elevating child care

Crying and Tantrums

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...

Parents Struggling With Boundaries – 3 Common Reasons

One of the most disappointing things I hear from parents I consult with is that they aren’t enjoying parenting, especially when it comes to setting limits, which has become a source of confusion and often guilt. What’s most concerning to them is that they sense their children aren’t happy either. It’s usually because they’re both confused about boundaries. These are parents who will never need to worry...

How to Help Our Indecisive Toddlers

“The toddler is a terrible, terrific, tiresome, true, torn human being. There are times when he believes he owns the world; and at other times, he believes all the world is his enemy.”  – Magda Gerber, Dear Parent – Caring for Infants With Respect Hi Janet, My daughter will be 2 in a week, and I’ve been watching her freaking out lately in a very specific way. Here’s how it goes: If I am...

Bonding With Our Children Through Conflict

When you think about bonding with your child, what images come to mind? For me its kisses and hugs, gazing into each other’s eyes, playing together, laughing together hysterically as I did recently with my son when he asked my help with a poem he was writing for school.  But there’s another type of bonding experience our children need that is as deeply affirming and crucial, perhaps even more so, than sharing...

They’ll Grow Into It – Trusting Children to Develop Manners, Toilet Skills, Emotional Regulation and More

Most of the advice I share is focused on infants, toddlers and preschoolers, but since my own children are now well past those years (my oldest just turned 21!), it occurred to me that I should be sharing more often from my “long view” perspective.   Like most parents, I’ve had my worries. For instance, despite my commitment to natural motor development, I worried that my first baby would never learn to walk....

3 Stories That Could Change the Way You Parent

“Out with the old, in with the new.” It sounds so easy, but letting go of familiar habits and embracing the unknown can take courage, as well as humility.  Personally, the ‘self-critical moment’ inherent in most positive change – that point where we must concede that we may have been doing it wrong — is one I’d rather skip. Parenting is a particularly sensitive subject for many us, so when parents...

RIE Parenting Basics (9 Ways to Put Respect into Action)

In recent weeks, several readers have asked me to write a post they can share with family and friends to explain the RIE basics. Admittedly, ‘simple’ and ‘succinct’ aren’t my specialty, evidenced by the hundreds of 1000+ word blog posts I’ve written, all conceived to be under 700 words. With that caveat, I will give it a try. (Feel free to skip to the bullet points at any time.) RIE parenting could be...

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