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Successful Parenting
New NIH Booklet Offers Guidance Based on Research
by Mary Sullivan

Being a parent is an adventure. It's one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences in life – and one of the toughest. Even the most conscientious parent can feel overwhelmed when faced with unexpected challenges. New help is available in the form of an easy-to-read booklet from the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Developed from over three decades of research by NICHD on parenting and child development, Adventures in Parenting: How Responding, Preventing, Monitoring, Mentoring, and Modeling Can Help You Be a Successful Parent suggests ways to include these sound parenting practices in your day-to-day parenting. The booklet is intended for people of every background who are raising children, from first-time parents to grandparents.

"Parenting is the most important job in the world," says Dr. Duane Alexander, director of NICHD. "Adventures in Parenting explains what we have learned from parenting research and shows parents how to put this research into practice."

The publication's basic premise is that parents really matter. That's why parents need to take an active approach to child raising. You do not have to be perfect to do a good job. Successes and mistakes are a part of being a parent. But there are some general principles you can follow to become a more effective, consistent and attentive parent.

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