Elevating Child Care

A Guide to Respectful Parenting
Narrated by: Janet Lansbury
Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (1,040 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Janet Lansbury's advice on respectful parenting is quoted and shared by millions of listeners worldwide. Inspired by the pioneering parenting philosophy of her friend and mentor, Magda Gerber, Janet's influential voice encourages parents and child-care professionals to perceive babies as unique, capable human beings with natural abilities to learn without being taught; to develop motor and cognitive skills; communicate; face age appropriate struggles; initiate and direct independent play for extended periods; and much more. Once we are able to view our children in this light, even the most common daily parenting experiences become stimulating opportunities to learn, discover, and to connect with our child. Elevating Child Care is a collection of 30 popular and widely discussed articles from Janet's website that focus on some of the most common infant/toddler issues: eating, sleeping, diaper changes, communication, separation, focus and attention span, creativity, boundaries, and more. Eschewing the quick-fix tips and tricks of popular parenting culture, Janet's insightful philosophy lays the foundation for a closer, more fulfilling parent/child relationship, and children who grow up to be authentic, confident, successful adults.

©2014 Janet Lansbury (P)2014 Janet Lansbury

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What listeners say about Elevating Child Care

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Fluffy but Useful

This is not an ask-an-expert parenting book. Janet Lansbury is a sort-of-used-to-be-famous disciple of Magda Gerber, an infant development expert who died in 2007. Lansbury doesn't claim to be an expert, but she is a wholehearted believer in the RIE approach to respectful parenting and has years of experience teaching this method to other parents. This book is almost entirely about infants and toddlers, not older children.

In principle, RIE is about respecting children from birth as whole people and letting them develop and learn on their own terms and in their own time. I agree with this principle, but, like any parenting ideology, it inevitably gets taken too far, like when Lansbury is very critical of parents asking toddlers harmless questions like, "Where's your nose?" because, apparently, that creates performance anxiety...? And although it's nice in theory to ask an infant's permission to change their diaper, it's a little much to expect parents to never need to get through a diaper change with an active nine-month-old without a distraction like a toy or a song, or to constantly tell a newborn everything that is about to happen at all times. I also don't believe in never explicitly teaching children things. If you don't expose them to something, how are they supposed to know whether or not it interests them? The book also tells you to ignore your parenting instincts in favour of doing everything the RIE approach tells you, which in my opinion is more likely to make parents feel insecure and not genuine than it is to help them make good decisions for their kids.

That said, the majority of the advice is useful if you can manage to not take the sanctimonious parts too seriously. Messages for parents like "take care of yourself", "it's okay to let kids be frustrated", "you don't need to entertain your baby", and "boundaries are important and necessary, not mean" are all good and helpful things for parents to hear. Is some of it contrived? Sure. But the overall message is reassuring and surprisingly realistic. Your baby needs the freedom to explore, and it is completely reasonable to restrict their play areas with gates/fences/etc. to keep them safe. The vast majority of babies will roll, sit up, walk, talk, and toilet-train in their own time and focusing on median-based milestone timing is a recipe for unnecessary parent anxiety. Your baby doesn't need to be attached to you 24/7 to feel secure. Your toddler will thrive in a world with limits and natural consequences. Hovering and constantly intervening is not helpful and often actively undermines kids who are trying to develop social skills or learning to solve problems. Kids are happiest with simple toys and a safe play environment - they don't need noisy, over-complicated "educational" toys or fancy music classes to learn and grow. Take your cues from your child when making decisions about everything from mealtimes to conflicts with other children and don't rely on tricks or manipulative tactics to make them do what you want.

Lansbury, perhaps because she used to be an actor, is a very good narrator. Unlike many books read by the author, this one felt comfortable and natural.

I can't give this book five stars. It's definitely above average for a parenting book, but still a little judgmental and often not based on actual developmental science. However, it was much better than I expected and would be worth listening to again in the future.

38 people found this helpful

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Very Calming

I loved listening to this book, extremely calming, especially as a perfectionist first time mom.

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Very helpful if you are losing your s@%#t

This book and No Bad Parents are so very helpful. I've been stressed out and missing the point. I so appreciate Lansbury's books.

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  • 04-07-16

Short & sweet

What did you love best about Elevating Child Care?


The book is like an experienced person telling you the things they wish they had known when they started. It sounds conversational, accessible, but packed with helpful tips that build on some founding principles and philosophies on child rearing.

This book is short, sweet, and to the point. Initially I debated whether I wanted to spend a book credit on this short book, I'm so glad I did. She could have easily fluffed the book with stories and anecdotes to make it a standard 8hr long listen, but I appreciate that she didn't.

Which character – as performed by Janet Lansbury – was your favorite?

The author did a great job of narrating this audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent Parenting Strategys

I love the RIE approach to raising babies, and Janet Lansbury is able to keep it simple but be thorough in her book. Audible books has made my sleepless nights much easier ;)

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Best parenting advice out there

Would you listen to Elevating Child Care again? Why?

This is such a deeply empathetic approach to child care, it actually made me reflect on my relationships with everyone else around me. Not only that, but implementing these observation and non-interventional techniques into my parenting turned out to be good approaches to dealing with others too. It gives your kids, you, and those around you the chance to do their own best work and find empowerment though the success they found themselves. It sounds backward, but it's not. It's the best parenting advice I've ever received.

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Great Read!

Finished listening to this book in one day. I plan on buying a hard copy and reading it again!

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Wish I had this book when my daughter was born!

I really like this approach and it works! there's a lot less yelling at my house and my cooperation from my 4 yr old daughter. I'd highly recommended this book to any mom!

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A beautiful gift!

Janet Lansbury writes plainly and eloquently about the relationship between caregiver/parent and child. Through her vision of babies/children as whole people I've began the painful and life-changing process of updating my own outdated beliefs. I can begin to see a clearer path to a genuine, enduring connection with my little humans. This book is a gem that I wish I had before my three kids were born and one that I will continue to gift to new parents. Thank you, Janet!

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Great book for parenting tool

This book is absolutely helpful for me to learn for raising my daughter. Without this book, I will so frustrated not knowing how to deal with my little one. Thanks Janet!

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  • eleni
  • 08-28-20

Exceptional book

The book I wish my parents had read for sure! I plan to restart this book immediatelly as I wait for my baby to arrive. Thank you Janet.

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  • a j ferguson
  • 06-23-20

very sound advice

Excellent guidance to finding ones way in the territory of the toddler! Non judgemental and clearly explained. Lots of examples of behavior and appropriate responses. Would highly recommend.

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  • Mrs A Firkins
  • 12-16-19

A great, informative non judgemental listen

Easy to listen to and brilliant content. This is the book I wish I had read when my first was born.

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  • nirvana_azul
  • 11-17-19

Practical

It is a practical and useful book full of interesting information that any new parent can benefit from

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  • G. Solomon
  • 08-18-19

Wonderful first book

This book is full of relevant and useful examples about how to care for An infant . Respectful, invitations to grow, participate and feel included. Encourages your baby to share , to be clear and accepted . Helps baby to grow up with integrity .

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  • Tristan
  • 03-11-19

Transformative

Janet has changed my perspective and taken away all the guilt I feel for not being my 'ideal' Dad and has allowed me to keep trying to be better, day after day. Thank you Janet.

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  • S. Pullinger
  • 09-10-18

So helpful

i really appreciate the many clear examples given off how to deal with all the conundrums we get into as parents of young children! Very supportive and helpful

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  • Bashy
  • 04-19-17

Essential parenting guidance

Brilliant examples and realistic, understandable advice. Highly recommended and one for repeat listening. Buy it.

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  • B. Clark
  • 01-16-17

Highly recommended

Would you listen to Elevating Child Care again? Why?

Yes, I would. Since the information given applies to children of a very wide range: infants, toddlers as well as teenegers is a book that I would listen again in the future.

What did you like best about this story?

That this approach makes total sense to me, to treat babies and small children in a respectful manner as you would treat an adult.

Have you listened to any of Janet Lansbury’s other performances? How does this one compare?

It's my first time listening to Janet Lansbury.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when she talked about her mum and her relationship with her.

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  • Ania
  • 05-23-16

Very useful

Very enlightening and logical. I'll listen to it again in a few months when my baby is a toddler.

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  • JULIANA
  • 09-29-16

Interesting book but be cautious about advices

The book presents some really good and important points such as respect, connection, acceptance that actually makes the reading worth. From this point of view I would definitely recommend this book
However I would be very cautious with some of the advices here. The book is based on Magda Gerber and although have clear valid points it is NOT BASED on the last RESEARCHS or science facts found about babies' brain and parenting. Therefore some of advices such as not wearing baby as much or comforting with touch for instance dismiss some important aspects about oxytocin. Suggesting leaving a baby crying for short periods to take a shower for example clearly doesn't cover some of the issues that distress can create on infants' brain, etc. Just pointing few exemples here. Also what she says about conditioning the baby with our habits seems totally wrong for me. (For instance The babies learn to like being rocked on womb not in our arms! Rocking is just a natural transition to outside world, therefore instinctive!)
Also touching is such an important aspect of parenting and although the tone of voice it's obviously important, nothing it's like touching and cuddling a baby! And this is an instinctive parenting need! The book can lead to a different perception and that's what worries me with good intentioned parents reading this book...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-18

simple, practical and respectful

loved it... the mother daughter parts - beautiful... the ending particularly poignant and resonated x

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-20

wonderful information. easy listen

loved this book and everything Janet. definitely recommend this to all new and familiar parents

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  • Lidia
  • 06-13-20

An amazing read

A wonderful overview of respectful parenting principles, I believe this should be a must read for any parent. Please note that although the book is written specifically for infants and toddlers, the advice provided perfectly applies to all ages and stages of a child's life. It's never too late to start treating our children respectfully and as capable human beings, supporting their physical, emotional and spiritual development.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-20

Best parenting book I’ve encountered by far

I have found this book to be an invaluable resource on my parenting journey so far. The content is so contradictory to the beliefs that I unconsciously held previously and it has been truly eye opening and life changing. This philosophy resonates with me so well and I will be forever grateful to have discovered Janet Lansbury‘s work. I was also delighted to know that it’s narrated by Janet Lansbury. It makes the listening experience all the more special.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-18

A book for all adults, especially parents.

I worked in the child care industry for 10 years before becoming a parent, so I thought a knew a thing or two about caring for, interacting with and educating young children... Janet has blown me out of the water in the best way possible! A must read for all professionals, parents and adults in general. I wish I had this book as well as her other 'No Bad Kids'.