elevating child care

It’s Okay to be Scared – 5 Steps for Easing Bedtime Fears

Accepting our children’s emotions sounds simple in theory, but for most parents I know (and me) this is an enormous challenge. The powerful instinct we have to alleviate our children’s discomforts is, obviously, healthy and positive when their feelings reflect a need that we can fill, like offering food when they’re hungry or helping them to bed when they’re tired. But just as often, children have feelings...

Enchanting Child-Inspired Pumpkin Carving

I’m thinking about launching a campaign similar to Nike’s using their slug line, but instead of Just Do It, I’d advocate Just ‘Let Kids’ Do It. Letting kids do it whenever possible, when they want to, opens the door to self-expression and encourages creativity, originality, and innovation. Letting kids do it might sound simple and obvious, but it can actually be quite challenging because as...

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...

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...

In Times of Transition, Our Children Need to Feel Our Love (6 Ways to Help)

Grace shared a story about her older son’s stressful “big brother” transition that demonstrates the healing power of respectful parenting practices. My younger baby Ben was in NICU and came out with brain damage, so the months after his birth were very stressful. All our time and energy was put into helping him and taking him to appointments. One day when Ben was about four months old, my elder son (almost...

The Powerful Effect of Respectful Parenting for Children With Special Needs (Case Studies from Sandra Hallman)

I’m often asked by parents of children with special needs whether respectful care practices, which are based on trust in our children as competent whole people at birth, can possibly work for them. And if so, how? Based on the feedback I have received from parents and professionals in the field, the answer is a resounding “yes!” But since my own work with families has not included many of these children, I...

Connecting with Our Kids When We Set Limits (What That Really Means)

I am confident that setting limits is not any parent’s favorite way to connect with a child. Not any parent I know, anyway. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about denying our children’s requests, limiting their behavior, or trying to gain cooperation when they resist. And yet, negotiating these challenging moments is the key to guiding our kids effectively. When we are connecting genuinely, respectfully, and...

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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