elevating child care

Crying and Tantrums

You’re Not My Mommy

Raising babies with respect begins with perceiving them as competent, aware individuals rather than cute blobs that are mindless or “half-baked” (no joke — a psychologist used that descriptor in her Psychology Today column).  Perceiving babies as whole people is by far the most rewarding, successful parenting path and is finally now research-proven. Yes, it can be less convenient at times, because it...

What Children Know (And Might Hurt Them)

“Children both know more and learn more than we ever would have thought,” notes psychologist and infant brain researcher Alison Gopnik in her Ted Talk entitled “What Do Babies Think?” She goes on to point out that hundreds and hundreds of studies (along with her own) over the past 20 years support her statement. Pediatrician Emmi Pikler and her protégé Magda Gerber saw proof of infant awareness more than...

No Bad Parents (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

As a fan of Janet’s work and her website, this is a reader comment I come across occasionally: “Oh, great! Another article that makes me feel like a bad parent.” Well, not this article. Nope. This article wants to assure you that nothing Janet writes about respectful parenting is designed to intimidate or humiliate, but only to inform, educate, and to offer readers a shot at a parenting experience beyond their...

Parenting and Triggers: Wounds of the Past (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

In a recent post, I suggested some “dos” and “don’ts” for setting limits confidently that included: Do recognize that your child is highly aware, but also small and unthreatening, and that you are big, mature, and experienced. Our children can seem gi-normous at times, but a more realistic perspective will help us recognize that a child is neither a peer nor an ogre. There’s nothing he or she can...

Braving the Silence (The Secret to Nurturing Emotional Resilience)

One of the many blessings of my job facilitating classes for parents and their infants and toddlers is that these groups provide me with a personal learning lab. I often learn more than I teach. A realization I had lately is that there’s often an element missing in our exchanges with children, particularly when they express their thoughts or feelings. What’s missing is silence. Not a brooding, deafening, or...

7 Benefits of RIE Parenting

“I have relaxed so much as a mother and as a wife. I can enjoy my kids without having to live up to anyone else’s standards. I have learned how to actively listen. To do less. And observe more. I’m happy. I’m proud of being a mother. I love learning and can admit when I have more things to learn.” – Tracy  The beauty of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (commonly known as RIE) is that the...

Confessions of a Pushover Parent (And How I Turned This Around)

One of my passions is helping parents to realize the crucial role of boundaries in their children’s lives and to encourage them to become the confident, benevolent leaders kids need. It’s an important subject for me, because I know this journey intimately. I was a classic pushover parent. I ardently believe that if I was able to find the strong leader within me, anyone can. Having been a people pleaser for as...

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...

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