elevating child care

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...

How to Stop Being an Anxious Parent and Enjoy Your Child

The intense performance pressure many of us feel as new parents combined with all the physical challenges — sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, recovery from the birth, etc. — can easily launch us into a cycle of anxiety. This is compounded in cases where our baby faces health complications, colic, or other issues. I’ve been there and was so grateful to find my way out through the wisdom and support...

6 Things to Know About Your Strong-Willed Child

Hello Janet, I write to you wondering how to deal with my very strong-willed and independent 5-year-old.  As a toddler and emerging preschooler, she would express very large emotions.  I would try to help her name and accept them by saying calmly, “You are feeling frustrated.  Would you like to take a break?”  If she felt angry or frustrated, she would yell at me, “I’m NOT...

The Answer to Sleep Might Be as Simple as…

With their high awareness, sensitivity, and fresh take on the world, young children tend to see differently than we adults. That can be easy for us to forget. For example, while we might be happy and excited about the arrival of our second baby, a move to a new home, taking a trip, or switching our toddler into his Big Boy Bed, children tend to feel the disruption and loss in these changes. And it shows in their...

Stop Being So Stern (What to do Instead)

Whether our child’s temperament is placid and agreeable, strong willed and intense, or something in between, all children have one need in common: our respectful, confident leadership. But with the dearth of respectful care models in our society, it can be tricky to grasp what confident leadership actually looks and sounds like. One of the common misunderstandings I’ve noted in my work with parents is that being...

5 Surprising Ways to Encourage Your Kids

As adoring parents, encouraging our children should come naturally, right? Not for me. Sure, I knew how to help, coax, cheer my kids on, and I assumed those actions were the essence of encouragement.  But through child specialist Magda Gerber, I learned that what actually encourages our children is far more subtle. To my surprise, most of her advice was the exact opposite of what my instincts were telling me to do....

Confessions of a Recovering Helicopter Parent (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

When I first came across the writings of Janet Lansbury, my children were already five years old.  Initially, I had two thoughts.  I knew her advice made perfect sense.  I also knew I had done everything wrong.  I hadn’t trusted them to find their own way.  I had not provided them the best environment for emotional expression.  Instead I had been a full-blown helicopter parent. But to be fair, when I became...

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