8 Steps to a Happier Family Life
Talking to Your Friends Is Often Better Than Reading Parenting Books
Even experts who have written (you guessed it) parenting books agree. "I believe in safety, consistency, using a car seat properly, and vaccines. Beyond that, much of it is a gray zone," says Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital and the author of Mama Doc Medicine ($13, amazon.com). If you don't have time to find every answer by digging through your bookshelf, schedule dinner or coffee with a friend who has children slightly older than yours. "Pick someone you respect and whose kids behave in a way you appreciate. Use her as a resource," says Race. It might also help to seek out someone whose child has a similar temperament to yours. Advice on how to shepherd a shy kid through her first days of school, say, is best coming from the mother of another introvert.