"I'm concerned my shy preschooler won't make friends."
It's too early to tell whether your child's bashfulness is a phase or a permanent personality quirk. Either way, you can help him cope. "Like the ABCs and addition, friendship is teachable," says Michele Borba, Ed.D., a Parents advisor and the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Point out the importance of making eye contact. Coach him to say something nice to a child he meets ("I like your shirt"). Arrange lots of playdates, and don't set the buddy bar too high, having one or two good friends is perfectly adequate.
"I yell at my daughter, and I'm worried she'll grow up to hate me."
Chances are that won't happen, but there is an increased risk that she'll turn into a yeller, since home is where kids learn how to deal (or not) with anger-management issues. When you feel your blood start to boil, moderate your tone in front of your child, says Beverly Engel, a psychotherapist and author of Healing Your Emotional Self. If necessary, go to another room and cool down. When you return, calmly explain why you're annoyed ("I asked you three times to put your toys away, and you didn't cooperate") and name the emotion ("That made me angry"). Even if you've blown up for as long as you can recall, your behavior and your relationship can be repaired.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Parents magazine.