Parenting may be the toughest -- and the most fulfilling -- job you'll ever do. Whether you have a baby on the way, a teen on the way out, a toddler, a preschooler, a school-ager or a house full of kids of all ages, read on to learn about critical development stages, fine-tune your parenting style, and find answers to your toughest parenting questions.
How Do You Parent?
There are as many approaches to (and controversies about) parenting today as there are junior members of the Jolie-Pitt household. The bottom line is this: Trust your instincts and follow these basics for raising healthy, confident kids.
Rx for Hot-Button Issues
Ah, if only kids were born with instruction manuals. That way, whenever an issue arises -- from a diagnosis of autism to a problem with bullying -- moms and dads could just skip to the "Troubleshooting" section and find the answers they need. Without such a guide, there are lots of resources for common parenting challenges. Click through to learn about some of them.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has made frequent headlines in recent years, as experts have come to understand that what once might have been dismissed as fidgeting and forgetfulness -- among other symptoms -- is really a cluster of specific behaviors and learning issues that likely result from a problem in the brain. Experts aren't sure what causes ADHD, but a variety of effective treatments are available, including medication.
The term "autism" is shorthand for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) -- a group of disabilities that affect how a child learns, communicates and behaves. These disorders include Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders. The cause of ASDs is unknown (although the myth that vaccines bring on autism has been debunked), but the more researchers learn about this confusing cluster of disorders, the better the treatment options for autism become.
These days, a bully is as likely to be a girl as a boy, and the "beating" can be emotionally harmful as well as physically. In fact, thanks to technology, a bully can hurt others without even being in the same room -- a practice known as cyberbullying. Bullying has become so invasive that parents need to be aware of the signs that a child is being bullied and open to the possibility that their kid is picking on others. Either way, strategies for coping exist.
Just like adults, children can develop mental and emotional problems. Anxiety is surprisingly common in kids: As many as 20 percent of children have some sort of anxiety disorder. Lots of kids also suffer from depression -- a condition that's often mistaken as typical moodiness. The good news is mental and emotional problems are treatable. If you suspect your child is in distress, talk to your pediatrician right away. Even if it's just a simple case of the blues or the blahs, it's better to know for sure.
Make Time for YourselfPrevent burnout
Stop Helicoptering3 ways to teach kids to be self-reliant
The average number of hours kids ages 8 to 18 spend on screen media daily
Kaiser Family Foundation
Bonnie Harris, MS Ed
What are some different parenting styles?
There are two broad extremes: the parent who has a hard time saying "no" (parent A) and the parent who has a hard time saying "yes" (parent B) . . .
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Garden Taco Salad
Even picky eaters will wolf down this Southwestern-style salad. Plus, you can have it on the table in the time it takes an 8-year-old to finish his math.
Whether at school, on the Web or in a text, bullying can lead to tragedy. Take our quiz to learn how to know if your child has a bully problem.
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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect one in 88 children, not one in 110 as previously thought. That means the condition is being diagnosed about a thousand times more often today than it was 40 years ago. Is autism really increasing (exploding might be a better word) or are doctors just more sensitive to signs of the problem . . .
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What am I doing wrong?
Toddler Bed vs. Mattress on the Floor
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