elevating child care

10 Secrets To Raising Less Stressed Kids

A couple of years ago I was driving my daughter home from high school, and she shared something from her Human Development class that day.  The students were asked to draw an illustration of their emotional state. “And mom,” she said, “everyone drew pictures of stacks of books and things like that.  I think I’m the only one who’s not stressed. The only pressure I ever feel is the pressure I put on...

A Toddler’s Grief – A Gift Of Grace

“You’re okay,” is repeatedly told to a child who hurts himself and does not feel okay. I would much rather give the child permission to feel the way she feels and then wait it out. Again the magic “waiting” works, because emotions have their beginning and their end — even tantrums have a beginning and an end.”  Magda Gerber, Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect Eva, the 15 month old toddler...

The Truth About Infant Self-Soothing

Infant self-soothing is often misrepresented by descriptive terms like tough love, crying it out, leaving babies to “deal with it” on their own, and even neglect. Apparently there are people who misunderstand the concept, or use it as an excuse to ignore a child. Perhaps it’s in reaction to those people, real or imagined, that others have wholly rejected the idea, shutting the door on the possibility that...

Should We Stop Babies From Taking Toys? (Another Respectful Debate)

After observing babies playing together for many years now, I’ve learned a lot about infant and toddler socialization and formed some fairly strong opinions. So, when I read a point of view from another professional that I disagree with, it’s hard for me to resist weighing in. Recently, I entered into a mini-debate about toddlers, toys and ownership that I thought worth sharing. The discussion was stimulated by...

The Power Of Play Therapy (And 4 Ways To Encourage It)

The most illuminating example of therapeutic play I’ve heard was one that infant expert Magda Gerber shared. She had been asked to visit a child care center, and while touring the infant playroom with the center director she noticed one of the children holding a spoon and placing the tip at the opening of a baby doll’s bottom. The director also noticed, and she corrected the boy, “No, that goes in the...

These Toddlers Are NOT Sharing

Do a pair of one-year-olds squabbling over plastic hair rollers sound like fun to you? My guess is an unqualified ‘no’, but infants and toddlers define fun, play and learning quite differently than their elders. They approach social situations, even those that turn into minor conflicts, with curiosity and openness. Observing infant and toddler interactions over the years, I’ve learned that babies have volumes...

When Toddlers Scream

hi, janet.  i’m a former actor, current Ph.D. student and mom of a 15-month-old.  your website and your advice have been really inspirational as his father and i navigate early parenthood . . . mostly joyfully, although we get as tired as anyone.  i thought this question might have relevance for your audience, so if you get a chance to consider it, many thanks.  Miles is a pretty easy going kid, and...

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