Activities: One for every five years of age, says Dr. Lolita McDavid of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. So a 5-year-old should be involved in one activity at any given time. A Saturday art class, for example. While a 10-year-old can handle two activities (say basketball that meets twice a week and Girl Scouts). A 15-year-old could have three things going on at once. There are exceptions, McDavid says, if you know your child's passion and the child is the one who drives the activity — and you're up for it. But don't force your dreams on your child, and balance it with unscheduled time.
Screen time: 10 hours per week, including TV and computer time. No TV or videos for children under 2 at all, says Dr. John Duby, of Akron Children's Hospital. Make it "destination screen time" by watching TV shows together as a family.
Time out: One minute for every year of age. A 3-year-old should spend three minutes in the time-out chair; a 6-year-old would be six minutes. "When they get up, reinforce why the discipline was used," says Rainbow's McDavid.
Read: Three books a week, or at least 15 minutes at bedtime. Visit the library twice a week and check out three books each time. Reading is one of the best ways to bond with children.
Bond: Use the 10 minutes in the car to and from child care for bonding. Turn the radio off and talk about the day, or sing a song together. It keeps you feeling involved in your child's education and strengthens your relationship, even if you're stressed from working full time.
Well rounded: Enjoy the four seasons. Get outside in all four seasons, and ask your children what they see and how it changes.
Unlimited: "Nothing works like positive reinforcement," McDavid says. "I don't believe you can praise a child too much. Childhood is preparing them for the cold, hard world out there, and I don't think there's anything wrong with making a child feel like they're special. They are special."