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Health & Parenting

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Kelly Ripa’s Mom Survival Strategies

5 Tips Parents Need to Know

2. “Pace yourself on the guilt.”

None of us is perfect -- and that includes parents. “I’m a flawed parent, but I work hard,” Ripa says. “I feel for all parents, because we’re all learning as we go.” In other words, put in the time with your kids; offer them your very best guidance, but understand that you will make mistakes. And if you acknowledge and learn from your missteps, your kids will, too.

3. Call Your Mom.

Many working moms find themselves isolated in the home-to-office-and-back daily dash. So make the time to reach out for been-there, done-that words of wisdom. “My mother and I are very different … but I call her all the time for advice!” Ripa says.

Just as important as listening to older parents who’ve been there is finding support from those who are going through it with you at the same time. “Try to find a support group – friends -- who share similar philosophies when it comes to raising kids” in the challenging era of iPods, the Internet, and instant-messaging.

4. “Have more patience.”

Ripa means with your children -- and yourself. While it’s easy to lose your temper when you child is, say, throwing a grade-A tantrum at the grocery store, try to step back, take a deep breath, and even laugh if possible. Experts agree: “Even tough situations we face with [our kids] can ultimately be very, very funny. So be ready to have a good sense of humor,” says WebMD child health expert and pediatrician Steven Parker, MD.

5. Kids are consistency junkies.

Children like reliable routines -- and Ripa’s kid’s thrive by knowing what to expect from their parents, and what they, in turn, expect from them. “Listen, I run my family like a cruise ship. ‘Shuffleboard at 5!’” she jokes. “Everybody knows exactly what’s happening, all the time. And my house is like the CDC. I’m all about containment. We keep things really clean, really neat. The rooms are hydrated with humidifiers …. [and] it’s prevention, prevention, prevention: We do supplements, probiotics, you name it.”

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