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. Making the Family Holiday Card Fun Again

    Creative Family Holiday CardsCreative holiday cards that are as fun to create as they are to open.

    With everyone (and your family) expecting the arrival of your annual family portrait, and with so many chain stores and retail websites offering affordable and fun styles to choose from, creating a holiday photo card has become easy and, frequently, almost mandatory. As a result, the concept can easily become “old hat.”

    To shake up your season’s greeting this year, try one of these ideas for creative holiday cards:

  2. Nature Crafts: Natural Holiday Decorations

    Holiday Wreath of Twigs and BerriesMost households – especially those with children in them – do some type of decorating during the winter holiday season. Whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply to celebrate the natural beauty of winter, winter holiday decorations can be costly and consume a lot of natural resources. To make your holiday decorating more eco-friendly this year, consider taking advantage of some of these natural holiday decorations.

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  3. Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving!

    Thanksgiving FeastFor many families, Thanksgiving Day – which this year falls on Thursday, November 22nd – marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is a beautiful holiday that encourages us to count our blessings, just as our Pilgrim forefathers did throughout Thanksgiving history.

    As Thanksgiving approaches, there are reminders everywhere of the abundance of the things that truly matter: loving families, good friends, plentiful food and the simple joys of nature. As the spirit of the season spreads this timely message, it also offers a gentle reminder that there are others less generously blessed.

  4. Helping Hands: Involving Family in Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations

    Family Thanksgiving Dinner PreparationWhether you’ll be hosting a feast or hitting the road to join family and friends for a celebration, you probably have a long list of things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving. By the time Turkey Day arrives, it may seem as if the only thing you can feel thankful for is a minute to sit down.

    By involving the whole family in your Thanksgiving dinner preparation, you’ll get some help and your spouse and kids will take pride in putting their mark on the festivities.

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  5. For Future Success, Promote Reading Among Middle Schoolers

    Middle Schooler Reading a BookIt’s no secret: Kids who enjoy reading tend to experience academic and professional success. According to a long-term study conducted by the University of Oxford, kids who read for pleasure had a much higher chance of achieving a professional position as adults than non-book lovers.

    In fact, multiple studies conducted from the 1970s to today indicate that students that engage in programs that promote reading, such as summer reading programs, result in higher vocabulary scores and a narrowing achievement gap – even across socio-economic lines.

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