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. Learning from Struggle: Tips for Encouraging Your Child

    Female Basketball Player Shooting HoopsYour child comes home and you can immediately sense that something is wrong. He or she missed an important shot in a basketball game, performed poorly on a test, or struggled to learn a new song in band practice. As a result, he or she may be reluctant to talk about what’s happened. As a parent, you can easily picture this scene, because you’ve lived it. If you’re a parent who hasn’t experienced it first-hand yet, you will.

    When something like this occurs, it’s important to pick your child up when he or she gets down. Although this seems like an easy thing to do, encouraging your child can actually be a bit more complicated than it seems. How honest should you be? Should you ignore talking about the event entirely? Would it be OK to help your child with the problem or should you let him or her figure it out alone?

    These are difficult questions to answer, especially when you’re dealing with a crestfallen child. If you have had trouble answering these questions in the past or think you might have them in the future, consider these tips:

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  2. Think Beyond Spring Cleaning: Creative Ways to Stay Organized Throughout the Year

    Organized Children’s RoomWinter takes its toll on your home. Since it’s so dark and cold all the time, you rarely feel like cleaning and things inevitably get dirty. It happens to the best of us.

    By the time spring rolls around though, you’re tired of the mess and ready to scour everything in sight. But cleaning the entire house in a weekend (or in a series of weekends) can be daunting. Your children’s toys are everywhere, clothes need to be donated, drawers need to be organized … and that’s just in your bedroom. With such a big mess, where do you even start?

    Instead of having to go through this ordeal every spring, it might be helpful to keep things in order throughout the year. This way, when spring cleaning time rolls around, the job seems more manageable.

    That’s a great idea, you might be thinking, but how do I keep things arranged in a more orderly way?

    We’re glad you asked! Here are some excellent home organization ideas that should help:

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  3. How Confident Are You?

    Woman Raises Hands TriumphantlyConfidence isn’t just a trait that’s important for adults; it’s crucial for children, too. Kids that are self-confident are more likely to learn new skills, take on challenges, get along well with others, and expect positive outcomes from relationships. So, as a parent, you’ll undoubtedly want to help raise a child who has a healthy belief in himself or herself.

    Although there are a number of different aspects that go into raising a confident child, one of the most important is your own confidence level. According to Dr. William Sears, a noted pediatrician and the author or co-author of more than 30 parenting books, one of the best ways to raise a self-assured child is to improve your own self-confidence. Since young children learn from imitating their parents, you’ll want to model confident behaviors for your child.

    But how do you know if you have a healthy self-confidence or if it’s something you need to work on? Take this self-confidence test to find out where your current level is at and how you can improve:

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  4. 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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  5. 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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