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. Our tips for parents can help prepare you for various situations, as well as provide ideas for activities that you can enjoy as a family.

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 5 Steps to Accomplishing a Personal Goal After Becoming a Parent

    Graduating mother with husband and sonWhen someone becomes a parent, it’s not uncommon for other things to be put on hold. Plans to pursue a college degree, learn a new language, or play a musical instrument take a back seat to caring for the child.

    Nevertheless, as many parents already have demonstrated, it is indeed possible to pursue and realize a personal goal while raising a child. If you’re thinking of doing likewise, consider these tips for how to achieve goals after becoming a parent:

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  5. Preparing Children for the Future Without ‘Helicopter Parenting’ or Holding Them Back

    Father helping son to ride bikeThe term “helicopter parent” originally appeared in a book by Dr. Haim Ginott, Between Parent and Teenager (Macmillan Co,1969). Although the term might be older than you perhaps thought, it has the same meaning today as it did then: a parent who is overprotective or too involved in the life of his or her child.

    The website parents.com notes that helicopter parenting can have negative consequences for children, including decreased confidence, undeveloped coping and life skills, and increased anxiety. Therefore, it’s important for parents to avoid being overprotective of their children.

    Here are a few ways to help prepare your child for the future without helicopter-parenting:

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