The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

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

    August 10, 2015

    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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  2. What Teachers Want Parents to Know

    July 31, 2015

    Chemistry teacher in front of chalkboardIn the same way that a nurse or physician knows more about the art and science of medicine than someone who isn’t a nurse or physician, a school teacher knows more about the art and science of teaching than someone who isn’t a school teacher.

    Concerning school and teachers, how can a parent gain insights that best help their child?

    Teachers are more than willing to share information that can help strengthen the parent-teacher relationship and improve the child’s progress and the dynamics of the classroom.

    How to benefit from a teacher’s perspective? Here’s what teachers want parents to know:

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  3. Generational Differences in Use of Social Media

    July 23, 2015

    Millennial social media post exampleSocial media has been changing how many people communicate, including the way that different generations communicate online. Although members of a family might speak a shared language, they‘re likely to speak differently online – so differently that three identical posts by three family members of different ages could appear to say three different things.

    For instance, maybe a teenager has chuckled when grandpa posted something on the teenager’s wall that he meant to post on his own wall. Or maybe an older relative has struggled to decipher the emoji use of a young niece or why she uses “100” so much.

    Could this portend a rising demand for skilled multilingual translators of generational speech? Or higher salaries for the savvy who can fluently communicate both grammatically and in ungrammatical social media-ese? Or a return to The Stone Age, where tonal grunts worked just fine? Or simply today’s version of yesterday’s “slang”?

    Here are some fanciful general perceptions:

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  4. Tips for Teaching Children About Forgiveness

    July 20, 2015

    mother comforts sonYou know the scenario: All is peaceful in your home. Suddenly your child, who had been playing in the yard with a friend, storms inside. “Hannah pushed me down!” she screams, as she begins to choke back tears.

    Although your child is angry now, and justifiably you learn, she will eventually need to forgive her friend. As a parent, you will want your child to forgive her friend because it’s the right thing to do and necessary for good health.

    Studies continue to show that forgiving is a healthy action.

    For example, a 2001 study conducted by Dr. Fred Luskin, co-founder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, found that forgiveness can lead to higher levels of compassion and self-confidence, as well as lower levels of stress and depression.

    Although science and wisdom through the millennia have told us that it’s good and important to be able to forgive, teaching children about forgiveness can sometimes be difficult. Consider encouraging your child to forgive others, through these tips:

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  5. When to Allow Your Child to Start Wearing Makeup

    July 17, 2015

    Teenage girls putting on makeupAccording to a recent article by Lauren Smith in Glamour magazine, girls are wearing makeup at younger ages than ever before. The article cites a survey among 1,000 women in the UK conducted by Escentual.com, an online beauty products retailer, found that many girls start to wear some kind of makeup product when they are as young as 11 years old. This might be shocking to some people, but probably not to many parents.

    If you have a daughter who is about that age, she may have asked you if she can wear makeup. If she hasn’t, she soon may, which invites the question that many parents seek to answer:  At what age should girls wear makeup?

    For parents still deciding how to answer that question, here are a few considerations:

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