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10 Secrets of a Happy Childhood

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5. Create a caring team.

Parents may wish to seek teachers, coaches, clergy and others to round out their child's hip-hip-hooray squad, says Dr. Hallowell. Your child's friends are also a big part of this caring network; so welcome them into the fold. Doing so helps your child maintain and nurture the bonds of friendship -- a crucial skill since the ability to forge strong relationships is an important indicator of future happiness, says Liza Bonin, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

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