elevating child care

Motor Development

The Parent I Might Have Been

Just listen to your instincts… Don’t over think and overcomplicate… Every child is different… I often hear these reasons for not embracing a particular parenting approach, and I generally agree. Yet it is hard for me to imagine raising my three children without the gift of clarity I received twenty years ago from infant specialist Magda Gerber. Gerber’s methods didn’t come to me naturally, yet they felt...

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....

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 Magda Gerber’s 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...

7 Gifts That Encourage Child-Directed Play

In case you haven’t noticed, play is hot. Once taken for granted as a universal childhood right, in the last decades aggressive marketers of early learning products and a focus on standardized testing have horned in on this valuable developmental time in a child’s life. But lately it seems our collective appreciation for child-directed play has never been stronger, and there could be no better news for our...

My Baby Can’t Sit

Hi Janet, Just wanted to share a little story with you: I have a 7 month old son. Since I discovered Madga Gerber’s philosophy through your website he has never been in a Bumbo, Jolly Jumper, ‘seated activity centre’, or any other such device which would place him in a position he couldn’t get into himself, or which would restrict his freedom. A few days ago I was with some new friends who both have...

9 Parenting Words To Live By

When you think of parenting, what words and images come to mind?  For me it’s ‘love’, then ‘hugs’, ‘pride’, ‘joy’ and one more word that unfortunately comes with the territory: ‘worry’. (I admit I’m one of the deluded who believes that if I worry about something hard enough it won’t happen, but heck, it works!) While I never need reminders to love, snuggle or worry about my kids, I make a...

Unexpected Toy Find!

I’m a play geek. Ever since I first recognized the value of inner-directed free play for young children, I’ve been hooked on providing the environments and materials that encourage it.  Over the last twenty years I’ve observed hundreds of infants and toddlers playing, both my own and the ones who attend my weekly Parent-Infant and Toddler Guidance Classes. Yet I’m still captivated watching them learn from...

The Glorious Freedom of a Capable Child

My favorite part of blogging are the stories parents and caregivers share with me from all over the world. While the details are always slightly different, the stories usually begin with a common experience: feeling dissatisfied, frustrated or unsuccessful, they sought answers. And just like me way back when, they didn’t really know what they were looking for – just something that felt right. They somehow...

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