elevating child care

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...

How to Enjoy a Beautiful Relationship with Your Toddler (Right Now)

One of my shining moments as a new mother was when a middle-aged woman approached me and my 15 month old daughter at a restaurant to say how much she’d enjoyed observing us delighting in each other’s company. My oldest has always had a penchant for dining out (now an avocation she would love to turn into a profession) and would rise to the occasion even as a baby. Not all kids are like that. But if I hadn’t...

5 Ways to Make the Early Days with Babies More Peaceful, Joyful and Magical

As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20,” and that is certainly true for me as I recall life as a brand new parent. I adored my baby girl but was lost as to how to spend the day with her beyond what seemed obvious: breastfeeding, snuggling, making sure she had a clean diaper, keeping her from crying, and doing my best(!) to help her get to sleep. There were flashes of joy in the chaos (and a whole of lot of...

No Bad Parents (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

As a fan of Janet’s work and her website, this is a reader comment I come across occasionally: “Oh, great! Another article that makes me feel like a bad parent.” Well, not this article. Nope. This article wants to assure you that nothing Janet writes about respectful parenting is designed to intimidate or humiliate, but only to inform, educate, and to offer readers a shot at a parenting experience beyond their...

When Parents Invade Childhood (A Lesson in Distrust)

Trust is essential to raising capable, happy, self-confident children. Belief in our children’s competence is vital to their sense of self-worth and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And yet, trusting kids to handle even the most benign, age-appropriate situations is sometimes difficult for parents.  What are we so afraid of? This is the question that came up for me when Karen shared this discouraging...

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...

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...

7 Happiness Tools We Can Give Our Children

Our second daughter started college last fall. She’s an old soul who’s always strummed to her own beat, so it wasn’t surprising that she’d found high school restrictive and uninspiring, both academically and socially. But, as we’d hoped, college has been a different story. She’s thriving in the freer, more diverse atmosphere, more fulfilled and content than she’s been in years. Recently, while...

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