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Kids: Don't Leave Home Without Them

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Barbara Aria

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When one of her former college professors recently invited Stacey Greenberg, 34, and her husband to a party - and suggested they bring their two young children along - Greenberg hesitated. "Her house is filled with artifacts," says the Memphis mother. "But we brought our kids, and it was a comedy of errors." Greenberg's 1-year-old kept running up and down the stairs. Her 3-year-old dropped a folk-art bird. "It broke into a million pieces," Greenberg recalls. "The whole thing was so stressful, we just left. I felt like I had failed."

Mishaps like Greenberg's can make you wary of taking kids along on any adult outings. But these trips can be rewarding for every member of the family, and actually offer important benefits for your child: Going to grown-up events makes children feel special, exposes them to new experiences, and teaches them how to cope and thrive in unfamiliar situations.

First piece of advice: Relax. If you're stressed, your child is likely to pick up on that and be stressed, too. "We parents worry too much about what other people think," says Trintje Gnazzo, 34, a Winchester, MA, mother of two who often takes her toddler and preschooler to grown-up events. "The less I worry, the more fun we all have." And a little preparation never hurts. Here's tried-and-true advice from insider experts and real moms on how to take kids anywhere.

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