Parenting advice from one of America's favorite experts.

By Dr. Benjamin Spock

Dr. Benjamin Spock has been giving parents advice about raising their children for decades. In this excerpt from his landmark work, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, he shares one of the 19 points he believes are most important for parents to keep in mind about their role in their child's life.

Special time

I like the concept of "special time" as a way to make sure there is at least some quality time every day. Special time is a brief period -- five to 15 minutes is usually sufficient -- that you set aside every day to spend with each child individually. What's "special" about special time is not what you actually do with your child -- you can do a puzzle, take a trip to the store, or just talk together. What's special is that it is your personal, exclusive time together, when your child gets your undivided attention. Special time shouldn't be taken away as a punishment; it's earned simply by virtue of being your child and being loved. It acknowledges the specialness of that child to you, even if you can't always spend time together in the daily hustle and bustle.

Excerpted with permission from Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Revised Seventh Edition, Pocket Books, 1998.

Copyright 1945, 1946, © 1957, 1968, 1976, 1985, 1992 by Benjamin Spock, MD. Copyright renewed © 1973, 1974, 1985, 1996 by Benjamin Spock, MD. Revised and updated material copyright © by The Benjamin Spock Trust

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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