elevating child care

Parenting ideas that fly.

I am Janet Lansbury. Welcome to my blog. As Janet Julian, I acted and modeled for many years, but it wasn't until I became a mother and sought guidance from infant expert Magda Gerber that I found my life's work: parent education. Since 1994, I have enjoyed teaching RIE parenting classes in Los Angeles.



I have also been a presenter at early childhood conferences, written infant/toddler parenting articles, and served on the board of directors of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE). Raising a child is one the most important and challenging jobs we will ever have. It brings a considerable amount of joy. It can also be confusing, discouraging and haphazard. My goal is to provide clarity, inspiration (and maybe a smile or two) by sharing insights I've gained through my parenting classes, my experiences as a mother, and studies with my friend and mentor Magda Gerber. This blog is dedicated to her memory.

Don’t Help This Child

Compassion is one of our most positive human instincts, and we parents have an abundance of it for our kids. There’s almost nothing most of us wouldn’t do to ease our children’s pain, prevent struggles, and clear away confusion. We just want to make life work for them.  So, it was a big “Ah-ha” for me when I discovered through my training with child specialist Magda Gerber that our well-meaning support...

How to Talk to Your Newborn

Just do it. Talk to your newborn, even your preemie, especially your preemie in the NICU. Speak to her authentically, honestly, slowly, and in simple language about the real things happening to her and in her immediate world. Respectfully inform her a bit in advance about events, changes (like being picked up or placed down), and uncomfortable or new experiences. Acknowledge the sights and sounds in her...

Your Presence is Enough

Young children can make us feel insanely popular. Their relentless requests for our attention begin at birth, and we remain in high demand throughout the toddler, preschool, early grade school years. Our ranking on the Popularity Scale then takes a sharp dive during adolescence, and it tanks miserably in high school. By college we’re lucky if they take our calls. (Ouch. That one hits too close to home.) Meeting...

Surviving Sibling Struggles

A parent recently posed this question in a Facebook discussion group: Why do older siblings sometimes hurt younger ones? Take toys from them? I don’t really understand… I commented: The question for me: why wouldn’t they? The younger child ripped the older one’s life apart. It is natural for the older child to want to control, dominate, and take out frustration on this person that rocked their...

The Key to Cooperation (How to Stop Reacting and Start Connecting)

Acceptance is the one of the most loving gifts we can offer another human being, and it is especially crucial in our relationships with children. From the moment they are born, our children are receiving formative messages from us about their worth, their place in the world and in our hearts. To develop a sense of security and self-confidence, they need us to at least attempt to accept, acknowledge, and understand...

Outdoor Play Spaces

As a self-professed child-directed play fanatic, the only thing I value more for children than safe “yes” spaces are places they can safely and freely explore outdoors. I’m definitely with child specialist Magda Gerber on this one: “Babies thrive out-of-doors. They sleep better, eat better, look better, play better, and learn better. Fresh air both soothes and stimulates. I always tell parents how much more...

3 Reasons Kids Don’t Need Toilet Training (And What To Do Instead)

As a parenting teacher and writer, my intention is to support, encourage, and answer questions. So I feel a teensy twinge of guilt when I’m asked for advice about toilet training, and my response is, essentially, don’t. Children don’t need adults to train them to use the toilet. They do need attuned, communicative parents and caregivers to support and facilitate the toilet learning process, a process that is...

Play Space Inspiration

Observing our children’s self-directed play helps us to understand them, become more empathetic and attuned, and it is the key to finding more joy in day-to-day parenting. These benefits (and more) are the reason I’ve shared so many play-inspired posts and videos. Most have focused on the parent’s role in nurturing child-directed play and the invaluable learning that happens when we do. I’ve shared specific...

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