elevating child care

Fake Crying and Manipulation

Occasionally, something I read from a parent or professional sparks such an intense visceral reaction that I need to drop everything I’m working on and respond. This recent note from Emily got my attention: Hi.  I own a childcare and have a little 2.5-year old girl who “fake cries” nearly all day.  Really, out of the 9 hours that she is with me, 5-8 are spent crying.  Yet she has never shed a tear,...

Parenting and Triggers: Wounds of the Past (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

In a recent post, I suggested some “dos” and “don’ts” for setting limits confidently that included: Do recognize that your child is highly aware, but also small and unthreatening, and that you are big, mature, and experienced. Our children can seem gi-normous at times, but a more realistic perspective will help us recognize that a child is neither a peer nor an ogre. There’s nothing he or she can...

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...

9 Best Ways to Stay (Mostly) Unruffled With Toddlers

Toddlers are experts at ruffling our feathers, but these tiny people mean no disrespect. Testing our limits (and patience) is impulsive behavior on their part and a developmentally appropriate way to seek answers to important questions like: Am I safe and cared for? Do I have confident leaders?  Are they with me or against me?  Is it okay to want what I want and feel what I’m feeling?  Am I a bad kid? While...

Anger is a Scary Emotion (Guest Post by Kate Russell)

Kate Russell is unafraid to lay bare her personal parenting struggles. With insight and refreshing candour, Kate’s blog “Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids” chronicles the bumpy path she’s taken transitioning from a more reactive, punitive approach to the respectful recommendations of my mentor, child specialist Magda Gerber. As a reader and a fan, I was thrilled when Kate accepted my request to write a guest...

My Child Is Not Okay

Encouraging kids to express their feelings would seem to be one of the simpler aspects of parenting, yes? Far from it.  Our children’s tears and tantrums are messy, embarrassing and extremely challenging to listen to without being reactive. Discomfort with displays of emotion is embedded in our psyches, perhaps stemming from primitive times when crying children attracted wild animals that might devour the family....

Parenting Toddlers in the Tantrum Zone

Hi Janet, Basically, we’ve been in extreme tantrum zone for about 6 months now. They can be over things that seem relatively small – usually around independence. For example, today my toddler had a tantrum because my husband put a straw in her smoothie instead of her doing it. Yesterday she had a tantrum because I was having an ultrasound and the technician wiped the jelly off my stomach instead of...

Toddler Tantrums – Who’s In Control?

Hi Janet, I need some advice. Mia has gotten into screaming tantrums if we ask her to do anything she might not want to do: wear blue pants, come to dinner, brush her teeth. During the day I’m good at remaining calm, ignoring the tantrum, and then she stops really quickly.  Recently, she’s started screaming about staying in her bed in the middle of the night.  She wants to sleep in our bed… and...

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