elevating child care

Behavior

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...

How to Calm an Angry Child

Anger is an emotion we can all relate to, but it can be incredibly hard for us to allow our children to express it. They need to. If kids can’t share their anger, it doesn’t cease to exist. It festers, usually causing more frequent and intense flare-ups, discharged in bursts of impulsive limit-pushing behavior. It is also likely that unexpressed emotions like anger may be stockpiled and distilled into...

Eating Isn’t Ours to Control – How One Parent Replaced Fear with Trust

Worrying is a by-product of parenting, and our children’s eating habits are a common focus of concern. Are our kids eating enough? And are they eating the right things? Problems occur when our highly aware young children sense our concerns, because they can be compelled to test and exploit them. Kids always seem to know when they have us over a barrel (or, in this case, a bowl), and the uncomfortable yet...

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