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. Five Steps to Get Your Children Happily Involved in Gift-Giving

    Boy giving giftThere is one big thing on many children’s minds during the holiday season – presents! For a lot of kids, the excitement of the holidays centers on receiving gifts. Parents can take this opportunity to try to instill in their children that same enthusiasm toward giving gifts.

    Encouraging your child to take part in gift-giving can help to demonstrate the joys of giving, as well as to teach him or her the valuable life lesson of thinking of others.

    Follow these simple steps for involving kids in gift-giving this holiday season:

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  2. How Multimedia Helps Reading Instruction

    Young girl using tabletNowadays, teaching children how to read can take many forms. High-quality, one-on-one education via parents, teachers or tutors can be supplemented, for example, with a wide variety of useful multimedia. Many theories exist about what works best for teaching children to read, so if you’re not sure if multimedia is right for your child, consult with his or her teacher or a local librarian for direction.

    Here are a few multimedia options designed to support children’s reading instruction:

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  3. DIY Crafts: How to make a plaster cast of your child’s hand or foot

    Plaster cast hand- and foot-printKids seem to grow up overnight. Although you can’t stop the hands of time, no matter how much you’d like to try, you can capture a fleeting moment of your child’s formative years by creating a plaster cast of his or her hand or foot. As your child grows, it can be fun to reminisce about how small he or she used to be.

    This DIY craft project – how to make a plaster cast – is easier than you might think.

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  4. Thanksgiving Fun Facts

    Thanksgiving fun factsDid you know that turkey wasn’t even served at the first Thanksgiving, in 1621?

    Or that in 1939, Thanksgiving Day temporarily was moved up a week by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to help boost the depression-era economy by giving retailers more time to earn money from holiday shoppers?

    This year, family and friends once again will gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving Day – traditionally the fourth Thursday in November, and traditionally a day of food, fun, and football games. Meanwhile, here are some more Thanksgiving fun facts, served by the writers at History.com.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Gerber Life Insurance!

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  5. Should you limit how much time your child spends in front of a screen?

    Girls looking at cell phoneUp until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) took a very hard stance on managing children’s technology use. In the academy’s research-based AAP guidelines, they advised that “screen time” (or the amount of time a child spent using a device with a screen, such as a cell phone or tablet) should be prohibited for children under age 2 and limited to two hours a day for children over 2 years old.

    The guidelines, initially published in 2011, were recently revised, however, to reflect the explosion of technology and apps aimed at young children. According to the non-profit Common Sense Media, more than 30 percent of children in the U.S. first play with a mobile device while they are still in diapers. Nearly 75 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have smartphones, of which 24 percent admit to using their phones almost constantly, reports the Pew Research Center.

    According to the AAP, “screen time” is becoming simply “time,” and so they set out to review and update their guidelines, including through a two-day “Growing Up Digital: Media Research Symposium” in May. The goal of the symposium, notes the AAP website, was to evaluate available data, identify gaps in research, and consider how to provide thoughtful, practical advice to parents based on the evidence.

    Here’s a recap of the AAP’s key messages and updated guidelines for managing media usage and screen time for kids:

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