• owning a cookie jar - and keeping it filled.
  • skimming the latest childrearing advice and tossing two-thirds.
  • realizing that generations of kids have survived TV, toy guns, dust, unlocked toilets, and riding tricycles on the grass without a helmet
  • worrying about the next 10 minutes, not 10 years down the road.
  • knowing that some of the best things in a child's life end in "o": Cheerio, Frito, Cheeto, Dorito, Tostito, Spaghettio, Jello, Ho Ho, LEGO, Daddyo, and, yes, Oreo.
  • winging it

Paula with 3/4 of primary source material

About Paula

Paula Spencer is the author of Momfidence! and has collaborated on eight other parenting/pregnancy/health books, including the bestselling The Happiest Toddler on the Block and Bright From the Start. A family-life specialist, she writes the "Momfidence!" column in Woman’s Day and is a longtime contributing editor there and at Parenting and Babytalk. On the other end of the age spectrum, she's also a senior editor at, a new website about caring for aging parents.

She credits her unfashionable lack of paranoia about childrearing to having studied at the feet of the masters, both the tall (Spock, Brazelton, Leach, Sears, Ferber, Karp) and the small (Henry, Eleanor, Margaret, and Page—her own four children). See also: