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. 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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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  2. 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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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  3. DIY Craft: How to Make a Paper Pinwheel That Spins

    Boy holding pinwheel on the beachPaper pinwheels are surprisingly easy to make and can give children an immense amount of joy. This simple project offers a wonderful blank canvas for your child to express himself or herself with color and originality, and requires a little adult supervision for cutting and attaching the pinwheel to a stick.

    Ready to get started? Here’s how to make a paper pinwheel that can spin and spin and spin:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  4. Encourage Your Child Through Words of Affirmation

    Mom hugging son with basketballEveryone needs external reinforcement to be their best self, including your child, who relies on you for encouragement and words of affirmation. Use the following tips to help encourage your child or to lift up his or her spirit, and to inspire your child to keep developing his or her unique talents and abilities.

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  5. 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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