Parenting group based on the philosophies of RIE and respectful parenting. Based on the work of RIE Founder Magda Gerber, doctor Emmi Pickler and RIE educators Janet Lansbury and Lisa Sunbury. Our goal is to create a safe, supportive space for parents to get together with their infants, toddlers and children to practice putting these philosophies into action.
For a great introduction to RIE, check out this article about the principles of RIE by RIE educator, Janet Lansbury (her whole website is amazing).
Here are the principles of RIE as written by Magda Gerber:
TRUST IN THE INFANT’S COMPETENCE We have basic trust in the infant to be an initiator, to be an explorer eager to learn what he is ready for.
Because of this trust, we provide the infant with only enough help necessary to allow the child to enjoy mastery of her own actions.
SENSITIVE OBSERVATION Our method, guided by respect for the infant’s competence, is observation. We observe carefully to understand the infant’s communications and his needs.
The more we observe, the more we understand and appreciate the enormous amount and speed of learning that happens during the first two or three years of life. We become more humble, we teach less, and we provide an environment for learning instead.
CAREGIVING TIMES: INVOLVING THE CHILD During care activities (diapering, feeding, bathing, dressing, etc.), we encourage even the tiniest infant to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient of the activities. Parents create opportunities for interaction, cooperation, intimacy and mutual enjoyment by being wholeheartedly with the infant during the time they spend together anyway.
“Refueled” by such unhurried, pleasurable caring experiences, infants are ready to explore their environment with only minimal intervention by adults.
A SAFE, CHALLENGING, PREDICTABLE ENVIRONMENT Our role is to create an environment in which the child can best do all the things that the child would do naturally. The more predictable an environment is, the easier it is for babies to learn.
As infants become more mobile, they need safe, appropriate space in which to move. Their natural, inborn desire to move should not be handicapped by the environment.
TIME FOR UNINTERRUPTED PLAY AND FREEDOM TO EXPLORE We give the infant plenty of time for uninterrupted play. Instead of trying to teach babies new skills, we appreciate and admire what babies are actually doing.
CONSISTENCY We establish clearly defined limits and communicate our expectations to develop discipline.
While we are interested in philosophies related respectful parenting, we are not a rigid adherent to any one particular method or dogma. Our goal is to create a dialogue and a supportive place to practice and learn about these approaches to parenting. Questions welcome!
“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process.. the independent scientist in the child disappears.” – John Holt.