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. Teaching Your Child to be a Creative Thinker and Innovator

    children playing with blocksThe term “innovation” has become an often-heard buzzword. News reports and articles refer to “innovative” companies and encourage more “innovation” from young Americans. “Innovation,” it seems, is everywhere.

    The impact of creativity and innovation has been around since the dawn of time and is a legacy of great thinkers. Now that the ability to innovate is an increasingly desired quality among employers, what does this mean for parents?

    Can parents help their children to develop this trait, or is it inborn? Does it require a well-rounded education? Is it the result of a combination of factors? How can parents encourage their children to come up with ideas and solutions and to embrace traits like curiosity, questioning, exploring, dreaming, reading, learning, as well as thinking creatively, critically and spatially?

    For those wondering how to teach innovation to their children, here are three ways to start:

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  2. Accepting Different Parenting Styles

    Family reading book togetherAs a parent, you have your own standards and rules that you expect your children to follow. What happens when your mother or one of your mother’s friends, or the parents of your child’s friends, or a relative, or a school teacher disagree with your parenting style? What happens if your spouse disagrees with your parenting style?

    Here are some ways for handling such scenarios with grace and for maintaining your standards while being respectful of different parenting styles:

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  3. Flying to New Heights with “Empty Nest” Syndrome

    Smiling coupleYou knew that it would happen someday, and now it has. Your youngest child or your only child has moved out of your home and now it feels strange. Most likely, you have mixed feelings about this event.

    If you have a sense of sadness or loss, you may be experiencing what’s known as “empty nest syndrome.” This is not a clinical diagnosis but a phrase that sociologists coined to describe feelings of unhappiness or difficulty in adjusting to a new phase in life that many parents feel once their children have moved out.

    If you are having trouble adjusting to this new time in your life, here are the latest insightful findings and ways on how to deal with empty-nest syndrome:

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  4. Alleviating Back-to-School Anxiety

    Children getting onto a school busAs the first week of school approaches, you begin to notice a change in your child. Maybe he or she becomes nervous at the mention of starting a new school year or throws a fit every time someone brings up the subject of meeting his or her new teacher.

    What could those changes mean?

    For some children, acting out or withdrawing or complaining of small physical pains such as a headache could be signs of back-to-school anxiety, notes Jeremy Pettit, an associate professor of psychology at Florida International University. If you notice any of those signs as your child prepares for the upcoming school year, try these tips for easing his or her anxiety:

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  5. How to Help Enhance Your Child’s Social Skills

    Friends on jungle gymSeveral months into the school year, children usually receive a report card about their academic progress, but – unlike years ago – not necessarily about their social skills and the progress they’re making socially.

    If you’re concerned about how your child is progressing socially, you could call your child’s teacher or ask the teacher directly. If you learn that your child is having a difficult time, perhaps the following tips for teaching social skills to a child will lead to success:

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