Symbol:                 The Crab
Planet:                   Moon
Element:                Water
Best Trait:              Loyalty
Worst Trait:           Moodiness
Keyword:                I FEEL
Your little baby crab will walk sideways right into your heart because their sense of direction is a little different than the rest of us. The Cancer is never easy to understand. They wear their hard outer shell to protect their soft and delicate inner hearts. You’ll find that the word “moody” is often associated with this temperamental little babe, and rightly so. Out of all the babies in astrology, the Cancer is the one most likely to cry often and hard at the drop of a hat, and then charm you with his contagious laughter and goofy grin moments later.
Here’s one of the most important parenting tips we can give mothers and fathers of a young crab: show loving warmth and encouragement as much as possible. This is a delicate line to walk – the one between showing strong and firm discipline while providing the loving support and soft touch the little Cancer so desperately needs. Did we mention Cancers can cry a lot? He or she will let you know immediately if they have a problem, and so this is a sign that has the highest liklihood of being spoiled. They just demand a lot of attention and it’s hard not to give in. If you are too coldly firm, however, then your little guy will withdraw right back into his protective shell, brooding and sulking for hours. You’ll need to work hard on finding that balance; we just can’t underscore enough how important it is that your Cancer feels loved and safe in his formative years, or else the consequences in his adult life could be dire. Do not reject a young Cancer or he will suffer a crushing blow. They must feel loved, so pour it on with syrup and reassure them constantly.
The strongest influence on a Cancer is his early home life. Really, this could be said for any child, but for the little crab it’s particularly true. It carries a tremendous amount of weight into his adulthood and can really determine his emotional and psychological success later in life. Every action and every word of his parents and siblings is recorded in his busy little brain. He remembers all experiences almost photographically, and his early life impacts him profoundly. He’s ruled by the Moon which we know controls the tides – he will have the same ebbs and flows in his moods. As mentioned already, the young Cancer is often fearful, highly sensitive and “crabby” prompting many crying episodes. But he is also loving, cuddly, intuitive and imaginative. And believe us, this sometimes “cry-baby” is remarkably independent. Their keen imagination and fascinating curiosity gives them the fuel to play for hours alone. Their pursuits are often creative and artistic, and they love bedtime story-telling time. This little tyke runs the gamut of emotions and, although unpredictable, he will wear his feelings on his face quite expressively. Whether contorted with tears, pouting, frowning, or lighting up the room with his gigantic smile – you’ll know pretty quickly where your little guy stands.  Although you may often wish you had just a wee bit more lead time to prepare for his latest mood.
Cancer is a water sign: emotional, changeable and sensitive. In fact, it could be argued that young Cancers even have more emotional needs than Pisces (which is hard to believe!). As we said, he will express those emotional needs, but the real, deep inner needs he often won’t share. He or she is simply too shy and fearful of rejection to go that far with entrusting his deepest needs and feelings. Trust us, though. He just wants love, warmth and adoration. Lots of hugs and kisses! He is so dependent on his family for his emotional needs. Yes, we are beating a dead horse, but if you don’t give him that touchy-feely adoring love and attention, then he’ll stay hard-shelled and aloof into adulthood which can greatly impede productive outcomes for his/her life. Despite this dependency on home life, Cancers are really individualistic and quite capable of being leaders. One thing we know: they are not followers. Consider Alexander the Great. He was a Cancer.
If you don’t over-spoil your little crab, then this little tyke is generally easy to control and discipline. But truth be told: most Cancer youngsters are usually spoiled. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right? And this one is a squeaker. As we said, it’s a fine line you must walk. Just walk by his side – laugh with him, cry with him, cuddle with him, reassure him of your love and assuage his fears. Not only does the Cancer have a fear of rejection, but they also have a whole host of other fears (Cancers are “worriers”). You might need a nightlight for his/her bedroom. Whatever you do, express empathy and validate all of his feelings. Be persuasive with your accolades and let your little crab know he/she is good, kind, smart, funny, beautiful and greatly loved. In turn the child will become a patient, generous, loyal, sympathetic and open-hearted adult. Oh, and the crab doesn’t like to be teased. Try not to tease a Cancer. It’s not that they don’t have a sense of humor (quite the contrary!), but they usually don’t have a sense of humor about themselves. You hit too close to home regarding their fears of inadequacy or rejection.
In school, the Cancer child is usually drawn to the liberal arts. They love history and can recall with vivid detail anything they learn about the distant past. Their memory is amazing, so they usually do well in school. Teachers will, from time to time, complain about their daydreaming or obstinacy. They also have a tendency to exaggerate the truth and tell dramatic fibs. But this is part of that imagination that stimulates their make-believe world.  Another reason why Cancers are also drawn into directing, acting, art, painting and music. Cancers also make great friends. They are loyal and protective of those they love. They generously offer their sympathetic ear and are great listeners. They are charismatic and fun to be around, and display a goofy sense of humor. Cancers tend to maintain friendships lifelong because they nurture them. But if they are treated harshly, they can sometimes lash out cruelly in the same fashion.
Cancer is the most domesticated of all signs. Little male crabs tend to be “Mama’s boys” and the female crustacean will play at length with her dolls, setting up house and preparing for her own role as mother one day. As with the Capricorn, family is everything to a Cancer.  And as with the Sagittarius, a positive early home environment is critical to their well-adjusted adulthood.  Cancers are good with money, which helps provide their need for security as they get older. Encourage them to save their money which they’ll want to do naturally. Cancer is the “money sign” and they typically have a knack for attracting wealth. This is a sign with a strong sense of business mixed in with fun creativity.  Even if they harbor feelings of inadequacy deep inside, on the exterior they are tough as nails. They also rarely admit defeat.
Your best course of action is to heed our advice about their emotional needs and then try and relax. Be firm with your discipline, but be generous with your loving warmth. Avoid being too permissive and pampering, or your young Cancer will be caught off guard by the realities of the harshness of life when it’s time to leave the nest. The world won’t be as attentive to this youngster as Mama and Papa were, so they may be in for a shock in the “real world”. On the flip side, by carefully providing for this child’s emotional needs, you much better prepare him or her for a successful life outcome.  The sign of the Cancer covers the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the daylight is at its maximum capacity. This is symbolic of the Cancerean optimism.
As an empty nester, you’re likely to miss your Cancer child more than the others. Your home will feel vacant and quiet after he crawls away. You’ll even miss those loud, sensitive tears along with his/her silly laughter and quirky sense of humor.  You’ll remember fondly all of his/her many colorful moods that kept the household lively and dynamic. Enjoy them while you can.
Best Traits: tenacious, intuitive, perceptive, protective, supportive, encouraging, helpful, caring and kind, devoted, home-loving, dependable, imaginative, sensitive, self-reliant, compassionate, nicer than everyone else
Worst Traits: Over-imaginative, suspicious, introspective, touchy, moody, crabby, needy, clingy, devious, over-sensitive, self-absorbed, manipulative, possessive, always procrastinating
Recommended Children’s Books for the Cancer Child:  
Children’s Book Author Why?
Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney The Cancer child can never be told enough just how much he/she is loved.
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown Cancer’s ruling planet is the moon. This sweet child will also delight in the ritual of saying goodnight in a special way with his parents.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Judith Viorst The moody little crab needs to be reminded that everyone has bad days, so let’s find the humor in it!
Love You Forever Robert Munsch Cancers are often “mama’s boys” so he and mommy can cuddle up with this love-fest of a book.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Judi Barrett The Cancer has a goofy sense of humor, so they’lll love this hilarious tale of food raining down.
 Kitten’s First Full Moon  Kevin Henkes  This Caldecott Medal winning story about a kitten who mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk will delight the Cancer moon-child.
 Press Here  Herve Tullet  A unique picture book unlike anything else will certainly be enjoyed by the slightly off-beat Cancer child.
 Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  Mo Willems  A Cancer child is likely to benefit from seeing the tactics he/she uses in an effort to get their own way in this humorous book by Mo Willems.
 A Sick Day for Amos McGee  Philip C. Stead  Cancers can be quite nurturing, so they will love this book about Amos McGee’s friends taking care of him.
 Are You My Mother?  P.D. Eastman  A darling little story about a chick in search of his mother. The clingy little Cancer will love it.