What is – WHAT?
Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE (pronounced like Rye bread) is the parenting approach that we use with our daughter Carys which is grounded in respect for the child. I’ve wanted to do an episode on this topic ever since I started the show but at first I didn’t want you thinking I was all California-granola-hippie-crazy and stop listening. Now I figure there are enough of you that have been listening for quite a while that you’re willing to at least listen to this ‘respect for children’ idea.
Because it’s no exaggeration to say that it has literally transformed my parenting, and underpins every interaction I have with my daughter. I’m so proud of the relationship we have that’s based in our respect for each other.
In this episode we’ll cover a brief history of how RIE came into existence, Magda Gerber’s eight qualities of a good parent, and how to encourage your child to play independently…
And I’ll be honest and say that this is probably the first episode in the entire show which is not grounded in scientific research because I wanted to give you an overview of RIE first – and also discuss the parts of it we didn’t/don’t practice, before we devote an entire upcoming episode to what aspects of RIE are supported by scientific research – so stay tuned for that!
We all have goals for our children, even if these are things that we’ve never formally articulated and are ideas we’ve inherited from half-remembered bits of parenting books and blogs (and the occasional podcast) and the way we were parented ourselves.
But do you ever find that the way you’re parenting in the moment doesn’t necessarily support your overarching goals? So, if you have a goal to raise an independent child but every time the child struggles with something you step in and “help,” then your daily interactions with your child may not help your child to achieve that independence.
A couple of months ago, an article by journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer – whose work I normally greatly respect – started making the rounds on Facebook. Then (knowing my approach to parenting) a couple of readers emailed it to me and asked me what I thought of it.
The article was called Go Ahead: Heap Rewards On Your Kid, with the subtitle: Parents are told stickers and trinkets for good behavior will ruin their children—but the research is wildly misunderstood.
Is attachment the same as bonding?
Can I have a healthy attachment with my baby if I don’t breastfeed?
Do I have to babywear to develop an attachment to my baby?
Will being apart from my baby disrupt our attachment relationship?
Is co-sleeping critical to attachment?
These are just a few of the questions that listeners wrote to me after I sent out a call for questions on Attachment. This was such an enormous topic to cover that Dr. Arietta Slade and I did the best we could in the time we had, and we did indeed cover a lot of ground.
If you’ve ever been curious about the scientific evidence on how attachment forms, what are its benefits, and what it has NOT been shown to do, this is the episode for you. We also cover reflective functioning, one of the central ways that the attachment relationship develops, and discuss how to improve our skills in this arena.
“I spent the whole morning painting and doing origami and felting projects with my daughter – and not only did she not say “thank you,” but she refused to help clean up!” (I actually said this myself this morning:-))
“We took our son to Disneyland and went on every ride he wanted to go on except one, which was closed, and he spent the rest of the trip whining about how the whole trip was ruined because he didn’t get to go on that one ride.” (I hope I never have to say this one…I’m not sure I could make it through Disneyland in one piece.)