elevating child care

Surviving Sibling Struggles

A parent recently posed this question in a Facebook discussion group: Why do older siblings sometimes hurt younger ones? Take toys from them? I don’t really understand… I commented: The question for me: why wouldn’t they? The younger child ripped the older one’s life apart. It is natural for the older child to want to control, dominate, and take out frustration on this person that rocked their...

Toddler Toy Battles – Interventions That Work

The interventions we use when children battle over toys or engage in other social struggles are reflective of our perceptions of their abilities, as well as our general attitudes toward learning and ‘struggle’. Do we perceive babies, toddlers and preschoolers as basically capable? Or fragile and needy? Are our children born active, self-directed learners (as child specialist Magda Gerber asserted), or do they...

Share… Wait Your Turn… Don’t Touch… Playdate Rules That Limit Learning (And What To Try Instead)

Ryan and Luis both want to ride a tricycle in the play area at their child care center. Each child begins to pull on the tricycle’s seat, saying, “Mine, mine.” A moment later they both start to cry. Their carer, observing this, moves closer to the children. She bends down on one knee and says, “You both want the tricycle.” The children continue to struggle. Luis falls against the tricycle and makes it move...

Respectful Parenting – It’s Weird, But It Works

It can be easy for me to forget that the way infant specialist Magda Gerber taught me to engage with babies isn’t the norm. This is especially true now that my own children are well past the infant/toddler years. The only parents of young ones I regularly spend time with are in my weekly parent-child classes, where we’re in our own little insulated parenting bubble.     But during a recent weekend trip for one...

When Your 3 Year Old Grabs Toys

Hi Janet,  I started reading your blog several months ago, and have managed to read most of your posts, and a couple of Magda Gerber’s books too. I have 2 children, Caleb is now 3 1/2 years and Bella is 7 months. I really struggled looking after them both after Bella was born. I had been unwell for the entire pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum), so had no time to really recover before the sleepless nights...

Helping Toddlers Resolve Conflicts (Rules of Engagement)

Given a choice, I would avoid conflict like the plague, but I don’t live in a plastic bubble. My day is full of personal interactions with family, friends, co-workers and strangers (including the telemarketer predictably calling at dinnertime). As a result, I find that I constantly need to exercise and hone my “handling conflict” skills. Thankfully, I’m blessed with the most inspiring teachers in the world:...

4 Best Ways To Raise Children With Social Intelligence

“What parents teach is themselves, as models of what is human – by their moods, their reactions, their facial expressions and actions. These are the real things parents need to be aware of, and of how they affect their children. Allow them to know you, and it might become easier for them to learn about themselves.”      – Magda Gerber Of all the skills we encourage our children to develop, social...

Should We Stop Babies From Taking Toys? (Another Respectful Debate)

After observing babies playing together for many years now, I’ve learned a lot about infant and toddler socialization and formed some fairly strong opinions. So, when I read a point of view from another professional that I disagree with, it’s hard for me to resist weighing in. Recently, I entered into a mini-debate about toddlers, toys and ownership that I thought worth sharing. The discussion was stimulated by...

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