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. Ideas for Starting a Family Tradition

    Family cooking togetherFor many people, the holiday season is steeped in family traditions that bring loved ones together. Whether using Grandma’s gravy recipe or inherited table settings, or making a pumpkin or apple pie from scratch, or watching football or going for a walk after the big meal, family traditions can run the gamut.

    For children, traditions can provide a feeling of stability and consistency – something to look forward to. Traditions can also build a sense of family-history pride in a child, or present an opportunity to create memories that can last a lifetime.

    Traditions, however, don’t necessarily have to be passed down from generation to generation. You can start one around any activity or event that’s important to your family, whether holiday-related or unique to your family.

    Here are some ideas for starting family traditions:

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  2. 30 Random Acts of Kindness Your Kids Can Perform

    random acts of kindnessA little bit of kindness can go a long way, and often it doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day. The term a “random act of kindness” – allegedly coined by writer Anne Herbert, author of the children’s book Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, published in 1993 by Volcano Press – refers to a selfless act performed either to help or cheer up someone else.

    Kindness and compassion are contagious. To help you teach your child that he or she can contribute to spreading goodwill, here are 30 ideas for “random acts of kindness” that your child could perform on any day.

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  3. DIY Gifts from Kids: Child Silhouette Portraits

    Young girl's profileWith the holidays just around the corner, why not get your children involved in making homemade gifts for your family? Not only will you gain the opportunity to spend quality time with each other, but your children will feel a sense of pride in giving something to their loved ones that they helped to create.

    This silhouette craft for kids could be a great present from grandchildren to their grandparents.

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  4. Nurturing Your Child’s Dreams and Ambitions

    Boy wearing police hatAsking your child what he or she wants to be when all grown up can be a lot of fun for parents as well as for the child. The imaginations of young children can be astounding. One week your child may want to be a firefighter, and the next week a great chef, and the next week a professional athlete. By giving children the tools to realize their ambitions, we can show them that, with some work and planning, their dreams are attainable.

    Here are some ways to help nurture your child’s dreams:

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  5. Simple Ways to Fit Volunteering at Your Child’s School into Your Schedule

    Parent with flashcards at schoolYoung children can find it exciting to see mom or dad in the classroom, and teachers are always looking for parent volunteers in schools. Volunteering at your child’s school is a great way to show your children how much you value their education and to be involved in what’s going on at school. It can be lots of fun, and there is no shortage of opportunities.

    For busy parents, however, it can be challenging to find the time. Consider these simple ways to make volunteering at your child’s school fit into your busy schedule:

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