elevating child care

Parenting ideas that fly.

I am Janet Lansbury. Welcome to my blog. As Janet Julian, I acted and modeled for many years, but it wasn't until I became a mother and sought guidance from infant expert Magda Gerber that I found my life's work: parent education. Since 1994, I have enjoyed teaching RIE parenting classes in Los Angeles.



I have also been a presenter at early childhood conferences, written infant/toddler parenting articles, and served on the board of directors of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE). Raising a child is one of the most important and challenging jobs we will ever have. It brings a considerable amount of joy. It can also be confusing, discouraging and haphazard. My goal is to provide clarity, inspiration (and maybe a smile or two) by sharing insights I've gained through my parenting classes, my experiences as a mother, and studies with my friend and mentor Magda Gerber. This blog is dedicated to her memory.

The Secret to a Great Family Outing

The secret to the most fulfilling outings with children is also the most successful way to approach just about every aspect of caring for them. If you read here regularly, I imagine you can guess that this secret is simply seeing through the eyes of our child, being open to considering an outing from our child’s perspective. Doing this helps us ensure that the special plans we make for our kids are actually...

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...

Miracles That Happen When We Turn Off TV

Many parents choose not to limit TV use, and that’s okay. But if the amount of time your children spend sitting in front of a screen isn’t sitting well with you, or you’re concerned about the research showing TV’s impact on attention span and other foundational learning skills, the eye-opening experiences described below might give you the impetus and encouragement you need to make a change. Chelsey’s...

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,...

Key Ingredients of the Most Blissful Summer Activities

When my three children were little, summer was always a time to take advantage of looser schedules and to plan special outings and activities. Once they entered grade school, the freedom and fluidity of summer days became even more precious. Though we weren’t in a position to take expensive vacations, we’d go to shows, zoos, the beach, water parks, and sometimes travel across the country to visit grandparents...

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