elevating child care

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...

7 Reasons Kids Need Us to Disagree

It can be our tendency as parents to avoid conflict with our children. But disagreements are a natural part of our parent/child relationship and a healthy (though seldom fun) interaction. The irony is that if we practice the art of respectful disagreement, our relationship will strengthen, deepen, and actually involve less real conflict. I often hear from parents who share concerns about their children testing...

The Key to Cooperation (How to Stop Reacting and Start Connecting)

Acceptance is the one of the most loving gifts we can offer another human being, and it is especially crucial in our relationships with children. From the moment they are born, our children are receiving formative messages from us about their worth, their place in the world and in our hearts. To develop a sense of security and self-confidence, they need us to at least attempt to accept, acknowledge, and understand...

The Most Loving Way to Say ‘No’

I share lots of advice about toddler behavior because I know many parents find discipline issues intensely challenging. I was one of them. With my first child, especially, learning to recognize and respond effectively to her tests and limit-pushing behavior (which seemed to spring out of nowhere towards the end of her first year) took a concerted effort. A father I consulted with recently shared a spot-on analogy...

9 Best Ways to Stay (Mostly) Unruffled With Toddlers

Toddlers are experts at ruffling our feathers, but these tiny people mean no disrespect. Testing our limits (and patience) is impulsive behavior on their part and a developmentally appropriate way to seek answers to important questions like: Am I safe and cared for? Do I have confident leaders?  Are they with me or against me?  Is it okay to want what I want and feel what I’m feeling?  Am I a bad kid? While...

The Subtleties of Baby Sleep (4 Important Things To Know)

“The word ‘sleep’ wakes up even the sleepiest baby.” – Magda Gerber, Your Self-Confident Baby Magda Gerber’s assertion might seem far-fetched, but recent scientific studies (by Gopnik, Bloom, Spelke and others) are proving what Gerber understood more than half a century ago: our infants are astonishingly sharp and aware. They recognize repeated words, read our subtexts, sense our feelings and attitudes....

An Answer to Toddler Testing

The words we use with our children matter, especially in trying moments. They convey perceptions about our child and the situation at hand. For example, if our infant or toddler tests us by hitting and we say, “I won’t let you hit” (with all the calm and confidence we can muster), while gently holding his or her hand, our child then learns: My parent is a capable leader who isn’t thrown by my behavior and...

The Curse of Respectful Parenting

The younger the child, the harder it is for her to show us who she is and to communicate her needs and capabilities. This means babies are ripe for our projections. What we see – or what we think we see – informs our responses. This is important stuff, because the manner in which we engage our children determines their core self-image and charts the course of our parent – child relationship. But aren’t...

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