elevating child care

Social / Emotional Development

It’s Okay to be Scared – 5 Steps for Easing Bedtime Fears

Accepting our children’s emotions sounds simple in theory, but for most parents I know (and me) this is an enormous challenge. The powerful instinct we have to alleviate our children’s discomforts is, obviously, healthy and positive when their feelings reflect a need that we can fill, like offering food when they’re hungry or helping them to bed when they’re tired. But just as often, children have feelings...

My Child is Acting Like a Baby

“I’m a bit lost. My older child is 2 years and 10 months old. For the past week he’s been telling me he’s a baby. I acknowledge his comments by playing pretend that he’s a baby, but I’m concerned about whether I’m doing the right thing. He asks to be fed (when he has been doing it on his own for a year), and he wants to be picked up all the time. I wonder if jealousy finally...

The Breastfeeding Challenge

“Take the telephone off the hook before you intend to feed, bathe or diaper your baby, and tell your infant, ‘I’m going to take the phone off the hook so nobody will disturb us, because now I really want to be just with you.’ (When you say it, you reinforce yourself.) ‘Unbusy’ your head and ‘unbusy’ your body. Be fully there, interested only in your baby for that time. I...

How Children Really Learn Empathy

“Educators will tell you that a classroom full of empathetic kids simply runs more smoothly than one filled with even the happiest group of self-serving children. Similarly, family life is more harmonious when siblings are able feel for each other and put the needs of others ahead of individual happiness. If a classroom or a family full of caring children makes for a more peaceful and cooperative learning...

My Holiday Survival Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season to remember that excitement, stimulation, the disruption of daily routines, traveling and social events all tend to bring out the very worst in our young children. So, the holidays are a particularly important time to remember the best piece of parenting advice I have to offer (anytime, anywhere): Consider your child’s perspective.  The early years are an...

Enchanting Child-Inspired Pumpkin Carving

I’m thinking about launching a campaign similar to Nike’s using their slug line, but instead of Just Do It, I’d advocate Just ‘Let Kids’ Do It. Letting kids do it whenever possible, when they want to, opens the door to self-expression and encourages creativity, originality, and innovation. Letting kids do it might sound simple and obvious, but it can actually be quite challenging because as...

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,...

No Such Thing as Failure

Psychologists and educators generally agree that children need to be allowed to experience failure in order to build healthy self-confidence and resilience. In theory, I wholeheartedly concur and have offered that advice myself, but there is something about the term “fail” that has always bothered me. Failure is an adult perception, reflecting a win-lose outlook on struggle that infants and toddlers don’t...

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