elevating child care

My Holiday Survival Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season to remember that excitement, stimulation, the disruption of daily routines, traveling and social events all tend to bring out the very worst in our young children. So, the holidays are a particularly important time to remember the best piece of parenting advice I have to offer (anytime, anywhere): Consider your child’s perspective.  The early years are an...

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...

Miracles That Happen When We Turn Off TV

Many parents choose not to limit TV use, and that’s okay. But if the amount of time your children spend sitting in front of a screen isn’t sitting well with you, or you’re concerned about the research showing TV’s impact on attention span and other foundational learning skills, the eye-opening experiences described below might give you the impetus and encouragement you need to make a change. Chelsey’s...

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....

7 Benefits of RIE Parenting

“I have relaxed so much as a mother and as a wife. I can enjoy my kids without having to live up to anyone else’s standards. I have learned how to actively listen. To do less. And observe more. I’m happy. I’m proud of being a mother. I love learning and can admit when I have more things to learn.” – Tracy  The beauty of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (commonly known as RIE) is that the...

Play Space Inspiration

Observing our children’s self-directed play helps us to understand them, become more empathetic and attuned, and it is the key to finding more joy in day-to-day parenting. These benefits (and more) are the reason I’ve shared so many play-inspired posts and videos. Most have focused on the parent’s role in nurturing child-directed play and the invaluable learning that happens when we do. I’ve shared specific...

Secrets To Magical Kids’ Parties

Over the past twenty-one years, my husband and I have thrown dozens of kid parties for our three children. While a few of these celebrations were just okay, the majority were memorable. Some were even magical. Here are the important lessons we’ve learned along the way: It’s all about involvement I can totally understand the desire to throw a big bash and invite every adult friend in our address book to celebrate...

7 Gifts That Encourage Child-Directed Play

In case you haven’t noticed, play is hot. Once taken for granted as a universal childhood right, in the last decades aggressive marketers of early learning products and a focus on standardized testing have horned in on this valuable developmental time in a child’s life. But lately it seems our collective appreciation for child-directed play has never been stronger, and there could be no better news for our...

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