elevating child care

The Secret to Setting Limits (Without Bribes or Threats)

Hi Janet, Please help! I’ve recently found your resources and devoured your books, but since I’ve shifted my parenting practices, I feel like everything has fallen to pieces! I’m having to rethink my strategies with my 4-year-old.  Normally bedtime is effortless — a great routine, quality time, and straight down. The only caveat is that I’ve used TV as an incentive and threaten to cancel...

My Holiday Survival Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season to remember that excitement, stimulation, the disruption of daily routines, traveling and social events all tend to bring out the very worst in our young children. So, the holidays are a particularly important time to remember the best piece of parenting advice I have to offer (anytime, anywhere): Consider your child’s perspective.  The early years are an...

Screen Time Studies Parents Should Know About (Guest Post by Meghan Owenz, PhD)

There was an enthusiastic response to one of my recent podcast episodes, “The Facts About Kids and Screen Time,” featuring psychologist Meghan Owenz, where we discussed some of Magda Gerber’s opinions — and mine — about screen time and how Meghan’s research confirms those opinions. Meghan received a lot of feedback from listeners eager to know more, so she offered to expound a bit by sharing an...

Enchanting Child-Inspired Pumpkin Carving

I’m thinking about launching a campaign similar to Nike’s using their slug line, but instead of Just Do It, I’d advocate Just ‘Let Kids’ Do It. Letting kids do it whenever possible, when they want to, opens the door to self-expression and encourages creativity, originality, and innovation. Letting kids do it might sound simple and obvious, but it can actually be quite challenging because as...

Essential Elements of a Baby Bedtime Routine

Peaceful. Participatory. Predictable. These three P’s characterize an infant environment that builds self-confidence and a sense of security. Bedtime is one of the most obvious and important times in an infant’s day to employ these three P’s. Settling a child down for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep can be one of the most difficult and elusive processes in parenting. Establishing consistency is key,...

The Secret to a Great Family Outing

The secret to the most fulfilling outings with children is also the most successful way to approach just about every aspect of caring for them. If you read here regularly, I imagine you can guess that this secret is simply seeing through the eyes of our child, being open to considering an outing from our child’s perspective. Doing this helps us ensure that the special plans we make for our kids are actually...

Fake Crying and Manipulation

Occasionally, something I read from a parent or professional sparks such an intense visceral reaction that I need to drop everything I’m working on and respond. This recent note from Emily got my attention: Hi.  I own a childcare and have a little 2.5-year old girl who “fake cries” nearly all day.  Really, out of the 9 hours that she is with me, 5-8 are spent crying.  Yet she has never shed a tear,...

No Such Thing as Failure

Psychologists and educators generally agree that children need to be allowed to experience failure in order to build healthy self-confidence and resilience. In theory, I wholeheartedly concur and have offered that advice myself, but there is something about the term “fail” that has always bothered me. Failure is an adult perception, reflecting a win-lose outlook on struggle that infants and toddlers don’t...

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