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How Christina Applegate Stays Healthy and Happy

The actress dishes about 'Anchorman 2,' parenting, and self-esteem.

Help Kids Develop Self Esteem continued...

Parents need to "praise positive behaviors" and "not view their own job as solely being the police." Instead, foster openness and loving conversation -- so a child can explain why owning an item of clothing or tech device is important to them.

Don't start at "no." Negotiate.

"The goal is to get to yes," says Diane E. Levin, PhD, professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston. That's not to say parents should roll right over. "Everything is a process. Talk to kids at their level of development," Levin advises. "Ask a lot of questions, and find out what the child is thinking. Too often, parents get stuck in a thought process of 'danger, danger, danger' without considering how to build the right skills in children to help them negotiate the world. Parents should see themselves as resources, so children feel confident coming to them with their problems and questions. Explain honestly to them why you have misgivings. And then find the compromise that makes them feel as if they've been heard and understood."

Maybe it's not short-shorts, but a cute skirt instead, "one that she picks out," Levin says. Maybe it really is the latest smartphone -- but one set with strict parental controls.

Remember, every child is different.

"Of course, temperament matters," says Berger. "Some children are more mature than others, and some are less responsible." Only you as a parent know what is exactly right for your child. But remember, "kids build their self-esteem through developing interests, becoming better at what they try to do, and discovering resistance and resilience," Levin says. When parents allow their children to test uncharted waters, they "work through new experiences together as a family and then model the right behaviors."

Applegate's Breast Cancer

Applegate, who had a widely reported encounter with breast cancer in 2008 that resulted in a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive plastic surgery, understands the importance of feeling good, inside and out. (Applegate is involved with Right Action for Women, the foundation she created to provide assistance to women at increased risk for breast cancer who don't have insurance or financial resources to cover the cost of screening tests.) For her, it starts with healthful eating and regular exercise -- even if the latter is often tough to squeeze into her schedule.

After her cancer diagnosis, "I did a macrobiotic diet for 4 years," she says. "I'm not [strictly] doing that anymore. I always gave myself days off from it, but -- because I know how it makes me feel -- I try to follow those principles as closely as possible." (The macrobiotic diet consists primarily of healthy grains and vegetables, with beans and legumes lending necessary protein, along with small amounts of fish and nuts.)

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