Throughout the year, our board of advisors -- a brain trust of the best pediatric doctors, developmental experts, and educators in the country -- shares the latest thinking about raising happy and healthy kids in the pages of Take charge.
Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world.
Hitting the drive-through when you're too tired to cook doesn't make you a bad parent. If you think something's wrong, chances are you're right.
Just say "No." Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child's school.
When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel.
It's a great way to reinforce good behavior so he's more likely to keep doing it. Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly.
Make praise more effective by letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.
Related Feature: Trust Yourself Give yourself a break. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being.
Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.
Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely. Your toddler's mission in life is to gain independence.
So when she's developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions.
Related Feature: Always Say "I Love You"Love your children equally, but treat them uniquely. Say "I love you" whenever you feel it, even if it's 743 times a day. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time.
You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. Related Feature: Boost Brainpower & Physical Activity Teach your baby to sign.