elevating child care

Outings

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...

Key Ingredients of the Most Blissful Summer Activities

When my three children were little, summer was always a time to take advantage of looser schedules and to plan special outings and activities. Once they entered grade school, the freedom and fluidity of summer days became even more precious. Though we weren’t in a position to take expensive vacations, we’d go to shows, zoos, the beach, water parks, and sometimes travel across the country to visit grandparents...

How to Enjoy a Beautiful Relationship with Your Toddler (Right Now)

One of my shining moments as a new mother was when a middle-aged woman approached me and my 15 month old daughter at a restaurant to say how much she’d enjoyed observing us delighting in each other’s company. My oldest has always had a penchant for dining out (now an avocation she would love to turn into a profession) and would rise to the occasion even as a baby. Not all kids are like that. But if I hadn’t...

The Secret to Getting out the Door with a Resistant Child

It’s time to go, but our child says no. We’ve tried explaining, coaxing, bribing, scolding. We’ve given choices, played games, filled our child’s cup with attention and quality time. We’ve even tried half-heartedly acknowledging, “I know you don’t want to go, but we must…” All to no avail. Frustration mounts, guilt and doubt seep in… What if she really dislikes her school (we’ve chosen the...

How to Stop Your Runaway Toddler

My 2 year old daughter is running off in public and refuses to listen.  I feel like we have tried everything. I try to be open and patient and allow her to explore, but at times her behavior is dangerous and I worry about her safety. I am at a breaking point. I don’t even want to take her anywhere because it always ends in her running away and me carrying her to the car screaming. Any advice you have on this...

The Powerful Effect of Respectful Parenting for Children With Special Needs (Case Studies from Sandra Hallman)

I’m often asked by parents of children with special needs whether respectful care practices, which are based on trust in our children as competent whole people at birth, can possibly work for them. And if so, how? Based on the feedback I have received from parents and professionals in the field, the answer is a resounding “yes!” But since my own work with families has not included many of these children, I...

When Parents Invade Childhood (A Lesson in Distrust)

Trust is essential to raising capable, happy, self-confident children. Belief in our children’s competence is vital to their sense of self-worth and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And yet, trusting kids to handle even the most benign, age-appropriate situations is sometimes difficult for parents.  What are we so afraid of? This is the question that came up for me when Karen shared this discouraging...

Another Parenting Magic Word (And 7 Ways It Works)

“Your child’s feelings of security can be increased by continuing to tell her what is going to happen next. Knowing what will happen next gives her a feeling of control over her universe. In this way she isn’t continually surprised by events that occur. Rather, she has time to prepare for them. As you talk to her, predictability is reinforced verbally.” – Magda Gerber, Your Self-Confident Baby In previous...

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