elevating child care

No Such Thing as Failure

Psychologists and educators generally agree that children need to be allowed to experience failure in order to build healthy self-confidence and resilience. In theory, I wholeheartedly concur and have offered that advice myself, but there is something about the term “fail” that has always bothered me. Failure is an adult perception, reflecting a win-lose outlook on struggle that infants and toddlers don’t...

Key Ingredients of the Most Blissful Summer Activities

When my three children were little, summer was always a time to take advantage of looser schedules and to plan special outings and activities. Once they entered grade school, the freedom and fluidity of summer days became even more precious. Though we weren’t in a position to take expensive vacations, we’d go to shows, zoos, the beach, water parks, and sometimes travel across the country to visit grandparents...

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...

Your Presence is Enough

Young children can make us feel insanely popular. Their relentless requests for our attention begin at birth, and we remain in high demand throughout the toddler, preschool, early grade school years. Our ranking on the Popularity Scale then takes a sharp dive during adolescence, and it tanks miserably in high school. By college we’re lucky if they take our calls. (Ouch. That one hits too close to home.) Meeting...

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...

Your Baby’s Call of the Wild (Guest Post by Angela Hanscom)

If you start at an early age, your baby will learn to love the outdoors and will enjoy herself there. These times will help her to be less clingy, nagging, overly dependent, constantly needing company or entertainment. The stimuli which nature provides is unparalleled. Even the youngest infant becomes fascinated by listening to birds, watching the movements of flies, butterflies, shadows and leaves. Air circulation,...

Will You Let Your Children Play?

“Letting our children play” sounds easy and so obvious, doesn’t it? We all know play should be encouraged, because it’s essential for healthy development: physical, cognitive, psychological and, most imperatively, the development of extended potty breaks for parents. Yet many of us find it surprisingly difficult to refrain from interrupting or interfering when our children play. This might be because: We...

My Baby Can’t Sit

Hi Janet, Just wanted to share a little story with you: I have a 7 month old son. Since I discovered Madga Gerber’s philosophy through your website he has never been in a Bumbo, Jolly Jumper, ‘seated activity centre’, or any other such device which would place him in a position he couldn’t get into himself, or which would restrict his freedom. A few days ago I was with some new friends who both have...

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