elevating child care

Crying and Tantrums

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...

Becoming a Peaceful Leader for Your Strong-Willed Child

In my quest to convey ideas and advice that make raising children both easier and more enjoyable, I rely on feedback. The questions, comments, and personal experiences parents and professionals share help me learn how to communicate respectful care practices more clearly and effectively. I’m guided by hearing what resonates, shifts perspective, and what helps people get unstuck or turn a corner. I recently had the...

The Secret to Setting Limits (Without Bribes or Threats)

Hi Janet, Please help! I’m having to rethink my strategies with my 4-year-old.  Normally bedtime is effortless — a great routine, quality time, and straight down. The only caveat is that I’ve used TV as an incentive and threaten to cancel play dates the next day if she doesn’t stay in bed (and have consistently followed through). Now that I’ve removed this “motivation,”...

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,...

How to Stop Being an Anxious Parent and Enjoy Your Child

The intense performance pressure many of us feel as new parents combined with all the physical challenges — sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, recovery from the birth, etc. — can easily launch us into a cycle of anxiety. This is compounded in cases where our baby faces health complications, colic, or other issues. I’ve been there and was so grateful to find my way out through the wisdom and support...

6 Helpful Things to Know About Your Strong-Willed Child

Hello Janet, I write to you wondering how to deal with my very strong-willed and independent 5-year-old.  As a toddler and emerging preschooler, she would express very large emotions.  I would try to help her name and accept them by saying calmly, “You are feeling frustrated.  Would you like to take a break?”  If she felt angry or frustrated, she would yell at me, “I’m NOT...

When Children Fall Apart Over the Smallest Things

Hi Janet, I have a 3 year old son who is incredibly bright. He started talking very early and has been a fast learner, curious, and a great communicator. He is also very sensitive. Recently, his caregiver has said that he has a very difficult time recovering from situations where he’s been fouled in some way or when he’s asked to do something he does not want to do. She knows this is normal behavior...

How to Calm an Angry Child

Anger is an emotion we can all relate to, but it can be incredibly hard for us to allow our children to express it. They need to. If kids can’t share their anger, it doesn’t cease to exist. It festers, usually causing more frequent and intense flare-ups, discharged in bursts of impulsive limit-pushing behavior. It is also likely that unexpressed emotions like anger may be stockpiled and distilled into...

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