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10 Secrets of a Happy Childhood

2. Turn "No, I Can't" into "Yes, I Can!"

When your child knows you have an unwavering belief in him, he feels he can accomplish anything. "It's the ideas in a child's head, what he says to himself, that matter most," says Mac Bledsoe, author of Parenting with Dignity (Alpha Books). "So it's up to parents to orchestrate a choir of affirmation." When Bledsoe's son, Drew, was in junior high, his coach told the boy that he had no talent for football. "Don't ever allow anyone that much access to your goals and dreams," Bledsoe counseled his crestfallen son. Today Drew plays professional football for the Buffalo Bills.