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The Balance: 4 things American parents get dead wrong about raising kids

As a parenting columnist, I welcome the slew of parenting books that land on my desk. Not only do many prove fascinating, they also help alleviate that “I have nothing new to write about” dread.

But as a mom, I often feel just the opposite. Every parenting book that lands on my desk is likely another rebuke to whatever I think I’m doing right as a parent. Sleep-train your kids (no, don’t!), give them vitamins (no, don’t!), let them run loose in the neighborhood (no, don’t!) — and on and on. Frankly, it’s exhausting.

So when the book “Do Parents Matter? Why Japanese Babies Sleep Soundly, Mexican Siblings Don’t Fight and American Families Should Just Relax” arrived, I felt those familiar mixed feelings of relief (yay, next week’s column!) and dread (please don’t let this book be about some egregious parenting mistake I’ve made!).

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