elevating child care

Confessions of a Pushover Parent (And How I Turned This Around)

One of my passions is helping parents to realize the crucial role of boundaries in their children’s lives and to encourage them to become the confident, benevolent leaders kids need. It’s an important subject for me, because I know this journey intimately. I was a classic pushover parent. I ardently believe that if I was able to find the strong leader within me, anyone can. Having been a people pleaser for as...

The #1 Reason We Misunderstand Our Kids (And Secrets To Better Clarity)

Since one of our primary goals as responsive parents is being attuned to our children and their needs, it’s helpful to be aware of a natural impulse that obstructs this clarity: projection. Projections aren’t all bad. These “educated guesses” stem from our healthy, socially adaptive instinct to imagine each other’s thoughts, feelings and intentions in order to relate and connect.  Projections are...

No Way to Treat a Baby

I was visiting a RIE parenting class for the very first time, sitting in a corner of the room watching babies freely exploring, unaware that my perception of infants was about to be radically transformed.  One of the tiny scientists spotted my car keys on the floor next to me and began scooting towards them.  Oops! Quick as a flash I hid them in my pocket (the keys, not the baby).  After my disappearing act, the...

Baby Talk – Don’t Miss The Magic

Tell me I don’t have the best job! Each week I’m inspired by delightful interactions between babies as young as 3 months old during my Parent and Infant Classes. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, they show me something new.  This was a first for me: a 4-month-old boy perfectly echoing his enamored friend’s “hello” (at the end of the video). We’ll unfortunately never know for sure what’s going on...

Don’t Fix These Toddler Struggles

Time and time again I see toddlers benefiting from impulse control – ours, not theirs. Our natural tendencies to project and protect when our children seem challenged invariably lead us to intervene too much or too soon.  These good intentions can then spoil rich opportunities for physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development.  Rule #1: More often than not, struggles and conflicts we might...

The Problem With Cute Kids

“We often think that children are cutest when they are most intent and serious about what they are doing.  Patting a mud pie, for example.  They act as if it were important. How satisfying for us to feel we know better.” – John Holt In his book Escape From Childhood, educator John Holt relates a “most embarrassing moment” shared with him by a friend. The friend was walking in a department store behind...

Toddler Learning – Focus Or Freedom?

Hi Janet, Still avidly reading your blog and just read your listening article. I  have a question: I started taking my daughter (28 months) to a gym class at a local community center (can’t afford the fancy kid gym classes), and I’m interested in your thoughts regarding her behavior and how best to deal with it. My daughter in general is a fearless, fun little girl with tons of energy, so I figured the...

Colander Girl – Simple Objects Are Baby Treasures

Could there be a more educational infant toy than this one? Watch a 9 month old baby (on two different occasions) exploring the wonders and intricacies of a simple kitchen tool we wouldn’t give a second thought to while rinsing pasta or washing grapes.  This is an example of the kind of independent play and experimentation that builds strong minds, long attention spans and encourages a love of learning. Note the...

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