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  • Stop Being a Micromanaging Mom

    Learn how to raise independent kids and stop micromanaging their every move

    By Deborah Skolnik


    You finish your child's puzzles. You solve his spats. Heck, you'd cut his applesauce if he asked. It's time to stop being a micromanaging mom. Help has arrived…It's a bird! It's a plane! No, wait… it's you, the Helicopter Parent. That shadow over your kid? It's yours-as you nervously bend over him in his bed, making sure his chest is still rising and falling. That droning noise? It isn't chopper blades, it's you again, on the phone to his preschool teacher, complaining that he said some kid cut him in line. Before that, you were busy wiping his butt, even though he does it on his own at Grandma's house.

    Sound familiar? You've got tons of company. Like, for instance, Joy Schoffler of Austin, TX. "My three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Isabella, will ask to be carried down the stairs," she admits. "She sees me holding her brother and wants to be picked up, too. Of course, Tyler

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  • Why Women Lie to Their Kids

    One mom explains why parents lying to their children is nothing new--and why it won't stop any time soon
    By Janene Mascarella

    Smell that? Yeah, it's my pants on fire. After becoming a mom, I also became something surprisingly sinister: a liar. And, boy, did I get good at it. I can whip up a nifty half-truth to head off a kid (or hubby) meltdown without batting an eyelash. I can only shrug and look up for lightning.

    One trip to the pediatrician's office spawned a web of lies. In the waiting room, I told another mom how wonderful and easy breastfeeding was. And I quote: "It was bliss from the beginning." Gag. Why did I even say that? Truth be told, it sucked-literally and figuratively. Then I crossed my fingers behind my back and told my son it was just a quickie checkup (whoops, shot day!). To create the ultimate untruth grandslam, I flat-out lied to the doctor about my daughter's early dental care-"Why, yes, I do brush that one tiny little baby tooth every morning

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  • The Most Popular Baby Names of All Time

    We reveal the top baby boy and girl names from the last 100 years for picks with timeless appeal

    By Melisa Coburn
  • Valentine's Crafts for Kids

    Make your own homemade valentines this year with these easy, DIY Valentine's craft ideas kids will love

    By Desiree Browne and Kate Goodin
  • How to Raise the Next Steve Jobs

    What makes a child grow into a brilliant adult? Here's how to recognize the genius in your child (hint: take some advice from Steve Jobs!)

    By Christina Vercelletto
    The next Steve Jobs?The next Steve Jobs?
    From Mozart in the womb to Chinese lessons in preschool, there are many parents eager to give their kids a jump-start on the sort of smarts our modern-day lifestyle equates with success. Sure, we talk about too much pressure, overscheduling, test stress, why can't kids just be kids anymore, dang it. But few of us are immune to the competitiveness that seems to have gripped every playground and preschool birthday party in America. Board games that boost brain power

    Foreign languages are the new ABC's, kindergarten is the new second grade, 90 is the new 80. "I remember sitting in a play area with another mom when my son was a toddler. The other mom was crowing: 'My child knows the whole alphabet. She can count to twenty,'" recalls Kimberly Brenneman, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Rutgers

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  • Sweet Rides: The Best New Cars for Families

    Check out the smartest, tech-iest family cars hitting the carpool lane this year.

    Chevrolet TraverseChevrolet TraverseChevrolet Traverse

    By the numbers: Three rows, up to eight seats, 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway

    Carpool 2.0: Sliding second-row seats that children as young as 7 can operate. Play tunes on your smartphone through the sound system using wireless Bluetooth.

    Mommy, I can do it: The seat belts are easy for kids to snap themselves into.

    No sticky seats: The cup holders can accommodate juice boxes and sippy cups.

    Price: From $29,510;

    Plus: 11 Car Seat Safety Rules You Probably Broke Today

    Chrysler Town & CountryChrysler Town & CountryChrysler Town & Country

    By the numbers: Three rows, seven seats, 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway

    Chuck E. Cheese on wheels: Upgrade to get two nine-inch screens with Sirius Backseat TV and game connectors.

    Know when to fold 'em: Press a button and the third-row bench seat folds into the floor.

    Mudroom on the move: When the second-row seats aren't folded away, the space

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  • Doctors urge parents to get bumpers out of cribs

    © jirkaejc for Veer© jirkaejc for VeerNew guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say bumper pads have no place in cribs, according to the latest safe sleep recommendations

    By Melanie Monroe Rosen

    Bumper pads should never be used in infants' cribs, according to new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This recommendation, issued as part of an updated and expanded set of guidelines on safe sleep and SIDS prevention for babies, is the first time the AAP has officially come out against the use of crib bumpers. According to the AAP, there is no evidence that bumpers protect against injury, but they do carry a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment because infants lack the motor skills or strength to turn their heads should they roll into something that obstructs their breathing.

    Plus: The Complete Guide to SIDS Prevention and Research

    When the AAP issued its last policy statement on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 2005, it recommended using

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  • Tori Spelling struggles with working mom guilt

    John Russo for ParentingJohn Russo for ParentingShe misses poopy diapers, wants more QT with hubby Dean, and worries about screwing up her kids, Liam and Stella. For celebrity mom Tori Spelling, life outside the spotlight is the real reality show. Plus: Check out behind-the-scenes video footage from the photo shoot!

    By Ana Connery

    As I turn onto Tori Spelling's street in a nice-but-nothing-crazy-extravagant suburb of Los Angeles, I wonder if I'm in the right place. The tree-lined road seems so, well, normal. No over-the-top mansions or armed guards at the gate. Just a nice terra-cotta home with her signature Old Hollywood glamour decor (blue plush-velvet ottoman, 1940s-style sofa, mirrored cabinets, and black-and-white family pictures in just about every room). Her husband, actor Dean McDermott, opens the door in a T-shirt and shorts, a half-smeared bagel for their son, Liam, in hand. He's gorgeous, I can't lie. Even better looking in person than on TV. But he's easily overshadowed by their 3-year-old daughter, Stella, who walks

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  • Preschoolers on Meds: Too Much Too Soon?

    AlamyAlamySome kids are taking powerful pediatric psychiatric drugs before they can even tie their shoelaces. For some parents, the drugs are a godsend. But experts worry that not enough is known about how these medicines affect developing brains and bodies

    By Kelley King Heyworth

    As the sun rises over Phoenix
    , 4-year-old Shelby wakes. She sleepily uses the potty, dutifully washes her hands, and then accepts a white capsule from her mother, Victoria*. The blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl swallows the medicine easily. "And then she's off-to take care of the pets, play with play dough, and just be Shelby," says Victoria. (*Last name has been withheld.)

    The capsule contains 20 milligrams (mg) of Ritalin (methylphenidate), the prescription stimulant used to calm and focus children wit
    h attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After dinner, Shelby takes more meds-2.5 mg of Abilify and .05 mg of clonidine. The preschooler has been on daily medication since she was 2, when she

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  • 5 things my kids just don't understand

    By Kathryn Young Thompson

    Dear Children,

    You have lived in our house for a long time but I'm starting to think that you might not be acquainted with all that the house has to offer. I'd like to take you on a tour and make a few introductions.

    1. Dresser - Kids. Meet your dresser. Your clothes live inside. I know you're aware that the drawers open but did you know that they can also close? You don't have to be old like a mom to close them either. They are specially designed to be closeable by even the most weak-sauce six-year-old. String cheese does not go in drawers. But clothes do.
    2. Toilet Flushing Handle - I'd like you to meet the flushing handle on our toilet. It's shiny and inviting and it's not there to taunt you with its awesomeness. It's to be used and enjoyed. Some people might think that using the TFH once or twice a week is plenty and I agree with them… if you only use the toilet once or twice a week. If you use it daily or several times a day, you
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