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!
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.
I hear a huge crash.
It’s my favorite glass vase. I hear “I didn’t mean to hurt it, Mommy! It just fell!” as I run full-pelt from the other end of the house.
It was a family heirloom passed down by my grandmother. I’ve asked her not to touch it a hundred times. I am beyond furious. “Please don’t be mad, Mommy. It was an accident.”
I clench my teeth. “I’m not mad.”
What does my daughter learn from this exchange? How does my own emotional regulation affect what she learns about how to regulate her own emotions? We’ll learn about this in today’s episode.
Note that this episode is the second in the ill-fated experimental short episodes – we’ll be back to the regular length hereafter! In case you missed it, the first episode in this series was Three Reasons Not To Say You’re OK.
Other episodes mentioned in this show
“I hear parents on the playground all the time saying “You’re OK!” after their child falls over. Often it does make the child stop crying…but doesn’t it invalidate the child’s feelings?”
It turns out that this question is related to a skill that psychologists call emotional regulation, and learning how to regulate emotions is one of the most important tasks of childhood.
This to-the-point episode is a trial of a shorter form of episode after listeners told me this show is “very dense.” It’s hard to back off the density, but I can back off the length. Let me know (via email or the Contact Me, page – not the comments on this episode because I get inundated with spam) what you think…
When should I start potty training? What books should I read? Can I do it in a day (or a week)? Do I need stickers (for rewards)? Does it have to be stressful?
I get these kinds of questions pretty often, and I’d resisted doing an episode on potty training because there are so many books on it already, and everyone has their opinion, and I really didn’t want to wade into it. But ya’ll kept asking and my resolve has finally crumbled, so today we’re going to talk all about what the research says, what the books say, and how there’s essentially no correlation between the books and the research. We’ll review the “do it in a day!” methods and what makes them successful, and we’ll also look at child-led methods. You’ll leave this episode with a clear picture of which is probably going to work best for you, and some concrete tools you can put to work (today, if you need to!) to start what I prefer to call the “toilet learning” process.