elevating child care

Behavior

Be the Grown-up Your Child Needs

“…we have a duty and obligation to fully inhabit the grown-up role to the best of our ability. This might require being present with our uneasiness or discomfort about our children’s anger toward us. But we shouldn’t avoid those unpleasant feelings by abdicating the bigger need they have – for us to lovingly Captain the ship, steering them through storms as well as calm waters.”                ...

4 Reasons to Relax About Sibling Toy Taking

“I recommend that you intervene minimally in disputes between siblings. If the age gap is large or a younger child might get hurt, more supervision is needed. The more they can work out on their own, the better. The family is a microcosm of life and its struggles. Close your eyes. The more you see and critique, the tougher it becomes, because then you make your children feel guilty. Guilt is not a good adviser....

Navigating the New Sibling (With Confidence and Love)

When adding a second child to the family, I believe it our primary goal as parents to maintain a quality relationship with our first. Intense feelings of fear, loss, betrayal, anger, and resentment are to be expected for these older children, commonly expressed through limit-pushing behavior that might be directed at parents, peers, and/or the new baby. None of this is easy or looks pretty – emotional pain is...

When Children Prefer One Parent

Our three year old daughter has started showing a strong preference for Mommy, especially at bedtime.  We are trying to be positive and respectful of her wishes, but I am expecting another child in May, and we need to set boundaries about my availability to her.  Thus far, setting boundaries often leads to tears, shouting, and temper tantrums that include hitting Daddy.  It does go better when we talk it out with...

The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Child’s Aggression

Children act aggressively to express a variety of feelings that all come under one heading: Discomfort. Understanding this truth is crucial for parents committed to respectful care, because our perceptions of our children’s behavior will always dictate our responses. When we treat an uncomfortable child in need of our help and safety like a bad kid needing scolding, a lesson, or punishment, we create distance,...

Why is My Child Behaving This Way? (A Checklist)

I’m blessed to work with mindful parents, most of whom have ‘sensitive’ and ‘respectful’ down.  They’ve made a concerted effort to develop a quality connection with their children, and their behavior usually reflects that. So they’re understandably thrown when resistant or defiant behavior occasionally crops up anyway. The good news: getting back on track is simple, because all that’s usually needed...

Surviving Sibling Struggles

A parent recently posed this question in a Facebook discussion group: Why do older siblings sometimes hurt younger ones? Take toys from them? I don’t really understand… I commented: The question for me: why wouldn’t they? The younger child ripped the older one’s life apart. It is natural for the older child to want to control, dominate, and take out frustration on this person that rocked their...

4 Toddler Testing Behaviors (And How to Cope)

In “Don’t Leave a Testing Toddler Hanging,” I shared four typical testing scenarios. I then offered some general guidelines for recognizing and responding to limit-pushing behavior. One of the parents commenting on that post asked if I could specifically address each of the example scenarios I’d presented at the beginning. She explained, “Seeing how techniques are applied really helps me learn how to model...

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