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  • Weird Baby Symptoms

    Mom holding baby
    Your baby may have a lot of weird symptoms in the first few months. We'll tell you whether you need to worry about any of them.

    By Madonna Behen

    When my twins were newborns, I couldn't help getting anxious about every little change in their health or behavior. Like the time my son's eye filled with yellow goop. "Does he have an eye infection?" I wondered. Even though the doctor said this was nothing to worry about, I was a bit freaked until it disappeared a week later. Babies tend to have odd symptoms during their first six months. "In most cases they're perfectly normal," says Loraine Stern, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine. Check out these quirks that you don't need to worry about.

    The Quirk: Eye Discharge
    Why it's fine: A newborn's tear ducts are very narrow and susceptible to clogging, which causes white or yellowish gunk to collect. The discharge may look like pus, but it's not a sign of an infection unless the white of the eye starts to turn

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  • Worst-Case Scenarios: Classroom Edition

    Dad reading with daughter
    "I love school." Few phrases sound sweeter. Because when your child thrives in his educational setting, he tends to thrive outside it too. That's why initial signs of trouble (complaints about the teacher, behavior write-ups) can press your panic button. We'll help you handle the toughest start-of-school challenges.

    By Mindy Walker

    Your child insists his teacher hates him.
    If class has been in session for a few days, put a watch on the comment and emphasize the positive. After school, ask, "What was the best thing about class today?" not "Did you like Ms. Gray more?" If the objections continue beyond Week 1, set up an appointment with the teacher to discuss your child's concerns, says Sara Leef, an elementary-school counselor in Brookline, Massachusetts. Yes, this can be a hard topic to broach with an educator because it feels so personal, but left unaddressed, "these feelings tend to grow into bigger issues, which can be harder to resolve down the line," Leef explains. Before you

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  • 6 Secrets of Kids Who Rarely Get Sick

    Do you know that neighborhood kid who never seems to come down with anything? Do his parents know something you don't? Probably not, experts say, but put these six habits of healthy kids to use to avoid illness this year.

    By Michelle Crouch for Parents Magazine.

  • Supreme Court Decision ObamaCare: We Should Rejoice Election BloggersBy Sharon Lerner

    Let's call today family day, since all families should be rejoicing about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obama's health care law. I know I am. The law increases coverage for more than 30 million uninsured Americans, including children who were legally denied because they had preexisting conditions. It provides billions of dollars of prescription drug benefits for seniors. It ends lifetime limits on coverage. And it lets us keep our adult kids on our insurance plans til they're 26.

    The only hitch seems to be that the court gave states some wiggle room to not expand their Medicaid programs, which the law had said should include people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level. We'll undoubtedly soon see what that will mean for low-income families.

    Still, to every American who has, is, or was a child: congratulations!

    But as we're breathing a collective sigh of relief (and Republicans are vowing to repeal), we also need to be thinking about why the

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  • Teaching Kids to Stick with It

    Dad and daughter readingYour kid is the perfect age to start building grit so he won't quit.

    By Hagar Scher

    One minute your preschooler is drawing a portrait of the cat, when suddenly he throws his crayon to the floor, "I can't draw paws!" he tearfully explains.

    Obviously, giving up rather than persevering is not something you want to encourage. "The ability to focus and finish a job is a real challenge for a preschooler because he's still learning how to stick with a task," says Susan Newman, Ph.D., a psychologist in Metuchen, New Jersey. Kids this age are just beginning to learn how to rely on themselves. Your job as a parent is to nurture the skills that will help your child transition from helpless to tenacious.

    Encourage Can-Do Spirit
    At this age, skills and abilities vary greatly from child to child, and your preschooler may be feeling the kiddie version of not being able to keep up with the Joneses. "Preschool can be a rude awakening," says Parents advisor Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big

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  • Raise a Good Future Spouse

    Boy helping girlRegardless of their education, career choices, or finances, your kids are more likely to be happy in life if they know how to be a loving, caring partner.

    By Holly Robinson

    We were excited to be meeting our new babysitter, a high-school senior with great references and her own car. As I showed her the house, our 9-year-old son, Aidan, tagged along.

    In the kitchen, I said, "For dinner, you can make macaroni and cheese," and pointed to the box I'd left out for her on the counter.

    The girl paled. "I can't cook."

    "That's okay," Aidan told her. "I'll cook for us."

    That was the moment when I knew my son would make a great husband one day -- the result of a secret master plan I'd been working on for years.

    It started taking shape after I heard Aidan tell a kindergarten buddy, "You can just leave those toys on the floor. My mommy will clean up." His remark set my hair on fire. Never mind the fact that all kids should learn independence and responsibility. Hearing Aidan say that led me to

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  • Father's Day Gifts Kids Can Make

    Father's Day GiftNothing says Happy Father's Day like a homemade gift from the heart! Help your child surprise Dad with one of these super special crafts this year.

    By Taryn Mohrman

    Clay Catchall
    Decorate Dad's dresser with a clay dish that doubles as a catchall for his coins.

    What you'll need: White air-dry clay, wax paper, small rolling pin, water, cooking oil, non-washable ink pad, rubber letter stamps or chipboard letters, cotton swab

    Make it: Knead a piece of clay for a few seconds, then flatten it on wax paper and roll it out so it's ⅛" to ¼" thick. To smooth the surface of the clay, wipe a little water on top and let it sit for about ten minutes. Use your finger to apply a thin film of cooking oil to the surface that you're going to stamp. Ink your stamp and press it into the wet clay. Use a cotton swab to clean up any undesired impressions or excess oil. Mold the edges up to create a bowl or dish and let it dry for two to three days on wax paper.

    Garden Markers
    Kids can make garden steaks

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  • Why Some Kids with Disabilities Can’t Use the Pool

    Ellen Seidman and Son MaxIt's the kind of news that seriously ticks you off when you have a child with special needs, but it's the kind of news that should perturb anyone with a heart.

    By Ellen Seidman

    By March 15, hotels and city recreation centers with public pools and spas were supposed to install or order permanent lifts, or get pool ramps, to make them accessible to kids and adults with special needs; the lifts allow them to transfer from wheelchairs into the water. This accessibility is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The deadline got extended by two months as the hotel industry and Congressional reps resisted. And now, hotels and places with public pools have until January 31, 2013 to comply.

    This means we're headed into one more summer that countless kids and adults around the country won't be able to use their local pools. One more summer when parents will struggle to carry their child with disabilities into the pool because there is no other way, or give up and not go

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  • Alcohol at Little League Games?

    Girl with a baseball batMy two youngest boys (4 and 6) play baseball in a local league. We have played in other leagues and I also grew up at the ball fields. So I have been astonished to see parents drinking alcohol at my son's practices. When I consulted other family and friends, this seems to be more acceptable than not. The league rules state no alcohol, but it is happening in the fields and at the concession stands. Am I being ridiculous for showing concern?

    Dr. Harley Rotbart: Alcohol has no place at Little League -- whether on the bleachers, at the concession stands, or in the parking lot. In addition to setting a bad example for kids, parents who drink are more likely to be inappropriate with their actions and words, and they can display poor sportsmanship. Speak to the league officials and insist on sign placements that clearly state zero tolerance for alcoholic beverages. If the league officials do not comply with your requests, report them to the parent organization (Little League; Pony League;

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  • Discipline Without Screaming

    Angry little girlSometimes it seems that the only way to get kids to listen is to shout. Learn to take it down a few decibels -- and enjoy better behavior in the process.

    By Corinne Garcia

    My boys, who are 3 and 5, always seem to want the things that they know they can't have: cookies for breakfast, a movie at bedtime, flip-flops on a snowy day. When they get the inevitable "no" for an answer it often sends them into a tailspin -- whining, writhing on the floor, and kicking the air. Nothing gets to me more than these spontaneous freak-outs. Don't they understand that if they stay up late watching Shrek they'll be cranky the next day? Before I know it, I'm yelling again.

    How do things go from movie request to scream-fest in seconds? The kids hit one of my triggers, and like many parents, I react by shouting. (If you've never screamed at your children, know that statistically you're one of the few. According to a study in The Journal of Marriage and Family, 89 percent of parents report doing it.)

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