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I feel like my mother-in-law is undermining my daughter's progress toward independence. Am I overreacting?

My 7-year-old son has started obsessively worrying about everything, from getting sick (which he never is) to earthquakes, bacteria, smoke detector batteries – the list goes on and on. I would love to reassure him and get him to relax.

Multitasking has been glorified while new stresses on working parents sap more energy. Yet the most important jobs – like child raising – can’t be done without our full attention.

For parents and their young children, family mealtimes can be valued as opportunities for sharing each other’s ideas and company. Meals are times for children to experience their own autonomy while being together as a family.

My 9-week-old son cannot get to sleep. He only sleeps for two- to three-hour spans before crying and feeding at night. During the day he hardly naps unless we go for a drive.

On a recent car trip, my nearly 2-year-old son threw "blankie" out the window. He has cried for it. With blankie his world seems complete. Without it, he is a different child. 

When he is frustrated, our 25-month-old boy hits himself or bangs his head. His mother and I don’t know whether this behavior is normal.

We are deeply honored that the National Association for the Education of Young Children is bringing “Families Today” to its website. This column, formerly syndicated by the New York Times, appeared every week in newspapers and magazines around the country and abroad for more than 20 years.