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When your son is being excluded on the playground, your instinct is to get him into the game. When you're pressed for time, it seems easier to over-help on the homework. But this year, step back. "Don't jump in to immediately rescue your children," says New York City psychotherapist and mom of four Michelle P. Maidenberg, Ph.D. Unless it's a dangerous or risky situation, letting them fend for themselves fosters independence and boosts self-esteem while freeing up time and energy for you. Their bed may look like the dog made it, but recognize that they succeeded in their own way—and you got a few extra minutes of me-time out of the deal.