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.

7 Reasons Kids Need Us to Disagree

It can be our tendency as parents to avoid conflict with our children. But disagreements are a natural part of our parent/child relationship and a healthy (though seldom fun) interaction. The irony is that if we practice the art of respectful disagreement, our relationship will strengthen, deepen, and actually involve less real conflict. I often hear from parents who share concerns about their children testing...

Parenting Made Easier

Every so often I receive a critical comment along the lines of this one: “…reading things such as “I asked my baby if she wanted me to lift her up and with the slightest nod of yes, I did” (not exact quote) — when talking about a month-old baby — makes me want to laugh. It is true that babies, infants and toddlers should be treated with respect, and I adhere to the notion of the calm parent...

When Children Prefer One Parent

Our three year old daughter has started showing a strong preference for Mommy, especially at bedtime.  We are trying to be positive and respectful of her wishes, but I am expecting another child in May, and we need to set boundaries about my availability to her.  Thus far, setting boundaries often leads to tears, shouting, and temper tantrums that include hitting Daddy.  It does go better when we talk it out with...

What To Do Instead of Rocking

There’s an old fashioned type of rocking that I appreciate but don’t hear much about these days. It is slow, gentle, and relaxing for both parent and child. There might be quiet conversation or singing, but there is no goal or purpose other than mutual contentment in just being together. A languid journey to nowhere. These days I’m mostly hearing about the purposeful kind of rocking some experts advise for...

Another Parenting Magic Word (And 7 Ways It Works)

“Your child’s feelings of security can be increased by continuing to tell her what is going to happen next. Knowing what will happen next gives her a feeling of control over her universe. In this way she isn’t continually surprised by events that occur. Rather, she has time to prepare for them. As you talk to her, predictability is reinforced verbally.” – Magda Gerber, Your Self-Confident Baby In previous...

Helping Your Baby Learn to Sleep (Guest Post by Eileen Henry)

“Sleep is not always a problem to fix. There is a large part that remains a mystery.” That comment from sleep specialist Eileen Henry nails the reason I find it far more challenging to help parents with sleep issues than I do all other aspects of parenting. Sleep is deceptive and ambiguous, and I am infinitely more comfortable with clarity. This is also the reason I often ask Eileen -– always fearless and...

The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Child’s Aggression

Children act aggressively to express a variety of feelings that all come under one heading: Discomfort. Understanding this truth is crucial for parents committed to respectful care, because our perceptions of our children’s behavior will always dictate our responses. When we treat an uncomfortable child in need of our help and safety like a bad kid needing scolding, a lesson, or punishment, we create distance,...

5 Reasons I’m Looking Back With Gratitude

I have a personal holiday tradition that I began spontaneously a few years ago. On one of the nights between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I sit up late in our living room, basking in the glow of scented candles, shimmering Christmas tree lights, a blaze in the fireplace, and the music of the Chieftains or one of our other Celtic CD’s. I imagine myself in a cozy, wintery cottage in the Irish countryside (a place...

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