elevating child care

Unexpected Toy Find!

I’m a play geek. Ever since I first recognized the value of inner-directed free play for young children, I’ve been hooked on providing the environments and materials that encourage it.  Over the last twenty years I’ve observed hundreds of infants and toddlers playing, both my own and the ones who attend my weekly Parent-Infant and Toddler Guidance Classes. Yet I’m still captivated watching them learn from...

Truths About Consequences

“Like many parents, ‘consequences’ is one of my buzzwords. I use it before Emmett behaves poorly. I use it while Emmett is behaving poorly. I use it after Emmett has behaved poorly. I use it with tedious regularity in an attempt to make him understand that some actions have negative outcomes and that those outcomes can’t be magically whooshed away with the wave of a hand.”  – Lynn Messina  While I...

Cutting the Cutesy With Our Kids

Stepping into our children’s shoes (or booties) in order to see their point-of-view helps us to empathize, meet their needs, foster healthy self-worth and a secure attachment. Sensitive observation and reminding ourselves to wait a moment before intervening are effective ways to do that, and sometimes the insights we gather are reinforced by adult experiences that demonstrate to us first-hand the way kids are...

A Secret To Handling Conflicts With Our Kids (From Toddlers To Teens)

It wasn’t until we’d found our place in the absurdly long line at Starbucks that I realized my daughter was mad at me for leaving the house late. I’d mistaken her sullenness for her typical morning lethargy, but when she seemed even quieter than usual I checked in. “Are you okay?” “You had two hours to get ready!” she scolded in a stage whisper. “I’m sorry,” I replied, a tad defensively. Her...

The Glorious Freedom of a Capable Child

My favorite part of blogging are the stories parents and caregivers share with me from all over the world. While the details are always slightly different, the stories usually begin with a common experience: feeling dissatisfied, frustrated or unsuccessful, they sought answers. And just like me way back when, they didn’t really know what they were looking for – just something that felt right. They somehow...

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