elevating child care

Social Skills

7 Reasons to Stop Judging (and Start Trusting) Sibling Play

It can be incredibly challenging to refrain from judging sibling play when behavior seems unfair, aggressive or rude. I am very aware of this from my own experience as a parent. Obviously, we must always intervene when children are hurting each other, but even in those cases, I’ve learned that we are most effective in both the short and long term when we remove our judgmental adult lenses and intervene from a...

When Our Child is Hurt by Another

Nothing ignites our protective instincts more intensely than when our children are hurt, whether physically or emotionally. If their distress has been caused intentionally by another child, we experience a brew of emotions that can be almost impossible to control. But to be of genuine help to our children in these situations, I believe we must challenge ourselves to do just that: control our own emotions.  When we...

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...

Helping Toddlers Succeed (at the Park, Playdates, Outings, and Other Social Situations)

Early childhood specialist Lisa Sunbury and I were speaking with a mutual friend who was concerned about a problematic playdate her toddler had recently experienced. During our conversation, Lisa shared a personal goal that I agree with completely: “I feel like it’s my job to help my child to succeed in these situations.” Nothing disappoints me more than hearing respectful parenting misinterpreted as...

Confessions of a Recovering Helicopter Parent (Guest Post by Elisabeth Corey)

When I first came across the writings of Janet Lansbury, my children were already five years old.  Initially, I had two thoughts.  I knew her advice made perfect sense.  I also knew I had done everything wrong.  I hadn’t trusted them to find their own way.  I had not provided them the best environment for emotional expression.  Instead I had been a full-blown helicopter parent. But to be fair, when I became...

How to Enjoy a Beautiful Relationship with Your Toddler (Right Now)

One of my shining moments as a new mother was when a middle-aged woman approached me and my 15 month old daughter at a restaurant to say how much she’d enjoyed observing us delighting in each other’s company. My oldest has always had a penchant for dining out (now an avocation she would love to turn into a profession) and would rise to the occasion even as a baby. Not all kids are like that. But if I hadn’t...

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...

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...

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