Parenting When You're in Pain

Every family has its own heartbreaks, sooner or later.

But how to meet and manage the pain and sadness of these times without shutting down is a whole other story. And having kids complicates how (or if) we are able to work with it. It also raises questions about how much (or whether) to share it with our children.

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Why it Matters How We Respond to Our Child's Feelings

One of the biggest challenges we face as parents is knowing how to respond when our children have a big feeling—when they get angry, very sad, frustrated, or even super excited.

This work begins for us when our babies are tiny, when they sometimes cry for prolonged periods for seemingly no reason.

And it continues as our children grow into older babies, toddlers, and beyond.

How we meet our child’s big feelings will teach them how to meet their own feelings, and, I’d argue, how to understand themselves as they grow.

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How to Get Your Kid to Play Without You (and Why You Should)

I often say to parents that play is like the blood that runs through your child’s veins. He absolutely thrives on it—in fact he needs it to grow, develop, understand the world, and process his experiences.

 Play helps your child discover what he can do, as well as what he can’t (yet) do. It gives him a chance to experiment (will this ball fit into this container? How about this one?), to practice building his skills (if I jump off this sidewalk 100 more times, I will do it without stumbling!), and through this process of discovery, experimentation, and practice, develop his self-confidence.

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From Play Yards to Yes Spaces: Creating a Safe Play Space for Your Child

New parents often tell me that they struggle to get any kind of self-care once their baby arrives. I can relate—after my son was born I felt totally disconnected from the habits that had nurtured me before his arrival.

Here’s a little secret. One of the best things you can do for your young baby also comes with a bonus: it’s self-care for you, too.

That thing that is so good for both of you is simple (and yes, hard too): put your baby down.

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Get Ready for Your Baby the Respectful Parenting Way

There are so many opinions out there about what you need to do to get ready for your new baby. As useful as these tips can be, they overshadow some of the most important kinds of preparation. We need to be prepared for how to be with our babies, not just for what we’ll swaddle or stroll them in.

Luckily, the Educaring Approach® (commonly known as RIE® parenting or respectful parenting) is the perfect support system for the intense early days of parenting. Here’s how you can practice some of the Approach’s most effective—yet quite simple—tools before your baby even arrives.

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The Best Gifts You Can Give to Your Child This Holiday Season

It’s upon us: the holiday season! Thanksgiving is around the corner for those of us in the U.S., followed by the winter holidays, which usually means one thing for many of us: time with family.

Before we have kids, this time of year can feel like a lot, even if we have healthy and uncomplicated relationships with our family (ha!).

But when we add kids to the mix, the things we weather during this time of year—travel, delays, long meals, family dynamics, big feelings of all kinds, and increased stress due to all of this—can make us want to put a pillow over our heads until January 2nd.

While we can’t necessarily change our complicated family dynamics or remove all the stress from the holidays, there are a few things we can do as parents to make this time of year easier on all of us, especially our littlest members.

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What to Do With a Baby

“What do I. . . DO with her all day?”

 A slightly baffled mom asked this question about her newborn baby in a RIE® parent-infant class. We all laughed—including her—but I also knew part of her was very serious.

No parenting class had prepared her for this part of being a mom. After the diapers, feeding, bathing, dressing… what was she supposed to do with the kid?

If you’ve ever wondered this about your baby, you’re not alone.

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The Most Important Repairs

Her are some simple, respectful parenting tools that I recommend when you find yourself behaving like the parent you don’t want to be—either by accident or because you can’t seem to stop yourself.

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