elevating child care

How We Got Our Daughter Back

“It’s almost as if he’s never gotten over having a sibling.” That insightful aside was made by a parent in an online discussion group who was requesting advice from the group for handling her 5-year-old’s disagreeable and sometimes aggressive behavior toward his 3-year-old sister. For me, her comment nailed the issue perfectly. The transition children must make after the birth of a sibling tends to be...

The Gift of Intrinsic Motivation

“You can be anything you want to be.” Sounds like an empowering affirmation to give children, right? And yet these encouraging words from my mother created confusion and pressure, and I’m still not sure why. I think I heard “the sky’s the limit,” and it seemed too overwhelming. I thought I had to soar. Would it be enough to just be me? I believe I would have benefited from the more down-to-earth advice...

Building Trust with Kids in Crisis (A Police Officer’s Story)

One of the most profound and gratifying results of engaging with our children with respect is that their trust in us increases, often immediately. In that respect (pun intended), kids are no different from the rest of us. They trust people who seem to “get” and value them. And, like all of us, children are more inclined to cooperate with a person they trust. This is particularly true in a stressful situation...

Stop Worrying About Your Sensitive Child

It’s a well-known fact in my family that I startle easily. My husband and kids are often met with a gasp or shriek if they walk into a room unannounced, or even address me from a direction that I’m not facing. I’ve been known to leave the ground. Sometimes, if I’m deep in thought, the slightest movement (real or imagined) in my peripheral vision can set me off.  I’ve been startled by my own eyeball...

Kids’ Haircuts Don’t Have to be Hairy

Haircuts for children tend to have one thing in common: distraction. In the interest of getting kids to cooperate while we get the job done, distracting them with toys, games, screens and other entertainment can seem the best solution. It seems kinder, too. What kid would want to sit still for several minutes while a stranger goes at them with shears? But there’s a much better way, and it’s the polar opposite...

When Your Child Doesn’t Like Herself

It can be so difficult to remain calm, open, and curious when our kids say alarming things. Hi Janet, We moved from one side of the state to the other approximately 4 months ago with our then 2-year-old (since turned 3). She has taken the move quite badly and still cries for her old friends. She often says she wants to go back to our old home and doesn’t want to live where we now live. She had been friends...

RIE Parenting – What Dads Are Saying

There is no more positive trend in modern parenting than the increasing involvement of fathers. This uptick in paternal engagement has been obvious in my parent-child classes where there have been many more dads in attendance in recent years. Sometimes they’re even the partner that shows up most regularly.  It has also been apparent in my private consultations, messages, and emails, and in social media discussion...

The Very Best Way to Bond with a Child (A Grandparent’s Story)

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I idolize someone who can approach the sensitive topic of caring for children with an egoless, open mind. I’m especially impressed when these are grandparents, because they’ve raised their own children already and yet are open to learning as much as they can, and maybe even doing things differently with their grandchildren. I can only hope to be one of them someday. That...

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