elevating child care

Cutting the Cutesy With Our Kids

Stepping into our children’s shoes (or booties) in order to see their point-of-view helps us to empathize, meet their needs, foster healthy self-worth and a secure attachment. Sensitive observation and reminding ourselves to wait a moment before intervening are effective ways to do that, and sometimes the insights we gather are reinforced by adult experiences that demonstrate to us first-hand the way kids are...

When Children “Can’t Do It” (And How To Help)

“Don’t be afraid to try” and “Keep trying, don’t give up” are directives we hope our children will internalize. Self-initiative, gumption, resilience, tenacity and perseverance are character traits most of us wish to foster. So it can be disconcerting when our children seem to quit rather than stay on task, or worse, appear to have a defeatist attitude and refuse to even try.  Here are the most common...

Parent Do-Overs – 7 Confidence Building Responses

If parenting were film acting, we’d always be brilliant because we’d have plenty of “takes” to perfect our responses (not to mention make-up, hair styling and ridiculously high salaries).  But we are playing a part — the role of a lifetime for a lifetime.  Luckily, we perform for an adoring, forgiving audience, and our children will usually accept our less thoughtful, less than stellar performances....

The Problem With Cute Kids

“We often think that children are cutest when they are most intent and serious about what they are doing.  Patting a mud pie, for example.  They act as if it were important. How satisfying for us to feel we know better.” – John Holt In his book Escape From Childhood, educator John Holt relates a “most embarrassing moment” shared with him by a friend. The friend was walking in a department store behind...

Teaching Babies Language (And Much, Much More) While They Play

If we want our babies to receive all the many, well-documented benefits of self-directed play, Rule #1 is taking care not to interrupt. But that certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be responsive — quite the opposite in fact. Our infants and toddlers, whether playing alone or with peers, appreciate assurances that we are paying attention – subtle reminders that their self-chosen antics intrigue and even...

Nurturing Creativity (How I Learned to Shut Up)

Years ago, my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was coloring Easter eggs. She had dipped an egg into the purple-dye cup and was about to blend it with yellow dye, when I stopped her. “You might not like the way those colors will look together,” I warned.  Spirited girl that she’s always been, she overruled me and proceeded to mix colors that I was certain would combine to look like a putrid shade of late...

Praising Children, Risking Failure

How can something that feels so good be so…not?  A recent New York Magazine article by Po Bronson warns about the perils of praise. In “How Not to Talk to Your Kids”, the author reports findings from a series of experiments conducted by psychologist Carol Dweck and her team at Columbia (she’s now at Stanford) that studied the effect of praise on students in a dozen New York public schools. Children in...

“Your Baby Can Read” Costs Too Much

A mom friend told me about the “Your Baby Can Read” program and I was just wondering what you thought about it? It seems kind of sketchy to me…but at the same, I think, “Well, if I could teach my baby to read…wouldn’t that be something that would be good for her?” My daughter is 1 year old. Your candid thoughts and opinions would be appreciated. –Tina Learning programs for infants and toddlers...

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