elevating child care

How Children Really Learn Empathy

“Educators will tell you that a classroom full of empathetic kids simply runs more smoothly than one filled with even the happiest group of self-serving children. Similarly, family life is more harmonious when siblings are able feel for each other and put the needs of others ahead of individual happiness. If a classroom or a family full of caring children makes for a more peaceful and cooperative learning...

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...

5 Ways to Make the Early Days with Babies More Peaceful, Joyful and Magical

As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20,” and that is certainly true for me as I recall life as a brand new parent. I adored my baby girl but was lost as to how to spend the day with her beyond what seemed obvious: breastfeeding, snuggling, making sure she had a clean diaper, keeping her from crying, and doing my best(!) to help her get to sleep. There were flashes of joy in the chaos (and a whole of lot of...

The Powerful Effect of Respectful Parenting for Children With Special Needs (Case Studies from Sandra Hallman)

I’m often asked by parents of children with special needs whether respectful care practices, which are based on trust in our children as competent whole people at birth, can possibly work for them. And if so, how? Based on the feedback I have received from parents and professionals in the field, the answer is a resounding “yes!” But since my own work with families has not included many of these children, I...

No Bad Parents (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

As a fan of Janet’s work and her website, this is a reader comment I come across occasionally: “Oh, great! Another article that makes me feel like a bad parent.” Well, not this article. Nope. This article wants to assure you that nothing Janet writes about respectful parenting is designed to intimidate or humiliate, but only to inform, educate, and to offer readers a shot at a parenting experience beyond their...

Be the Grown-up Your Child Needs

“…we have a duty and obligation to fully inhabit the grown-up role to the best of our ability. This might require being present with our uneasiness or discomfort about our children’s anger toward us. But we shouldn’t avoid those unpleasant feelings by abdicating the bigger need they have – for us to lovingly Captain the ship, steering them through storms as well as calm waters.”                ...

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...

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