elevating child care

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...

Essential Elements of a Baby Bedtime Routine

Peaceful. Participatory. Predictable. These three P’s characterize an infant environment that builds self-confidence and a sense of security. Bedtime is one of the most obvious and important times in an infant’s day to employ these three P’s. Settling a child down for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep can be one of the most difficult and elusive processes in parenting. Establishing consistency is key,...

Fake Crying and Manipulation

Occasionally, something I read from a parent or professional sparks such an intense visceral reaction that I need to drop everything I’m working on and respond. This recent note from Emily got my attention: Hi.  I own a childcare and have a little 2.5-year old girl who “fake cries” nearly all day.  Really, out of the 9 hours that she is with me, 5-8 are spent crying.  Yet she has never shed a tear,...

Helping Toddlers Succeed (at the Park, Playdates, Outings, and Other Social Situations)

Early childhood specialist Lisa Sunbury and I were speaking with a mutual friend who was concerned about a problematic playdate her toddler had recently experienced. During our conversation, Lisa shared a personal goal that I agree with completely: “I feel like it’s my job to help my child to succeed in these situations.” Nothing disappoints me more than hearing respectful parenting misinterpreted as...

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...

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...

RIE Parenting Is Not About Rules

Introduced to the teachings of infant specialist Magda Gerber as an overwhelmed new mom, I found an alternative way of parenting that gave me the clarity and inspiration I desperately needed (a story I’ve shared in detail in other posts). I eagerly devoured every recommendation of Magda’s RIE approach, which included many aspects I’d been doing “wrong” (like carrying my infant in an upright position). It...

How to Enjoy a Beautiful Relationship with Your Toddler (Right Now)

One of my shining moments as a new mother was when a middle-aged woman approached me and my 15 month old daughter at a restaurant to say how much she’d enjoyed observing us delighting in each other’s company. My oldest has always had a penchant for dining out (now an avocation she would love to turn into a profession) and would rise to the occasion even as a baby. Not all kids are like that. But if I hadn’t...

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