elevating child care

Crying and Tantrums

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...

7 Reasons Kids Need Us to Disagree

It can be our tendency as parents to avoid conflict with our children. But disagreements are a natural part of our parent/child relationship and a healthy (though seldom fun) interaction. The irony is that if we practice the art of respectful disagreement, our relationship will strengthen, deepen, and actually involve less real conflict. I often hear from parents who share concerns about their children testing...

Parenting Made Easier

Every so often I receive a critical comment along the lines of this one: “…reading things such as “I asked my baby if she wanted me to lift her up and with the slightest nod of yes, I did” (not exact quote) — when talking about a month-old baby — makes me want to laugh. It is true that babies, infants and toddlers should be treated with respect, and I adhere to the notion of the calm parent...

Helping Your Baby Learn to Sleep (Guest Post by Eileen Henry)

“Sleep is not always a problem to fix. There is a large part that remains a mystery.” That comment from sleep specialist Eileen Henry nails the reason I find it far more challenging to help parents with sleep issues than I do all other aspects of parenting. Sleep is deceptive and ambiguous, and I am infinitely more comfortable with clarity. This is also the reason I often ask Eileen -– always fearless and...

The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Child’s Aggression

Children act aggressively to express a variety of feelings that all come under one heading: Discomfort. Understanding this truth is crucial for parents committed to respectful care, because our perceptions of our children’s behavior will always dictate our responses. When we treat an uncomfortable child in need of our help and safety like a bad kid needing scolding, a lesson, or punishment, we create distance,...

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