elevating child care

The Secret to Helping Kids Take Medicine (Without a Spoonful of Sugar)

In Your Self-Confident Baby, child specialist Magda Gerber shares the story of her transformative introduction to the respectful care approach of pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler: “One day my older daughter, Mayo, then six, was sick with a sore throat. Our regular pediatrician was ill so Mayo suggested I call a schoolmate’s mother who was a doctor. In those days physicians made house calls, so Dr. Pikler came to...

When Babies Get Tired of Tummy Time

Back in 2011, I shared on this space “The Case Against Tummy Time”, a perspective by Feldenkrais practitioner Irene Lyon that remains one of my most controversial posts. Many have voiced disagreement with the suggestions in the article (which includes a video demonstration by an inspiring infant named Liv). Others have been relieved to learn that it isn’t necessary to place babies on their tummies — a...

The Parenting Practice That Matters Most

Respectful parenting differs from other approaches in several essential ways, and they all center on a pivotal and now (finally!) scientifically proven view of infants as aware, sentient, whole people. Guided by this revolutionary perception of babies as capable individuals, respectful parenting focuses on nurturing an intimate person-to-person relationship with our babies from birth. In other words, respecting...

4 Reasons to Relax About Sibling Toy Taking

“I recommend that you intervene minimally in disputes between siblings. If the age gap is large or a younger child might get hurt, more supervision is needed. The more they can work out on their own, the better. The family is a microcosm of life and its struggles. Close your eyes. The more you see and critique, the tougher it becomes, because then you make your children feel guilty. Guilt is not a good adviser....

How Respect Makes Parenting Easier

Every so often I receive a critical comment along the lines of this one: “…reading things such as ‘I asked my baby if she wanted me to lift her up and with the slightest nod of yes, I did’ (not exact quote) — when talking about a month-old baby — makes me want to laugh. It is true that babies, infants and toddlers should be treated with respect, and I adhere to the notion of the calm...

What To Do Instead of Rocking

There’s an old fashioned type of rocking that I appreciate but don’t hear much about these days. It is slow, gentle, and relaxing for both parent and child. There might be quiet conversation or singing, but there is no goal or purpose other than mutual contentment in just being together. A languid journey to nowhere. These days I’m mostly hearing about the purposeful kind of rocking some experts advise for...

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...

An Infant’s Powerful Moment

One of the greatest challenges for parents and professionals practicing mindful care is allowing children to struggle as they develop skills. It is far easier for us to do for them than it is to trust their natural process and offer hands-off encouragement. Good things often come to those who wait, but sometimes the wait can be excruciating for us. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mercedes Castle, a passionate...

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