elevating child care

Problems With Gentle Discipline

One thing I’ve discovered since beginning this blog is how tough it is to come up with general guidelines for a parenting topic that is as specific-to-the-moment as gentle, respectful discipline. I’ve needed to examine and re-examine the effective responses that for me have become second nature. I’ve struggled to explain in words interventions that are so much easier to demonstrate in person.  So I...

The Real Reasons Toddlers Push Limits

Limit-pushing behavior can confound even the most attuned parent or caregiver. Why would our sweet darling throw her toy at us when we’ve just asked her not to, and then add insult to injury by smirking? Is she evil? Does she have a pressing need to practice throwing skills? Maybe she just hates us…  Sensitive, intensely emotional, and severely lacking in impulse control, toddlers often have “unusual” ways...

My Baby Can’t Sit

Hi Janet, Just wanted to share a little story with you: I have a 7 month old son. Since I discovered Madga Gerber’s philosophy through your website he has never been in a Bumbo, Jolly Jumper, ‘seated activity centre’, or any other such device which would place him in a position he couldn’t get into himself, or which would restrict his freedom. A few days ago I was with some new friends who both have...

The Healing Power of a Toddler’s Tantrum

The madness began at snack time, which we offer in our RIE parenting classes once the babies are all mobile and able to sit independently. Participation in snack time is always the children’s choice, and they quickly learn and enjoy the routine. They are requested to sit on the floor at the snack table (or on stools once they’re walking and able to sit at a slightly higher table). We ask them to wipe their...

The Secret to Raising Readers

Readers read because they want to, so the secret to encouraging our children is the same for reading as it is for play, creativity, sports, hobbies, or any other intrinsically rewarding activity. We must put away our agendas. Or, as Maria Montessori might suggest, “follow the child.” Here’s how… 1. Be an observer Following our infants and toddlers means offering plenty of opportunities to read together and...

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