The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips and health and safety.

  1. Life Lessons Learned from 2020

    April 5, 2021

    It’s safe to say, 2020 was a challenging year for just about everyone. But for those of us with children, it meant a lot, and we mean a LOT, of quality time with our little ones. Yet through it all, we learned some valuable lessons that we’ll take with us when things get back to “normal”.

     

    Here are some of the things we will hold on to:

     

    1. Things don’t always go as planned. And that’s okay.

    The thing about unprecedented events is that they don’t come with a manual. We were trying to help kids learn remotely while often adjusting to new work arrangements ourselves. Do they have the link to their class? Do they know when to come back from recess? Oh no, I need to feed the kids during a work meeting!

    We recognized that we were all new to this and learned to be more forgiving — of ourselves and each other.

     

    2. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be there.

    Did you try to help your child with their schoolwork and realize how much you’ve forgotten since your school days? Or that you don’t have the time to make them the healthiest dinner with the workday that doesn’t seem to end and the housework that’s impossible to keep up with? It’s okay — what mattered was that you tried.

    We learned that you can’t do everything every day. The important thing is that you’re there for your children.

     

    3. Kids can be pretty resilient.

    As parents, our instinct is to protect our little ones. But the pandemic has affected all of us, including the children. We’ve asked kids to change how they do school, playdates, birthday parties and more. And they’ve impressed us by adapting to the new normal and making the best of the situation.

    The kids are going through a lot. Let’s recognize the sacrifices they’ve made and take heart knowing that they may be little, but they can be pretty tough when they need to be.

     

    4. Before you take care of anyone else, take care of yourself.

    In emergencies, we’re told to put on our life vests first before helping others. After all, we wouldn’t be very helpful if our own needs aren’t met. The same goes for taking care of our young ones during a pandemic. It’s tough for the kids, but the adults are going through a lot too. So it’s okay to say, “I’d love to help you right now, but can you give me a moment?”

    It’s important for everyone to see that self-care for mom and dad means better care for all.

     

    5. Nothing refreshes like fresh air.

    2020 was the year that so many families rediscovered the classic pastime of taking walks. When “work”, “school” and “home” are all in the same place, we needed a way to unwind. And with the extra walking, we stayed fit, talked to neighbors and maybe discovered things we wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Who knew? Simply walking does the body and mind a lot of good.

     

    6. There’s a lot to be thankful for.

    When times are tough, we need to appreciate the little things. Maybe a neighbor who puts up signs in their window, a long-lost friend who reconnected by video chat, or seeing a new flower bloom on a daily walk.

    Things weren’t perfect, but we learned to look out for the positive. And more than anything we have a newfound appreciation for being around the people we love.

    What’s something you learned from your children and yourself while you were home?

     

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  2. 5 Tips for Effective Online Learning and Screen Time Management

    February 22, 2021

    We’re already a year into the pandemic, but many of us are still searching for ways to adjust, especially parents with children who are learning remotely. How strict do we need to be about screen time? How do we set up the most effective online learning environment? While we may not have all the answers, here are 5 tips that can help.

     

    Tip 1: Separate kids’ at home learning space and their sleeping space

    It seems ideal: Wake up, rollover, turn on the computer and log onto class without getting out of bed. We all love the comfort of our beds and our pajamas. The trouble is our brains associate activities with where they happen. For children, it’s hard to focus on school if there’s a bed reminding them of sleep and it’s hard to sleep when there’s a computer reminding them of school. Keeping school, sleep and everything else separate helps their developing brains focus on what’s important at that moment.

     

    Tip 2: Keep pencil and paper in the picture

    Sure, class happens on screen and they turn in assignments online. But your little ones are more likely to retain what they’ve learned with good old-fashioned pencil and paper. So set up your little scholar with their favorite pencil and notepad next to their computer. And if you can, print out reading materials. That has the added benefit of giving their eyes a rest from the screens. Speaking of which…

     

    Tip 3: Schedule screen breaks

    Being online for hours at a time is hard on their young eyes. Staying seated for hours isn’t exactly healthy (or easy) either. Make sure to schedule time between and after classes to get up, get moving and get away from screens. You can set alarms — think of them as school bells — to get the little ones to go out for at-home recess.

     

    Tip 4: Set reasonable time limits and reduce screen time after school

    Do your kiddos go from one screen — their classroom — directly to another one, like tablets, phones and video games? We get it, they want to relax and many parents want their children to be occupied while they work from home. Plus, many children stay connected to their friends through online chatting and gaming. Still, it’s worth setting ground rules. For example, you could limit “fun” screen time for after getting their schoolwork done or only in the evening.

     

    Tip 5: Plan off-screen activities for the whole family

    If your kids are learning remotely, there’s a good chance you’re working from home too and you could use a screen break as well. So be sure to schedule some off-screen time; plan outdoor family activities like a hike, or stay inside on a rainy day with board games. It gives you time to unplug, connect with your family, and take a break from screens.

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  3. Why Walking the Dog is Great for Both of You

    January 19, 2021

    February 22 is National Walk Your Dog Day! This is an annual reminder that taking a daily walk with your best friend is a great idea. Why? Let’s count the ways.

     

    1. It’s a Great Way to Start the Day

    Your pup needs to get outside in the morning no matter what. That means you’re guaranteed to wake up for an a.m. stroll, get your blood flowing, maybe even see the sun come up. Just like that, you’ve gotten your body to move right before breakfast!

     

    2. You Get Your Steps in

    Did we mention exercise? Taking your four-legged buddy outside gets your body moving, helping you stay active and healthy. The Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week — that comes out to roughly 21 to 42 minutes a day which is approximately as long as two daily walks.

     

    3. It Boosts Your Mood

    Getting outside is essential for your mental health. Taking breaks with your fluffy pal during the day or in the evening helps you refresh your mind and lower your stress level.

     

    4.  …and Your Dog’s Mood too!

    A well-walked dog is a happy dog. Regular time outside helps your pooch let out their energy and allows them to relax when they’re home.

     

    5. It’s a Chance to Bond and Socialize

    Walking with your furry friend helps you build a stronger relationship. It also gives both of you opportunities to get to know neighbors, both human and canine. Just keep a safe distance, of course!

     

    Don’t have a dog? That’s okay! You can still enjoy the benefits of walking and it’s one of the easiest ways to improve your mental health. Just put on a pair of comfortable shoes and take a stroll around your neighborhood.

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  4. Refresh Your Resolutions for 2021

    December 17, 2020

    It’s the New Year and usually that means it’s time to set New Year’s resolutions. This year let’s refresh the idea of resolutions and instead of focusing on intangible goals like “lose weight” or “spend less money,” let’s refocus on what matters most: your family and your health — both physical and mental.

    Here are a few ideas to get you started:

     

    Prioritize Self-care

    When we’re busy with work and family, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Challenge yourself to set aside time for your wellness each day. It can be as little as 15 minutes to meditate, a half-hour walk around your neighborhood, or an hour spent on a hobby or passion project each night. How long you spend isn’t as important as simply making time for yourself.  Quick tip: Set up a calendar reminder in your phone to help you form the habit.

     

    Do it as a Family

    Having someone to hold you accountable makes it easier to stick to your goals and resolutions. What if you turned achieving goals into a family challenge? See who can read the most books in a month, do the most pushups or go the longest without screen time. Whatever you choose, the friendly competition and accountability will help keep you on track. Plus, getting to spend time with family is an added bonus!

     

    Practice Positivity

    In our experience, the best resolutions are less about milestones or achievements and more about forming better habits. One habit we could all benefit from is positive thinking. If you’re like most, you might get stressed out by focusing on the negatives. Instead, what if you made it a goal to train your brain to think more positively?

     

    For example, challenge yourself to think of one reason you’re proud of yourself each day. Or practice finding silver linings when something seemingly negative happens. These small changes can help positively impact your day-to-day.

     

    These are just a few ways you can refresh the way you approach New Year’s resolutions and kick off the year on a positive note. New Year’s resolutions have always been about being our better, happier selves. This year don’t stress over hitting a milestone. Instead, focus on the big picture—yourself and your family.

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  5. Can I Buy Life Insurance for My Parents?

    December 1, 2020

    Daughter Taking Care of Mom

    It used to be that your parents worried about your finances as you grew up. But now that you’re an adult and your parents are older and perhaps retired, the roles may be reversed: it’s your turn to fret over their financial wellbeing. Especially if they rely on a fixed income, you’ll want to make sure they protect each other and their family with life insurance.

     

    Here’s the big question: If one parent passes away, will there be enough money for the surviving parent to live on?

    If your parents have life insurance policies already, then they can use the benefits to cover final expenses and everyday expenditures. But if they’re not insured, the surviving parent may have trouble covering living expenses and rely on their adult children to make ends meet. That’s not something you or your parents would want to experience. To help your parents settle into retirement and avoid that unfortunate scenario, you can suggest one of three insurance options from Gerber Life for older adults.

     

    Before we go on, let’s answer a frequently asked question: Can you buy life insurance for your parents?

    You cannot buy life insurance for just anyone, however, you can buy life insurance for someone else if you have their consent and “insurable interest’ – which just means their death would impact you financially. So yes, you can buy life insurance for your parents. And if they cannot afford to pay the premiums, you can pay the premiums for them.

    Gerber Life has several options for seniors, depending upon their age.