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Ditching Self-Doubt

Still feel bad about yelling at your child last week? Every mom feels guilty sometimes, but there's good reason to cut yourself some slack. "Obsessing about past mistakes  -- or worrying that you'll make one  -- just leads to anxiety, tension, and unhappiness," says Mark Leary, Ph.D., author of The Curse of the Self (Oxford University Press). To let go:

View yourself through your child's eyes. He cares less that you bought (instead of baked) the class party's goodies and more that you were there for him.

Ban the blame. Did your child fall off the playground swings on your watch? Beating yourself up won't change it. And he needs your full attention now.

Don't look (too far) ahead. Yes, your child may get homesick at a sleepover. And so? If he does, you'll pick him up early! No need to lose sleep now.

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