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. Minding Your P’s and Q’s: An Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Manners to Children

    Young girl drinking teaPhrases such as “Don’t put your elbows on the table,” “Chew with your mouth closed,” and “Please say ‘Excuse Me’ if Mommy is talking to someone and you need her attention,” are probably all too familiar to children and parents. When trying to instill good manners in their children, parents may often feel like a broken record and that they’re not getting through to their kids.

    It’s important to remember that polite behavior, like many other behaviors, is not something that your children are born knowing but rather something that they are taught, and that they learn during successive stages of development.

    Here are some age-appropriate guidelines for teaching manners to children:

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  2. 5 Thanksgiving Day Activities for Families

    Grandfather and grandson playing footballHaving all of your loved ones together on Thanksgiving Day can be wonderful. It can also be stressful, especially if you are trying to find ways to entertain your guests while preparing a delicious feast for everyone to enjoy.

    If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, you may want to be armed with activities for family fun, particularly if young ones will be present. Here are some tried and true activities that can keep the kids busy either before or after the meal, or both:

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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