elevating child care

Behavior

Confident Momentum: How to Stop Battling Your Toddler’s Resistance and Defiance

Raising our children with love and respect requires us to take on a role that might not come naturally: leadership. Without the security of unflappable, empathic leaders, children are less able to focus on the work they need to do – growing, developing, playing, exploring, and ultimately, flourishing as self-confident, content, successful people. One of the not-so-fun duties of our leadership is handling our...

How to Stop Being an Anxious Parent and Enjoy Your Child

The intense performance pressure many of us feel as new parents combined with all the physical challenges — sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, recovery from the birth, etc. — can easily launch us into a cycle of anxiety. This is compounded in cases where our baby faces health complications, colic, or other issues. I’ve been there and was so grateful to find my way out through the wisdom and support...

When Our Child is Hurt by Another

Nothing ignites our protective instincts more intensely than when our children are hurt, whether physically or emotionally. If their distress has been caused intentionally by another child, we experience a brew of emotions that can be almost impossible to control. But to be of genuine help to our children in these situations, I believe we must challenge ourselves to do just that: control our own emotions.  When we...

6 Things to Know About Your Strong-Willed Child

Hello Janet, I write to you wondering how to deal with my very strong-willed and independent 5-year-old.  As a toddler and emerging preschooler, she would express very large emotions.  I would try to help her name and accept them by saying calmly, “You are feeling frustrated.  Would you like to take a break?”  If she felt angry or frustrated, she would yell at me, “I’m NOT...

Why Timeouts Fail and What to do Instead

Timeout is a temporary, artificial, and inadequate solution to a real problem. Worse, it actually prevents us from seeing the real problem, because when kids feel judged and rejected, they tend to clam up (as we all do). Timeout closes the door on communication in the misguided hope that children will think about their behavior and, shamed, resolve to do better in the future.  The problem with this logic is that it...

Empowering a Passive or “Shy” Child

In the twenty years that I’ve facilitated parent-toddler groups, I’ve known a handful of toddlers that I’d consider to be socially gifted. These children seem to have an innate knack for engaging with peers effectively and appropriately from the get-go.  For the majority of toddlers, however, mastering the ins and outs of socialization is a challenge (lifelong for many of us), and a messy one at that. We...

Helping Toddlers Succeed (at the Park, Playdates, Outings, and Other Social Situations)

Early childhood specialist Lisa Sunbury and I were speaking with a mutual friend who was concerned about a problematic playdate her toddler had recently experienced. During our conversation, Lisa shared a personal goal that I agree with completely: “I feel like it’s my job to help my child to succeed in these situations.” Nothing disappoints me more than hearing respectful parenting misinterpreted as...

When Children Fall Apart Over the Smallest Things

Hi Janet, I have a 3 year old son who is incredibly bright. He started talking very early and has been a fast learner, curious, and a great communicator. He is also very sensitive. Recently, his caregiver has said that he has a very difficult time recovering from situations where he’s been fouled in some way or when he’s asked to do something he does not want to do. She knows this is normal behavior...

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