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. Cut Your Spring Cleaning Time in Half with These Helpful Tips

    Mother & Young Daughter Smile While CleaningWhen spring finally rolls around each year, it brings so many welcome sights. The snow thaws, days grow longer, flowers start to bloom, and there’s a lot of cleaning to be done. Wait, actually that last part isn’t welcome at all.

    You may not want to be stuck inside for a long session of spring cleaning, when other options include playing with your children outside or riding bikes in the park. But, unfortunately, spring cleaning is something that almost always has to be done.

    Fortunately, even if spring cleaning can’t be avoided entirely, there are ways that may help get it done faster. Follow these spring cleaning tips, and you’ll be out under the sun before you know it:

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  2. What Chores are Appropriate for Your Child?

    Son Helps Father With the LaundryDetermining when your child is ready to help around the house and what he or she should be helping with is no easy task. Suddenly, you’ll start wondering aloud, wait, when did I start helping around the house as a child? Was I cooking and cleaning at five? Of course, you’ll eventually remember that you weren’t baby Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart, and you’ll realize that you need to decide on age-appropriate chores for your child.

    To keep things simple, focus less on the specific chore you’re considering and more on what a child can handle and should be learning at a particular age. For example, instead of trying to determine whether your child can realistically mop the floor, think about whether that task would benefit him or her. Ideally, it should be a task that is both feasible and something your child can learn from.

    Still stuck? Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are some ideas for age-appropriate chores:

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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