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The 7 Secrets of Successful Parents

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My life has been devoted to children and families—my own, and those I've encountered in my career as a pediatrician. My first baby was born only a few months before I started medical school, and my fifth child arrived seven years later, on the final day of my pediatric residency. These two paths—medicine and motherhood—have been inextricably intertwined; they've often enhanced—and sometimes competed with—one another.

But over the years, as I've helped my own children journey into young adulthood and worked with countless families in my career, I've gained some hard-earned perspective and insights into raising kids. No parent will have all the answers all of the time, but these simple parenting guidelines can help make your time together as a family that much richer.

Marianne Neifert, M.D. is the author of three books, most recently Dr. Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding.