It’s one of the first things people ask new parents about, and the focus and source of a lot of our time, energy, and stress during the first years of our kids’ lives.
I recently visited with close friends and their week-old baby. One of the first things Dad said to me was, “wow, the sleep deprivation finally caught up with us. We were fine for a few days and then…” he trailed off. Then: “This is hard.” Read More
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. Read More
“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. Read More
My son starts at a brand-new school tomorrow. At 4.5, he’s starting preschool later than a bunch of his peers, but it was the right decision for our family to keep him in his sweet, small daycare for an extra year.
These kinds of transitions are part of parenting for all of us, whether it’s a move to a new school, a new home, or to becoming a sibling instead of an only child. Here are a few tips for weathering these kinds transitions with respect for your child’s process and your own. Read More
I happen to know that my child is not the only one who resists the normal, everyday aspects of his existence with a kind of endurance that would be admirable were it not so darn aggravating.
Here are a few tips for managing your child’s resistance respectfully, and with an eye toward deepening her sense of connection (which—you guessed it—also can help lessen the resistance). All of these tools work well with babies, toddlers, and older children as well. Read More
In a recent post about limit setting, I argued that, for our passionate little movers, limits are like the railings on a beautiful yet precarious dance floor. We need them to provide safety and security as our kids explore the world and their place in it.
In this post I want to explore in greater detail how limit setting can look, through the lens of a beautiful path for living and relating to others called The Four-Fold Way®. Read More
I recently got a question from a young couple about to embark on their marriage and parenting journey. The question was about setting limits for children, and whether and how to do it. One of them grew up with many firm limits, while the other was raised to find his own way and make his own choices for the most part. Both felt very strongly that the way they were raised was the best way.
Which one of them was right? they asked. Read More
You may have heard about the Educaring® Approach, or RIE®—sometimes called “respectful parenting”—on the playground or from a friend who is a parent. But what is RIE® really all about? Is it right for your family?
Magda Gerber, who founded RIE®—which stands for Resources for Infant Educarers—believed that babies are whole, capable people deserving of our respect from the moment they are born. Read More
Learning a little bit more about why tantrums happen, as well as what we can do to weather them in a way that supports both our child and our own needs, can help us get through these long moments with more of our sanity intact. Read More
The Educaring® Approach offers many wonderful practices for communicating with infants and toddlers, but we sometimes forget to talk about what we're saying when we're not using words. Learning to respond to our children respectfully starts with attunement. Read More