The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

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.

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.

  1. Making Time for Quality Time

    October 13, 2021

    Ever feel like you’re spending time for your kids — caring for them, giving them rides, cleaning up after them — but you’re not spending time with them? That’s pretty normal, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Parents of children age 6-12 spend an average of 54 minutes a day actively taking care of their children, but only about 10 minutes playing or reading with them (Source:


    And now with school and activities back in full swing, plus holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, everyone has a full schedule and free time is hard to come by. Let’s talk about a few ways we can spend more time with the people we love 5 to 15 minutes at a time.


    1. Unwind each day

    Take 5 minutes each evening to get together and talk about the day. You could talk to kids as you tuck them into bed at night or sit down for an after-school snack (who doesn’t love snacks?). And if you’re looking for more than one-word answers, try conversation starters like “What was the best thing that happened today?” or “What are you excited for right now?” instead of the usual “How was your day?” or “What did you do at school today?”


    2. Cook and eat together as a family

    This could take more than 15 minutes, but since you’re already prepping dinner and eating, you don’t have to carve out extra time. Plus, you get helpers in the kitchen and kids are more likely to eat meals when they’re involved in the preparation process.


    3. Get crafty with seasonal activities

    Who doesn’t love an excuse to make something? Simple crafts can take just a few minutes. Take a break from screens and get busy with Halloween decorations or painting tree ornaments. Check out this Halloween craft idea here


    4. Take walks

    In the mood for a good conversation? A walk to school, to the store or just around your neighborhood — as long as it’s safe and reasonable — is the perfect time to catch up.


    5. Collaborate on home projects

    There’s always something that needs fixing, cleaning or reorganizing. Knock some items off your to-do list with your family’s help and teach some valuable skills in the process.


    6. Hold a five-minute dance party

    Some days, you just want to let loose. Take turns picking the song and dance like no one (outside your family) is watching!


    7. Start a puzzle

    If you don’t want to commit anyone’s time, that’s okay! One fun way to get the family involved is working on a difficult jigsaw puzzle over the course of a week or two. Start the puzzle, leave it on a table or countertop and let everyone play when they want. You’re working together even when you’re not together!


    There are plenty of ways to make time with your family count, but the most important thing is that you’re making time for each other.


    No matter how you choose to bond with your loved ones, here are some recommendations to get the most quality out of your family time:

    • Respect each other’s time

    You’re busy. Your kids are busy, especially if they’re older and have activities and homework that go into the evening. Make sure you’re not making unreasonable demands on anyone’s time.

    • Keep it consistent

    Catching up for just a few minutes each day goes a long way. The important thing is that you’re making time for one another on a regular basis.

    • Always be present

    You have a lot on your mind, but in the brief time you’re spending with loved ones, put the distractions aside and get back to it later. If it helps, have everyone silence their devices and put them in a basket.

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  2. Life Insurance: Facts vs Myths

    September 27, 2021

    Happy parents playing with their newborn son on bed

    While many of us understand the value of life insurance, millions of families don’t have enough coverage or any coverage at all. In fact, 41 million Americans think they need life insurance coverage but don’t have it (source: LIMRA, 2020).  Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in life insurance has increased. So, what’s the holdup? Many people are concerned about the cost or whether they qualify.

    Since September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, this is a great opportunity to address some common misconceptions about life insurance.

    Myth 1: Life insurance is expensive

    Fact: Premiums cost less than most people think

    According to a LIMRA International survey, cost was the top reason for not getting life insurance. The same survey found that over half of Americans overestimated the cost of coverage by as much as three times the actual cost of Term Life insurance. Especially for young people, life insurance can cost as little as a few cups of coffee.


    Myth 2: I don’t need life insurance right now 

    Fact: Getting life insurance while you’re young can pay off later

    Getting life insurance while you’re young and healthy can help you lock in lower rates. Also, even if you’re not the breadwinner, Whole Life insurance can help family members pay for expenses such as childcare. Not sure if now is the right time to buy life insurance? Check out our article on the different life stages when you should get insured.


    Myth 3: I can’t get life insurance because of my health condition

    Fact: Many life insurance policies do not require medical exams

     In most cases, adults can get term life insurance without taking a medical exam* and those between age 50 and 80 automatically qualify for Guaranteed Life Insurance regardless of health.

    *Gerber Life Term Life insurance requires a medical exam for those age 51 and over and who apply for more than $100,000 in coverage.


    Myth 4: I have life insurance through work, so I don’t need more coverage

    Fact: Many employer-sponsored policies don’t provide enough coverage

     Most employer-sponsored life insurance policies don’t offer enough benefits and you lose your coverage when you change jobs. Many employers’ life insurance can only offer a fraction of what your family may need which is why a supplemental life insurance policy could be the right choice for you.


    Myth 5: Getting life insurance is complicated

    Fact: You can get coverage online, often in minutes

    These days you can go online to get a quote almost instantly and you can get approved for coverage the same day.


    Questions? Ready to get insured? Call 1-800-704-2180 to speak to a Gerber Life Insurance specialist.


    WB-47 (0921)

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  3. Life Insurance Facts We Wish We Learned in School

    August 10, 2021

    family playing in pool

    If you’re an adult, you can relate: there’s so much in life that we wish we learned in school, especially when it comes to money. Whether it’s managing a budget or saving for retirement, #adulting means we either figure things out on our own or call mom and dad (trust us on this: we’re never too old to ask our parents for advice).


    Since we didn’t get these lessons in the classroom, here’s a crash course of topics we think should be taught in school along with reading, writing and arithmetic.


    Help with unexpected expenses*

    Here’s the deal: you should be putting money away for retirement whenever you can. But did you know that life insurance can be part of your savings strategy? You’d choose whole life insurance, which is designed to last for life, unlike term life insurance, which provides coverage for a set number of years. Whole life policies build cash value that grows over time and you can take loans against to help cover emergency expenses. While it’s always good to have a dedicated retirement fund, the cash value can come through in a pinch.

    *Policy loan interest rate is 8%. Loans may impact cash value and death benefit.


    Ways to use life insurance

    There’s no one right reason to get life insurance. People have traditionally used life insurance as a way to cover final expenses, but the payouts can be used for any purpose that fits your family’s needs or your stage in life. For example, some want the benefits to pay for homes, childcare expenses or college tuition. Term life insurance is useful in this case since you can choose a term that keeps you covered until the house is paid off or the children are grown. Others see life insurance as a way to leave something for their children or grandchildren — whole life insurance works here since it doesn’t expire. What you want to do with the benefits can help you choose the kind of life insurance and the coverage amount you may need.


    Tax benefits of life insurance

    Here’s the good news: in most cases, beneficiaries don’t have to pay taxes on life insurance benefits. So if you have a $100,000 policy, your beneficiary should get all $100,000 as long as the payout is made as a single payment. You should speak to a financial advisor, though, since estate and inheritance tax laws can vary by state.

    There’s a lot more we want to cover, but these are the basics we think everyone should know. It’s never too late to start learning and life insurance specialists at Gerber Life are just a phone call away (and there won’t be a pop quiz!). You can always count on us to help you get through this adulting thing. Keep an eye on this blog for more financial tips you (probably) didn’t learn in school.

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    Categories: Saving Money
  4. Crash Course on the Cost of College

    July 7, 2021

    It might not happen this summer, but it’ll sneak up on you before you know it: you’ll be helping your little one get ready for college. Don’t worry, you won’t have to start packing the family car just yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to pay for college.

    Kids grow up fast and the cost of college — not just tuition, but also room and board, books and other expenses — is rising. Thinking ahead and having a plan may help you avoid the sticker shock.


    As a guideline, we’ve compared a handful of current average costs between both public and private universities, based on research from the College Board conducted in 2020. These comparisons may help you to plan and budget for your child’s college education more easily:

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    Categories: College Planning
  5. Family-Friendly Summer Activities on a Budget

    June 4, 2021

    Summer is time for stepping outside, getting away and having fun. But keeping the entertainment budget under control can be a challenge. There’s a good chance your children’s wish list includes trips to pricy theme parks or destinations that’ll involve hotel stays and travel expenses.


    So many summer amusements come with a hefty price tag. What’s a parent on a budget to do? First, maintain the healthy mindset that summer family fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Next, look around your neck of the woods for activities and events that are free or low cost. These summertime ideas encourage family fun without a budget blow-out.


    1. Visit the library for fun and games

    Local libraries have always been a terrific source of free summer entertainment. The children’s section may feature age-appropriate books, CDs, and DVDs, as well as puzzles, board games and computer games. You can also find activities geared to kids like storytime, arts and crafts, sing-alongs and puppet shows. After a fun day with your children at the library, you may be able to use your library card to take home a free or low-cost movie that the whole family can enjoy.


    2. Make a picnic or go to an outdoor event

    Picnics in the park have been a summer mainstay for generations of families. Free or low-cost activities may feature summer plays, including Shakespeare productions in some communities, movies under the stars or other free amenities such as playgrounds, ball fields and community pools. If your little ones are competitive, you can hold mini-Olympic-style games at the park. Let your child run, jump and throw and award medals to celebrate. You can use items around the house like hula hoops and pool noodles to mark boundaries.


    3. Learn about hometown history

    Many cities and towns have small museums celebrating local history that are free or low cost. They may honor statesmen, war heroes, writers, film stars, other notables, an event in local history or a specific topic like lighthouses or toys. Children can get a history lesson and be entertained, while parents enjoy the nostalgia or expand their community knowledge. Before you head out, be sure to check the days and hours of operation.


    4. Take a family bike ride

    Another idea for family fun on a budget is to take a ride together along a bicycle path free of motor traffic. Whether paved, gravel or dirt, these paths offer a way to get outside and experience your surroundings from something other than your car window. Be sure to stay safe by wearing helmets, observing the rules of the road, and being mindful of others on the trail.


    5. Make your own scavenger hunt

    Create your own adventure and bring out the explorer in your child. Make a checklist of things to look for — plants, bugs, rocks, whatever you like — and set a time limit. You can do it at the park, backyard, or your neighborhood. Be sure to remind the little ones to respect private property, stay on marked trails and point, but not touch the items they find.


    6. Build a backyard obstacle course

    Kids love watching “ninja” shows on TV. Why not let them get in on the fun by building their own obstacle course with household items like cardboard boxes? Be sure to double check obstacles to make sure they’re safe and all activities are supervised to avoid serious injury.


    7. Grow your own garden

    Celebrate the summer by enjoying the season’s most colorful fruits and vegetables—right in your backyard! Don’t have the space? Head over to a local farm and spend an afternoon picking from an assortment of fresh options. Though be careful how much you pick because you might end up with an expensive haul. Avoid the sticker shock by setting limits on how much you’ll take home before you start picking.


    8. Rainy day activities

    You’re going to get your share of summer storms, but a rainy day doesn’t have to be a downer if you’re prepared. You can find simple but fun craft ideas like paper airplanes, homemade kites like this one or bird feeders. When it’s nice outside again, your little ones can take their creations outside. And what child doesn’t love building a pillow fort? It takes creativity plus some pillows, bedsheets, and couch cushions to create a whole new world in your living room. Once complete, the fort is a great space for games and storytime. Just make sure to stress to your children the importance of cleaning up!


    One last thing: whatever activity you and your family decide on, don’t forget about safety. When you’re headed out, be sure to pack:

    • Sun protection: sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses
    • Drinking water
    • First aid kit