elevating child care

Behavior

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...

Don’t Leave A Testing Toddler Hanging

Your 10-month-old spends the majority of your playgroup session climbing and squirming on your lap, using you to pull up to standing as you sit on the floor. Your 18-month-old can’t seem to make up his mind. First he wants to go outside. Two minutes later he wants to come back in. A minute later he wants to go out again. Your 2-year-old isn’t ready to get into her car seat, regardless of your schedule. Her...

My Preschooler is Hitting Me

Hi Janet, My 3.5 year old has suddenly starting hitting, throwing things, and biting my husband and me.  Most of what I read seems to apply to toddlers and those with lack of language, but since my son is older and has very advanced language, neither of these apply. During the 2′s he was an amazingly well behaved kid, just being his easy-going, good-natured self.  But as he approached 3.5 he started with...

Share… Wait Your Turn… Don’t Touch… Playdate Rules That Limit Learning (And What To Try Instead)

Ryan and Luis both want to ride a tricycle in the play area at their child care center. Each child begins to pull on the tricycle’s seat, saying, “Mine, mine.” A moment later they both start to cry. Their carer, observing this, moves closer to the children. She bends down on one knee and says, “You both want the tricycle.” The children continue to struggle. Luis falls against the tricycle and makes it move...

The Most Loving Way to Say ‘No’

I share lots of advice about toddler behavior because I know many parents find discipline issues intensely challenging. I was one of them. With my first child, especially, learning to recognize and respond effectively to her tests and limit-pushing behavior (which seemed to spring out of nowhere towards the end of her first year) took a concerted effort. A father I consulted with recently shared a spot-on analogy...

Setting Limits With Respect – What It Sounds Like (Podcast)

In the four years since I started my web site, I’ve written over three hundred articles. I have always tried to be as specific and descriptive as possible, because I am acutely aware how challenging it is to communicate Magda Gerber’s respectful care practices through the written word. To my amazement, many of you are understanding and successfully implementing these practices without ever seeing (or hearing)...

9 Best Ways to Stay (Mostly) Unruffled With Toddlers

Toddlers are experts at ruffling our feathers, but these tiny people mean no disrespect. Testing our limits (and patience) is impulsive behavior on their part and a developmentally appropriate way to seek answers to important questions like: Am I safe and cared for? Do I have confident leaders?  Are they with me or against me?  Is it okay to want what I want and feel what I’m feeling?  Am I a bad kid? While...

Go Away, Mama!

Most of us were not raised in fairy tale households by perfect parents, and the formative messages we received as children may not have always been positive or healthy. The good news: the process of raising our own children can be profoundly restorative. Every hour we spend with our babies and kids offers us opportunities to instill in them affirming messages, large and small. Whenever we are able to recognize and...

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