elevating child care

Empowering a Passive or “Shy” Child

In the twenty years that I’ve facilitated parent-toddler groups, I’ve known a handful of toddlers that I’d consider to be socially gifted. These children seem to have an innate knack for engaging with peers effectively and appropriately from the get-go.  For the majority of toddlers, however, mastering the ins and outs of socialization is a challenge (lifelong for many of us), and a messy one at that. We...

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...

The Secret to Getting out the Door with a Resistant Child

It’s time to go, but our child says no. We’ve tried explaining, coaxing, bribing, scolding. We’ve given choices, played games, filled our child’s cup with attention and quality time. We’ve even tried half-heartedly acknowledging, “I know you don’t want to go, but we must…” All to no avail. Frustration mounts, guilt and doubt seep in… What if she really dislikes her school (we’ve chosen the...

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...

When Parents Invade Childhood (A Lesson in Distrust)

Trust is essential to raising capable, happy, self-confident children. Belief in our children’s competence is vital to their sense of self-worth and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And yet, trusting kids to handle even the most benign, age-appropriate situations is sometimes difficult for parents.  What are we so afraid of? This is the question that came up for me when Karen shared this discouraging...

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....

Braving the Silence (The Secret to Nurturing Emotional Resilience)

One of the many blessings of my job facilitating classes for parents and their infants and toddlers is that these groups provide me with a personal learning lab. I often learn more than I teach. A realization I had lately is that there’s often an element missing in our exchanges with children, particularly when they express their thoughts or feelings. What’s missing is silence. Not a brooding, deafening, or...

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