elevating child care

Why Timeouts Fail and What to do Instead

Timeout is a temporary, artificial, and inadequate solution to a real problem. Worse, it actually prevents us from seeing the real problem, because when kids feel judged and rejected, they tend to clam up (as we all do). Timeout closes the door on communication in the misguided hope that children will think about their behavior and, shamed, resolve to do better in the future.  The problem with this logic is that it...

From Resentment to Friendship – How Our Kids Can Learn to Love a New Sibling

Parenting is a journey of discovery, and one of the lessons we learn (sooner, ideally, than later) is that there are aspects of our children’s lives we can control and many more we can’t. When we have two or more children, it quickly becomes apparent that we have very little control over their sibling relationships. Yes, we can teach our children to treat each other with empathy and respect by modeling those...

5 Best Ways to Raise Problem Solvers

“Parenting or raising a child is an impossible profession. The most impossible profession. Number one, we raise children with the knowledge of the past. It’s already obsolete.” This observation is made by infant specialist Magda Gerber in her video “Seeing Infants With New Eyes.” Noting the absurdity of raising children for a future that none of us can predict, Magda asks, “And then the question is, if...

Connecting with Our Kids When We Set Limits (What That Really Means)

I am confident that setting limits is not any parent’s favorite way to connect with a child. Not any parent I know, anyway. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about denying our children’s requests, limiting their behavior, or trying to gain cooperation when they resist. And yet, negotiating these challenging moments is the key to guiding our kids effectively. When we are connecting genuinely, respectfully, and...

4 Reasons to Relax About Sibling Toy Taking

“I recommend that you intervene minimally in disputes between siblings. If the age gap is large or a younger child might get hurt, more supervision is needed. The more they can work out on their own, the better. The family is a microcosm of life and its struggles. Close your eyes. The more you see and critique, the tougher it becomes, because then you make your children feel guilty. Guilt is not a good adviser....

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...

Navigating the New Sibling (With Confidence and Love)

When adding a second child to the family, I believe it our primary goal as parents to maintain a quality relationship with our first. Intense feelings of fear, loss, betrayal, anger, and resentment are to be expected for these older children, commonly expressed through limit-pushing behavior that might be directed at parents, peers, and/or the new baby. None of this is easy or looks pretty – emotional pain is...

Why is My Child Behaving This Way? (A Checklist)

I’m blessed to work with mindful parents, most of whom have ‘sensitive’ and ‘respectful’ down.  They’ve made a concerted effort to develop a quality connection with their children, and their behavior usually reflects that. So they’re understandably thrown when resistant or defiant behavior occasionally crops up anyway. The good news: getting back on track is simple, because all that’s usually needed...

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