The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

  1. Make Mother’s Day a Family Affair

    Mother’s Day is all about family, so get the family together and make it a relaxing and memorable day for everyone.

    Plan a Family Gathering

    Throw a Mother’s Day party to celebrate all the mothers in your family. You may also wish to invite your friends and their mothers. Ask everyone to bring their own dish – their mom’s favorite. When it’s time to eat and everybody is sitting down, have each person say what makes her or his mom so wonderful.

    Play a “Who knows their mom best?” Game

    During your party, divide people into mother/child teams. Have the mothers leave the room while the children remain seated. Ask each child the same four or five questions about her or his mother, and have them write down the answers. Next, switch places – send the children out the room while the mothers answer the same questions about themselves.  Get everyone back together and share the answers, to see how well the teams did.  The team with the most matching answers wins!

     

    Create a Family Tree

    Step 1.  Have your child trace back your family’s roots as far as he or she can.

    Step 2. Then, have your child interview the living mothers, asking them questions about what motherhood is like and what’s great about that person’s family.

    Step 3.  On a sheet of colored construction paper, have your child draw a tree leaf about the size of a hand – one leaf for each mother – and then cut out all the leaves, using children’s scissors. Next, have your child write the name of a mother on a leaf, along with a sentence summarizing that person’s mothering experience. Next, make a hole in each leaf, pull a 6-inch piece of string through each hole, and tie a loop at the top of the leaf.

    Step 4.  Invite your child to make a tree on construction paper or decorate a small tree in your yard or home with all of the handmade leaves.

    Have fun!

    “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.”
    —Oliver Wendell Holmes

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  2. Starting a Valentine’s Day Family Tradition for A Lifetime of Memories

    Valentine’s Day is steeped in customs and traditions, some dating back to England during Chaucer’s day. In England, for instance, it was believed to be a bad omen for young women if they tracked snow into the house before February 14. This would apparently make it unlikely for them to meet their valentine any time soon.
    Similar to an old Roman tradition, boys used to write girls’ names on papers and put them in a jar. The boy would then draw one of the girl’s names and wear that name on his sleeve. Hence the expression, “Wear your heart on your sleeve.”

    Spread the love…

    Perhaps you and your children are already making Valentine’s cards for each other, but consider this:

    Hospitals and nursing homes. Give your children a variety of paper, foam sheets, glitter, glue, crayons, colored markers and stickers to create handmade Valentine’s Day cards or crafts for people in nursing homes or hospitals. Your family can go together to deliver the cards and crafts, after getting the “okay” to do so from the facility.

    Neighbors. Create a “love bucket” filled with special treats such as candy or cookies to give to a neighbor, and then invite the neighbor to continue the tradition.

    Secret Valentines…

    Before Valentine’s Day, have family members place their name in a hat, and then have each person draw a name from the hat – a “Secret Valentine.”

    In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, each family member secretly does something nice every day for his or her “Secret Valentine,” without revealing who they are. For example, make your Valentine’s bed while they’re showering, do their chores while they’re away from the house, hide secret notes under their pillow, tuck surprise presents in a pocket or lunchbox or shoe.

    At a special Valentine’s meal, everyone reveals his or her identity.

    Send “love letters”…

    Each year, write a “love letter” to each child, saying how much you love and appreciate him or her. Drop the letter into the mail a few days before Valentine’s Day. Save the letter after your child has read it. When your child is older, return all the “love letters” you have saved. Your child can carry on the tradition by writing (or dictating) their own love letters to their siblings and parents.

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to create wonderful new memories for the family. Get together, get creative and get started!

    Source(s):

    http://www.familyfunshop.com/valentinesday.htm

    http://www.suite101.com/content/fun-family-valentines-day-games-and-activities-a93742

     

  3. Yummy and Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

    When thinking of Valentine’s Day, we often think of a heart-shaped box containing sinfully delicious chocolate truffles, or chocolate filled with caramel, or other delectable. While it tastes good on the lips, it’s not good for the hips – even for children.

    According to the Center for Disease Control, currently 16 percent of children are obese. Studies show that early weight problems can lead to diabetes and heart disease, even in childhood.
    How do you show your children love this Valentine’s Day without pouring on the sugar?Consider these fast and healthy treats, many of which you can make with your children:

    • Pink Heart Shake. Blend raspberries, strawberries, mangos, spring water and ice, along with stevia or a drop of honey to sweeten. Serve the shake in individual portions in decorated paper cups, and embellish each portion with cocktail umbrellas for a special touch.
    • Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip. Load red or pink plastic skewers with strawberries, cherries, watermelon and red seedless grapes. Use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to  shape the watermelon, to add to the festive look. Low-fat vanilla yogurt works well as a dip, and strawberry yogurt makes a perfect a Valentine’s Day theme.
    • Chocolate Fondue with Fruit. Melt 1½ cups of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double-boiler (use dark chocolate – it helps blood vessels relax, to lower blood pressure, and has heart-protective antioxidants). Add 3 tablespoons of sour cream and stir until smooth. Prepare fruity treats such as fresh strawberries, banana chunks, apple slices, orange slices, or fresh or canned pineapple. Using a fork, dip the fruit into warm chocolate and eat immediately, or dip and freeze for later (to freeze, place the fruit on wax paper on a cookie sheet).

    This Valentine’s Day, keep the sugar at bay by mixing it up with treats that will keep your
    children’s asking for more — and keep them “in the pink.”

    Source:

    http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Throw_Heart-Healthy_Valentines/

    http://evolvingwellness.com/posts/1024/healthy-valentines-treats-for-kids-straight-from-mother-earth-replacingchocolate-hearts-with-raspberry-love/

    http://www.neighborhood-kids.com/articles/2008/02/mostly-healthy-valentines-treats/

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  4. A Lesson From the Heart That Your Kids Will Love: Ways to Start Saving Early

    Start saving early for your child.A hug, a tickle, a favorite meal – there are countless ways to express your love for your child. Yet perhaps one of the best ways to say “I love you” is to teach your child how to save for the future. But where do you begin?

    For little ones…

    Start with two piggybanks – one for “spending” money, one for savings. Have your little ones select the banks themselves, as well as decorate them. Show your kids how to sort and count coins. Get them to agree to save about one third of any money they receive as gifts. (What’s “one-third” to a tot? Count the coins with them and show them!)

    When there’s a special occasion, have your little ones empty their piggy-bank booty and look for items within their price range. Give them the option to buy something or to continue saving their money – you just may be surprised at their response.
    As they get older…

    Give your children an allowance. Be sure they understand that all of their chores must be done each week in order to receive their allowance. Take them to the bank to open a savings account and, just as when they were younger, get them to agree to save about one third of the money they receive as gifts, allowance or earnings. To jump-start their savings, start them off with, a small amount of money.

    Spend time teaching them how to track their money in a savings deposit passbook (or online), and explain how their money grows by earning interest.

    For children of any age, the road to millions…

    Match whatever amount they save – it’s a fast-track way to save for children of any age. Watch how fast they’ll catch on to saving! Of course, it’s up to you to set ground rules for their savings account – such as “saving for a rainy day” or “not to touch for ten years” or “saving for a particular item” – maybe a tech product or a new pair of shoes.

    Several years ago, a money expert crunched the numbers and found that a 15-year-old could become a millionaire by retirement age simply by investing $2,000 every year for a period of seven years. That’s certainly an incentive for a “not to touch” status for the savings account.

    Practice what you preach…

    Keep a coin bank for yourself as well, since children often emulate their parents. Show your children that you’re also saving, and that loose change can add up to huge amounts.  You can also start saving for your children’s future with a Grow-Up® Plan and a College Plan, both from Gerber Life Insurance Company:

    • The Grow-Up Plan is a whole life insurance policy that protects your child while starting a nest egg for the future. The Plan accumulates cash value as long as premiums are paid. After 25 years, the policy’s cash value will be at least equal to or greater than 100% of premiums paid.
    • The Gerber Life College Plan guarantees payment of the full benefit amount at maturity for college or any purpose, as long as premiums are paid.

    With so many ways to express your love, a lesson in good financial habits is something that your children will cherish for years to come.

    For additional information about Gerber Life Insurance Company products, please visit:  gerberlife.com

    Source:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Getting-Children-Involved-in-Money-Saving-Early

    http://education.ezinemark.com/how-to-effectively-encourage-children-save-money-173584a44a7.html

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    Categories: Saving Money
     
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