elevating child care

Social / Emotional Development

How Children Really Learn Empathy

“Educators will tell you that a classroom full of empathetic kids simply runs more smoothly than one filled with even the happiest group of self-serving children. Similarly, family life is more harmonious when siblings are able feel for each other and put the needs of others ahead of individual happiness. If a classroom or a family full of caring children makes for a more peaceful and cooperative learning...

My Holiday Survival Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season to remember that excitement, stimulation, the disruption of daily routines, traveling and social events all tend to bring out the very worst in our young children. So, the holidays are a particularly important time to remember the best piece of parenting advice I have to offer (anytime, anywhere): Consider your child’s perspective.  The early years are an...

Enchanting Child-Inspired Pumpkin Carving

I’m thinking about launching a campaign similar to Nike’s using their slug line, but instead of Just Do It, I’d advocate Just ‘Let Kids’ Do It. Letting kids do it whenever possible, when they want to, opens the door to self-expression and encourages creativity, originality, and innovation. Letting kids do it might sound simple and obvious, but it can actually be quite challenging because as...

Fake Crying and Manipulation

Occasionally, something I read from a parent or professional sparks such an intense visceral reaction that I need to drop everything I’m working on and respond. This recent note from Emily got my attention: Hi.  I own a childcare and have a little 2.5-year old girl who “fake cries” nearly all day.  Really, out of the 9 hours that she is with me, 5-8 are spent crying.  Yet she has never shed a tear,...

No Such Thing as Failure

Psychologists and educators generally agree that children need to be allowed to experience failure in order to build healthy self-confidence and resilience. In theory, I wholeheartedly concur and have offered that advice myself, but there is something about the term “fail” that has always bothered me. Failure is an adult perception, reflecting a win-lose outlook on struggle that infants and toddlers don’t...

The Most Powerful Way to Love a Child

I’m a hugger. Perhaps overly so, if that’s possible. I was reminded of my demonstrative tendencies recently when my 14-year-old’s tribe of buddies arrived at our home, each expecting his customary warm embrace from me. It was only slightly awkward when two boys walked in that I didn’t know as well. We chuckled a little as I went ahead and hugged them anyway, and they seemed okay with it. You really...

The Difference Between Helping and Hovering

“I have found it immensely difficult to let go of control of my daughter. She is now 25 months old and most definitely relies on me quite a lot of the time, even in play. I desperately need some help. For example, she should at least be able to take her socks off but waits for me to do it. I have tried to acknowledge and say that I can see it’s frustrating for her, but she insists I take them off. This is...

When We Need Our Child to Cooperate

Respectful parenting can be like running a marathon. We need determination, consistent effort, confidence, and commitment to stay the course.  Of course, if we were actual marathon runners, we might be inspired at regular intervals by cheering fans applauding our efforts and encouraging us to push on. As parents practicing respectful care, while we can’t generally count on applause from enthusiastic spectators,...

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