elevating child care

Becoming a Peaceful Leader for Your Strong-Willed Child

In my quest to convey ideas and advice that make raising children both easier and more enjoyable, I rely on feedback. The questions, comments, and personal experiences parents and professionals share help me learn how to communicate respectful care practices more clearly and effectively. I’m guided by hearing what resonates, shifts perspective, and what helps people get unstuck or turn a corner. I recently had the...

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,...

When Children Fall Apart Over the Smallest Things

Hi Janet, I have a 3 year old son who is incredibly bright. He started talking very early and has been a fast learner, curious, and a great communicator. He is also very sensitive. Recently, his caregiver has said that he has a very difficult time recovering from situations where he’s been fouled in some way or when he’s asked to do something he does not want to do. She knows this is normal behavior...

How to Calm an Angry Child

Anger is an emotion we can all relate to, but it can be incredibly hard for us to allow our children to express it. They need to. If kids can’t share their anger, it doesn’t cease to exist. It festers, usually causing more frequent and intense flare-ups, discharged in bursts of impulsive limit-pushing behavior. It is also likely that unexpressed emotions like anger may be stockpiled and distilled into...

The Secret to Getting out the Door with a Resistant Child

It’s time to go, but our child says no. We’ve tried explaining, coaxing, bribing, scolding. We’ve given choices, played games, filled our child’s cup with attention and quality time. We’ve even tried half-heartedly acknowledging, “I know you don’t want to go, but we must…” All to no avail. Frustration mounts, guilt and doubt seep in… What if she really dislikes her school (we’ve chosen the...

How to Stop Your Runaway Toddler

My 2 year old daughter is running off in public and refuses to listen.  I feel like we have tried everything. I try to be open and patient and allow her to explore, but at times her behavior is dangerous and I worry about her safety. I am at a breaking point. I don’t even want to take her anywhere because it always ends in her running away and me carrying her to the car screaming. Any advice you have on this...

You’re Not My Mommy

Raising babies with respect begins with perceiving them as competent, aware individuals rather than cute blobs that are mindless or “half-baked” (no joke — a psychologist used that descriptor in her Psychology Today column).  Perceiving babies as whole people is by far the most rewarding, successful parenting path and is finally now research-proven. Yes, it can be less convenient at times, because it...

What Children Know (And Might Hurt Them)

“Children both know more and learn more than we ever would have thought,” notes psychologist and infant brain researcher Alison Gopnik in her Ted Talk entitled “What Do Babies Think?” She goes on to point out that hundreds and hundreds of studies (along with her own) over the past 20 years support her statement. Pediatrician Emmi Pikler and her protégé Magda Gerber saw proof of infant awareness more than...

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