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Begin early, and connect often. Encourage emotional growth and openness in your children. Never underestimate the power of simply listening, and the security of a hug from Mom or Dad.

Forget the “Dickensian childhood.” Bending our other commitments to nurture our relationships with our children and foster their emotional well-being is nothing more than good parenting. Give of your time, love and energy to your children. They will be happier in the present, and more successful and well-adjusted in the future.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at