Parenting Tips

Advice for raising well-balanced children

When you left the hospital to take your newborn home for the first time, you may have hoped that the baby bag contained some kind of manual giving parental advice on how to handle the next 18-plus years. Then you remembered that babies don't come with a set of instructions for parents on how to teach a child values, resolve a conflict with a sibling or help a child study for an upcoming test. That's where Gerber Life comes in. Our advice for parents can help prepare you for various situations, as well as provide ideas for activities that you can enjoy as a family.

  1. Kids Are Sponges: Monitoring the Media Your Toddler Sees

    Family Watching TVChildren tend to absorb everything around them. As much as you may think your baby or toddler isn’t paying attention, he or she is likely absorbing any background activity or noise. That’s why it’s so important to be conscientious about how much and what kinds of media your child consumes at each stage of development, regardless of whether done actively, such as watching a movie on TV, or passively, such as playing the radio. The programming you select, including any adult media, can influence your child.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that TV and other media should be avoided for children age 2 or younger. Instead, the AAP emphasizes that children should learn from play and from human — not screen — interaction.

    It’s therefore important for parents to determine how to regulate, limit, or monitor the media impact on children. Here are some tips:

     

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  2. Activities to Help Your Toddler Learn Fine Motor Skills

    mom and toddler playing with building blocksIt’s not unusual for babies and toddlers to learn gross (larger movements) motor skills – such as rolling over, sitting and walking – more quickly than fine motor skills. Precise hand, finger and wrist movements, as well as grasping objects and picking them up with pinched fingers, are tasks that toddlers need to practice and perfect over time, and in different ways than their gross motor skill counterparts.

    There is a lot you can do in any given day of play, however, to help fine-tune these fine motor skills. Following are some activities to consider integrating into your toddler time:

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  3. How to Stay Connected to Your Kids in the Digital Age

    Mom Distracted by TechnologyTeens aren’t the only ones immersed in technology at home. Parents are guilty of it, too. Whether you’re checking your work email from your phone or putting in extra hours on a project while at home, these actions may cause your child to feel neglected, sad or frustrated, according to Harvard Clinical and Consulting Psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of the book, “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.”

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  4. Teaching Manners to Toddlers

    toddler practicing good manners at the dinner tableIt is never too early to start teaching good manners to youngsters. If children have a solid foundation from the beginning, they’ll consider manners as normal behavior, notes Donna Jones, author of Taming Your Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well-Mannered Child.

    When it comes to teaching manners to toddlers, follow these three c’s: consistency, caring, confidence.

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  5. Setting a Good Example for Your Toddler

    daughter copying momA toddler’s world is a toddler’s school, and you, as parent, are the most influential teacher. To pass along good habits to your child, start with what’s most in your control: your behavior. Children do what they see, not necessarily what they’re told, and so setting a good example for your little one starts with you. Here are some tips to help you set a good example:

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