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 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.

My Preschooler is Hitting Me

Hi Janet, My 3.5 year old has suddenly starting hitting, throwing things, and biting my husband and me.  Most of what I read seems to apply to toddlers and those with lack of language, but since my son is older and has very advanced language, neither of these apply. During the 2’s he was an amazingly well behaved kid, just being his easy-going, good-natured self.  But as he approached 3.5 he started with...

Toddler Toy Battles – Interventions That Work (Podcast)

The interventions we use when children battle over toys or engage in other social struggles are reflective of our perceptions of their abilities, as well as our general attitudes toward learning and ‘struggle’. Do we perceive babies, toddlers and preschoolers as basically capable? Or fragile and needy? Are our children born active, self-directed learners (as child specialist Magda Gerber asserted), or do they...

Share… Wait Your Turn… Don’t Touch… Playdate Rules That Limit Learning (And What To Try Instead)

Ryan and Luis both want to ride a tricycle in the play area at their child care center. Each child begins to pull on the tricycle’s seat, saying, “Mine, mine.” A moment later they both start to cry. Their carer, observing this, moves closer to the children. She bends down on one knee and says, “You both want the tricycle.” The children continue to struggle. Luis falls against the tricycle and makes it move...

A Mental Health Mantra for Parents and Kids

I’ve noticed that I am much more confident and in control of my emotions/responses on the weekend when I have not spent the majority of my day at work, away from my son. The rest of the time, especially when I’m tired or unfocused, I feel that I am poorly responding to his tantrums, demands, and neediness. It is scary to find that I can so quickly call up and repeat the responses I received from...

Your Baby’s Call of the Wild (Guest Post by Angela Hanscom)

If you start at an early age, your baby will learn to love the outdoors and will enjoy herself there. These times will help her to be less clingy, nagging, overly dependent, constantly needing company or entertainment. The stimuli which nature provides is unparalleled. Even the youngest infant becomes fascinated by listening to birds, watching the movements of flies, butterflies, shadows and leaves. Air circulation,...

5 Reasons We Should Stop Distracting Toddlers (And What To Do Instead)

Distraction is a popular “redirection” tactic for dealing with an infant or toddler’s undesirable behavior. Its appeal is understandable, because it’s about aiming a child to another activity rather than confronting an issue directly. It helps us dodge the bullet of our child’s resistance, which might include anger, tears or a total meltdown (and we’re all eager to avoid those things, especially in...

The Most Loving Way to Say ‘No’

I share lots of advice about toddler behavior because I know many parents find discipline issues intensely challenging. I was one of them. With my first child, especially, learning to recognize and respond effectively to her tests and limit-pushing behavior (which seemed to spring out of nowhere towards the end of her first year) took a concerted effort. A father I consulted with recently shared a spot-on analogy...

Will You Let Your Children Play?

“Letting our children play” sounds easy and so obvious, doesn’t it? We all know play should be encouraged, because it’s essential for healthy development: physical, cognitive, psychological and, most imperatively, the development of extended potty breaks for parents. Yet many of us find it surprisingly difficult to refrain from interrupting or interfering when our children play. This might be because: We...

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