elevating child care

Toilet Training

3 Reasons Kids Don’t Need Toilet Training (And What To Do Instead)

As a parenting teacher and writer, my intention is to support, encourage, and answer questions. So I feel a teensy twinge of guilt when I’m asked for advice about toilet training, and my response is, essentially, don’t. Kids don’t need adults to train them to use the toilet. They do need attuned, communicative parents and caregivers to support and facilitate the toilet learning process, a process that is...

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....

Never Too Late for Respectful Parenting

Since most of the advice I share is focused on the infant, toddler and preschool years, parents who have older children frequently ask me, “Is it too late?” My answer is an unqualified “never.”  The follow-up question is, “Great, so how do I begin?” I answer that by sharing some of the ways my mentor Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (also known as RIE) has continued to inform my parenting with my own...

Toilet Troubles

Hi Janet, It looks like I may have prematurely introduced my 2 1/2 year old to toilet training. I made a little potty available (and started reading him the book “A Potty for Me!” by Karen Katz) at about 18 months. He showed interest and went before bath time every night for about a month and then lost interest, so I let it go. Now he recently showed signs of noticing when he peed in his diaper, so I said we...

Watch Your Potty Mouth

Memories of my dad losing his temper are surprisingly endearing. “Nuts, nuts, NUTS!” he’d growl. You know he wanted to say a bunch of other things.  These mini explosions were usually because one of his four daughters borrowed something and “forgot” to return it…again (and now I feel his pain). I hated knowing Dad was upset, especially when I was the culprit, but looking back I’m touched by his effort...

The Parenting Magic Word (10 Ways To Use It)

Magda Gerber extolled the power of a single word that is fundamental to her child care philosophy. This word reflects a core belief in a baby’s natural abilities, respects his unique developmental timetable, fulfills his need to experience mastery, be a creative problem solver and to express feelings (even those that are hard for us to witness). The word is a simple, practical tool for understanding babies,...

Potty And Play, Both Take Patience

Hi Janet, I’ve been meaning to drop you a line for it seems like forever now to pick your brain about a few things. I so miss having access to that brain of yours on a weekly basis! First, any ideas on getting a boy to sit on the potty to go pee, in prep for actually pooping in it? Obviously, we’re still in the very casual mode of potty training and Thomas does like to stand and pee in it most days, at...

You Can’t Do It! – 3 Powerful Messages Parents Don’t Intend To Send

“When you grow up you can be anything you want to be,” my mom often told me. She believed in me and wanted me to know it. Oddly, I translated this encouraging message into an overwhelming expectation that I could never live up to: “You have to be big, important and really famous. No mediocrity for you!” We all parent with best intentions, and we are bound to be misinterpreted by our children sometimes. But...

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