elevating child care

Crying and Tantrums

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...

A Mental Health Mantra for Parents and Kids

I’ve noticed that I am much more confident and in control of my emotions/responses on the weekend when I have not spent the majority of my day at work, away from my son. The rest of the time, especially when I’m tired or unfocused, I feel that I am poorly responding to his tantrums, demands, and neediness. It is scary to find that I can so quickly call up and repeat the responses I received from...

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...

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...

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