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© Stephanie Rausser You know the drill: You give your child an ultimatum -- "Get dressed or we're staying home!" -- and naturally she says, "Okay, we'll stay home!" Might as well plant a big "L" on your forehead. We all see our discipline efforts backfire on occasion (hey, you're tired!)
The hardest stage of parenthood is when your children are newborns. All they do is eat and poop and cry and they can't do anything for themselves. You are certain you will never sleep again. The hardest stage of parenthood is when your children are toddlers. They're into everything and eating everything, including everything they're not supposed to eat, and no surface is safe from their grubby, grabby hands.
Photo: Thinkstock One Saturday night last fall, my husband, Dan, and I drove down to Boston from our home in Portland, Maine, for an evening out. We'd gotten a babysitter for our son—a 20-something woman who had watched him occasionally in the summer. She was not a super babysitter or a natural with kids, but she was fine.
© Alexandra Grablewski Living Areas The hazards: Whether your family gathers in a living room, family room, rec room, den or sun room, give yourself a baby's-eye view of hidden dangers by crawling around on all fours. Look closely at your furnishings: Hard corners or edges on coffee and end tables can cause cuts and bruises, while heavy furniture can topple on curious climbers. The fireplace and candles are fire and burn risks, as are electrical cords and outlets.
© Jon Whittle 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.