12 Worries Not to Stress Over

Stranger Danger

"I'm a working mom, and I'm afraid my toddler likes his sitter better than me."

It's normal for the guilt you feel about leaving your child behind every morning to turn into jealousy toward your caregiver. But it's not rational. "Even if you only spend an hour with him every day, he'll love you like no one else," says Betsy Brown Braun, author of You're Not the Boss of Me. Make the most of your time together by putting away your cell phone, saving the e-mail for later, and giving your son your undivided attention.

"I'm scared my daughter might get molested by a stranger."

The media tend to play up cases of childhood sexual abuse by an unknown assailant, but they're rare. About 90 percent of cases involve a family member or someone your child knows and trusts, says Whitney Gabriel, a spokesperson for the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute, in Atlanta. Teach your child never to go anywhere with someone she doesn't know (even if that person claims you said it was okay). Minimize situations in which she's alone with an adult in a nonpublic place, and when that's unavoidable make sure you drop in unexpectedly. Explain to your child that nobody except Mommy, Daddy, and her doctor at a checkup has the right to look at or touch her private parts and that she should let you know right away if anyone does.

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