elevating child care

6 Things to Know About Your Strong-Willed Child

Hello Janet, I write to you wondering how to deal with my very strong-willed and independent 5-year-old.  As a toddler and emerging preschooler, she would express very large emotions.  I would try to help her name and accept them by saying calmly, “You are feeling frustrated.  Would you like to take a break?”  If she felt angry or frustrated, she would yell at me, “I’m NOT...

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...

How to Calm an Angry Child

Anger is an emotion we can all relate to, but it can be incredibly hard for us to allow our children to express it. They need to. If kids can’t share their anger, it doesn’t cease to exist. It festers, usually causing more frequent and intense flare-ups, discharged in bursts of impulsive limit-pushing behavior. It is also likely that unexpressed emotions like anger may be stockpiled and distilled into...

Eating Isn’t Ours to Control – How One Parent Replaced Fear with Trust

Worrying is a by-product of parenting, and our children’s eating habits are a common focus of concern. Are our kids eating enough? And are they eating the right things? Problems occur when our highly aware young children sense our concerns, because they can be compelled to test and exploit them. Kids always seem to know when they have us over a barrel (or, in this case, a bowl), and the uncomfortable yet...

Stop Being So Stern (What to do Instead)

Whether our child’s temperament is placid and agreeable, strong willed and intense, or something in between, all children have one need in common: our respectful, confident leadership. But with the dearth of respectful care models in our society, it can be tricky to grasp what confident leadership actually looks and sounds like. One of the common misunderstandings I’ve noted in my work with parents is that being...

Putting an End to Power Struggles with Our Kids

With the knowledge that it almost certainly takes two to tango, it should be easy for us to avoid engaging in power struggles with our kids, right? Um… not always. Here are some of the understandable reasons we might get caught in a battle of wills: We want our kids to be well-behaved, respect our wishes, do as we ask. (And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, so don’t ever let anyone make you...

Respectful Parenting Podcasts: “Janet Lansbury Unruffled”

I’m excited to be launching a weekly podcast series! Janet Lansbury Unruffled will be available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher. I hope you’ll tune in and maybe even subscribe (it’s free).  I hadn’t seriously considered doing weekly podcasts before, because I couldn’t wrap my head around adding another commitment to my plate. But recent developments have convinced me to give it a go… 1. It’s...

In Times of Transition, Our Children Need to Feel Our Love (6 Ways to Help)

Grace shared a story about her older son’s stressful “big brother” transition that demonstrates the healing power of respectful parenting practices. My younger baby Ben was in NICU and came out with brain damage, so the months after his birth were very stressful. All our time and energy was put into helping him and taking him to appointments. One day when Ben was about four months old, my elder son (almost...

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