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.

You’re Not My Mommy

Raising babies with respect begins with perceiving them as competent, aware individuals rather than cute blobs that are mindless or “half-baked” (no joke — a psychologist used that descriptor in her Psychology Today column).  Perceiving babies as whole people is by far the most rewarding, successful parenting path and is finally now research-proven. Yes, it can be less convenient at times, because it...

Guiding Toddlers With Connection

I am confident that setting limits is not any parent’s favorite way to connect with a child. Not any parent I know, anyway. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about denying our children’s requests, limiting their behavior, or trying to gain cooperation when they resist. And yet, negotiating these challenging moments is the key to guiding our kids effectively. When we are connecting genuinely, respectfully, and...

What Children Know (And Might Hurt Them)

“Children both know more and learn more than we ever would have thought,” notes psychologist and infant brain researcher Alison Gopnik in her Ted Talk entitled “What Do Babies Think?” She goes on to point out that hundreds and hundreds of studies (along with her own) over the past 20 years support her statement. Pediatrician Emmi Pikler and her protégé Magda Gerber saw proof of infant awareness more than...

No Bad Parents (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

As a fan of Janet’s work and her website, this is a reader comment I come across occasionally: “Oh, great! Another article that makes me feel like a bad parent.” Well, not this article. Nope. This article wants to assure you that nothing Janet writes about respectful parenting is designed to intimidate or humiliate, but only to inform, educate, and to offer readers a shot at a parenting experience beyond their...

Parenting and Triggers: Wounds of the Past (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

In a recent post, I suggested some “dos” and “don’ts” for setting limits confidently that included: Do recognize that your child is highly aware, but also small and unthreatening, and that you are big, mature, and experienced. Our children can seem gi-normous at times, but a more realistic perspective will help us recognize that a child is neither a peer nor an ogre. There’s nothing he or she can...

Be the Grown-up Your Child Needs

“…we have a duty and obligation to fully inhabit the grown-up role to the best of our ability. This might require being present with our uneasiness or discomfort about our children’s anger toward us. But we shouldn’t avoid those unpleasant feelings by abdicating the bigger need they have – for us to lovingly Captain the ship, steering them through storms as well as calm waters.”                ...

Help, My Toddler Can’t Play Without Me!

“The inability to play independently inevitably increases the child’s sense of dependence on the adult. Conversely, independent activity allows him to experience autonomy.”  – Éva Kálló and Györgyi Balog, The Origins of Free Play I often hear from parents concerned about their child’s inability to play alone. They perceive their child as either extra-needy, too “attached” or too social, or just...

When Parents Invade Childhood (A Lesson in Distrust)

Trust is essential to raising capable, happy, self-confident children. Belief in our children’s competence is vital to their sense of self-worth and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And yet, trusting kids to handle even the most benign, age-appropriate situations is sometimes difficult for parents.  What are we so afraid of? This is the question that came up for me when Karen shared this discouraging...

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