elevating child care

Parenting Isn’t for the Weak of Heart (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

When it comes to parenting, especially the first time, I assume most people make it up as they go along. We read a few “What to Expect…” books, stock up on baby essentials and listen to advice from other dads, mothers and friends who’ve been there. But for the most part, parenting is one of those experiences we’re never really prepared for. An infant changes everything, and while preparation is comforting,...

I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Baby

The words we choose to express ourselves matter. Language evokes images and carries messages that leave an imprint on society. There are words most of us would never dream of using because they offend or demean others. Why doesn’t this sensitivity extend to babies?  I suppose it’s okay to diss babies because they can’t complain, picket or sue. They have no power. They’re not a major consumer...

Passing On Pacifiers (Thumbs Up!)

In a comedy skit presented at a RIE fundraiser several years ago, actor and RIE supporter William H. Macy (playing a baby clad in diapers and a bonnet) revealed a hidden pacifier and passed it surreptitiously to fellow RIE babies Jason Alexander and Paul McCrane. Out of eyeshot of their imaginary parents, they each took a deep “drag” on the pacifier. In a hushed whisper, Macy admonished Alexander, “Don’t...

Praising Children, Risking Failure

How can something that feels so good be so…not?  A recent New York Magazine article by Po Bronson warns about the perils of praise. In “How Not to Talk to Your Kids”, the author reports findings from a series of experiments conducted by psychologist Carol Dweck and her team at Columbia (she’s now at Stanford) that studied the effect of praise on students in a dozen New York public schools. Children in...

Meet Virginia

My mom died a year ago. A few weeks before that I asked her to promise to send me a sign, a symbolic shout-out — something to let me know she was okay after she left the earth. She was feeling discouraged that particular day.  Her usually upbeat personality, hearty laugh, and glowing optimism were dimmed by her declining strength and the indignities of the final stage of cancer. But she got a visible charge...

In The Toilet

The advice I’m reading on the web about potty training is disappointing, to say the least.  Potty training in 3 days? One day? Tips and tricks? Shouldn’t we have a little respect? Children don’t need to be manipulated with treats and rewards.  Using the toilet is something a child wants to do when he is ready, for himself. It is a natural process that is best led completely by the child with our...

A Baby Ready For Kindergarten, College, and Life

A parent recently asked my advice about choosing a preschool for her son. I responded with my belief that the purpose of preschool is socialization, and that a developmental ‘learn through play’ program is best. She agreed in theory, but admitted she worries about kindergarten readiness. Will a school that does not teach academics provide enough preparation for kindergarten?   This made me think — what...

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