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. An Open Letter from a Parent to a Child

    Child sitting on couchTo my dear child,

    When I learned that I was going to become a parent, I must admit that I was a little nervous. My nervousness eventually subsided, however, and gave way to joy and excitement.

    I will never forget the day that you came into my life. You, my dear child, are the greatest gift that has ever been given to me.

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  2. Fun Games from a Child’s Perspective: What Do Your Kids Think is the Most Important to You?

    Child coloringYour children are your world, your everything. You may think that this is obvious to everyone around you, but have you ever asked your child what he or she thinks is the most important thing to you? Or, have you ever asked your child what is the most important to him or her?

    You might be surprised by your child’s response.

    This fun and interactive illustration game can give you better insight into your child’s perspective.

    What You’ll Need:

    • 4 Sheets of paper
    • Writing implements, such as crayons or colored pencils
    • Stopwatch or timer

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  3. The “Reality” of Kids Caring for Pets

    kids caring for pets blog preview

    “Can we get a pet? I promise I’ll take care of it! You won’t have to do anything. I’ll feed it, and walk it, and clean up after it. Please, mom! I really want a pet!”

    Ah yes, the promises of a child who wants a pet. This is something that many parents can relate to. For some children, the idea of having a pet can be all-consuming. Sure, there are plenty of benefits and teaching opportunities to be had for families who have a pet. On the flip side, there is also a lot of added responsibility and work, depending on the type of pet.

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  4. How to Introduce Your New Baby to Your Pet

    How to Introduce Your New Baby to Your PetCaring for a pet is often seen as excellent “practice” for raising a child. It’s not uncommon for a couple to adopt a pet together before becoming pregnant. The responsibility and lifestyle adjustments could be a good segue into raising a child.

    For many people, their pets become members of the family, which can be a great thing – until a baby comes along. A new baby can be a big change for everyone. If your family already includes a pet, there are some things that you can do to help your “fur baby” adjust to the new baby you’ll be bringing home soon.

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  5. Benefits of Pets for Kids: Should Our Family Adopt an Animal?

    Young girl lying on couch with pet dogThe companionship of a pet is a unique experience. For many people, a pet can become a member of the family, and for children, having a pet can provide many benefits. Adding a feathered or furry friend to your family can be a wonderful thing, but there are various factors that you should consider before adoption:

    • Do I have enough time to commit to caring for an animal or bird?
    • What kind of pet best fits my family’s lifestyle?
    • Do I have enough money to care for a pet, including for such expenses as food, toys, visits to the veterinarian, and vaccinations?

    To help you determine the answers, do some homework. Resources are available at libraries, bookstores, and online, and by talking with local vets, animal shelters, and friends.

    What are some benefits of having a pet?

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