elevating child care

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...

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...

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,”...

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...

The Most Powerful Way to Love a Child

I’m a hugger. Perhaps overly so, if that’s possible. I was reminded of my demonstrative tendencies recently when my 14-year-old’s tribe of buddies arrived at our home, each expecting his customary warm embrace from me. It was only slightly awkward when two boys walked in that I didn’t know as well. We chuckled a little as I went ahead and hugged them anyway, and they seemed okay with it. You really...

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...

The Answer to Sleep Might Be as Simple as…

With their high awareness, sensitivity, and fresh take on the world, young children tend to see differently than we adults. That can be easy for us to forget. For example, while we might be happy and excited about the arrival of our second baby, a move to a new home, taking a trip, or switching our toddler into his Big Boy Bed, children tend to feel the disruption and loss in these changes. And it shows in their...

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