Your Parenting Mojo

What is RIE?

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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!

References

Gerber, M., & Johnson, A. (2002). Your self-confident baby: How to encourage your child’s natural abilities – from the very start. Nashville, TN: Turner.

Gerber, M. (2003). Dear Parent: Caring for infants with respect. Los Angeles, CA: Resources for Infant Educarers.

Karp, H. (2004). The ‘fourth trimester’: A framework and strategy for understanding and resolving colic. Retrieved from https://www.drdefranca.com/the-fourth-trimester-and-colic.html

 

Read Full Transcript


Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast.

Today we’re going to talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and that is what is known as Resources for Infant Educarers, which is abbreviated to RIE, which (for reasons I’ve never understood) is pronounced “Rye.”  Now I’m guessing that those of you listening to this right now are dividing yourselves into two groups: those of you in one group are saying “finally!” and those of you in the other are thinking “Resources for Infant – what???.”  So this episode will really be for those of you in the second group to learn about RIE, and those of you in the first can listen along and nod your heads and email me afterward if I got any of it wrong.  This will probably be the first episode in this entire show where we really don’t discuss much in the way of scientific research, because I actually have an entire episode lined up that delves into what aspects of RIE are supported by the literature, so we’re not going to do that here.  And I should also acknowledge that I’m going to tell you about the core principles of RIE but I’m also going to tell you about the parts of it that I didn’t or don’t practice, because I really don’t follow any approach dogmatically.

So where did RIE come from?  Well, I was surprised to learn that it actually originated in the work of Dr. Emmi Pikler, who worked in Austria and Hungary in the middle of the 20th Century.  She had seen that working class children who played on the street had lower rates of injuries than middle class children who played inside under a governess’ watchful eye.  She also studied with two doctors who focused on treating children as people, rather than just as an illness that needed to be fixed, and who believed in the importance of being outside, playing a lot, and following the child’s lead regarding food – so not forcing the child to eat even a single spoonful more than they wanted.

In 1930, Dr. Pickler married a high school math teacher who held progressive views, including that children should study at their own pace of development.  When they had a daughter, Anna, in 1931, they agreed that they would follow her developmental lead – they wouldn’t prop her to sit or steady her to walk, and that they would allow space and time for her to develop at her own rate.  She also began to make the connection between the physical and the mental, asking whether propping children to sit and leading them to walk communicates to the child that what the child is doing is not good enough, and that the child should be doing something that he isn’t actually yet capable of doing.

In 1932, Dr. Pikler opened a private practice in Budapest where she put all these elements together for her clients, and anecdotal evidence from Pikler’s daughter Anna notes that the children in her practice seemed healthier than other children.

Around 1937, a woman named Magda Gerber who was living in Hungary had a daughter who got some kind of mild illness; the family’s regular doctor was out of town and Gerber’s daughter remembered that her classmate Anna’s mother was a pediatrician so they gave her a call.  Pikler came over to their house and Gerber was just about to describe Anna’s symptoms when Pikler asked her to be quiet, and instead asked Anna herself about her symptoms and invited her cooperation with a physical exam.  Gerber was absolutely struck by the revolutionary nature of this approach, and began studying closely with Dr. Pikler.

Dr. Pikler stayed in Europe and after the second world war, she was asked by the local authority to set up a residential nursery in Budapest to take care of the orphans the war had left behind.  If you’ve heard of orphanages it might be the ones in Romania in the 1980s that you’re more familiar with – the children were confined to their beds for many hours a day, did not have caring relationships with adults, and many experienced cognitive delays due to the inadequacy of their care.  The children in Pikler’s orphanage, by contrast, were supported physically and emotionally, spent much of their time playing, and also allowed Dr. Pikler to test her ideas about the natural evolution of gross motor development.  A study conducted by the World Health Organization in the 1960s and 70s found that the children who had been in the orphanage didn’t differ from children who hadn’t in any meaningful way.

In the 1950s, Gerber’s family moved to Austria and then the U.S., where she worked as a translator in Boston and then with children in Los Angeles.  In 1978, she co-founded the non-profit Resources for Infant Educarers with an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford named Tom Forrest, who strangely disappears from the RIE story pretty much immediately after that.  Gerber continued to work at the RIE organization in Los Angeles until her death in 2007.

So as we move into the meat of what RIE is, let’s start with a definition: what is an “educarer”?  Gerber coined this term to refer to “who educates children in a caring manner.”  She didn’t want to use “caregiver” or “caretaker” because a carer neither gives nor takes, although I would argue that she might not have used the word “educate” to me either if she’d thought a little more closely about that word too – to me, learning is something a child does; education is something that is done to another person.  So a carer, who can be a parent, grandparent, or paid childcare provider, puts love into action: the way the carer cares for a child is how she experiences your love.  And the ways we typically care for a child are in everyday activities like feeding and diapering, which Gerber transforms from chores that need to be gotten through as quickly as possible so you can get to the interesting stuff, to the really important part of caring for a child.

So let’s talk about what this looks like at the earliest stages of your baby’s life, and we’ll go forward from there.  The RIE approach to infants seems to me to be in contrast to the theory of the ‘fourth trimester’ that has been popularized by Dr. Harvey Karp.  Dr. Karp argues that unlike many animals who emerge at birth ready to run around, human babies are more like fetuses than infants.  They don’t really become alert until about three months of age, they cry a lot, especially in the evening, possibly due to a gradual accumulation of stress throughout the day, and this crying is apparently absent in cultures where babies are carried all day long with constant holding and rocking and frequent nursing.  For this reason, Dr. Karp recommends swaddling, calming a baby by putting them on their side, shushing loudly, swinging, and allowing the baby to suck as a calming mechanism.

 

Magda Gerber acknowledges, with a rare biblical reference, that “the newborn baby, up to about three months old, is between heaven and earth, not quite here yet…a parent’s job is to help the newborn make this transition into the world.  How can this be done in a respectful manner?  There are several keys in doing this.  The most important ones include observing your baby in order to understand her, helping her form attachment by talking to her and telling her what you are going to do, being slow and gentle with her, and waiting before intervening.”  There’s a lot here, so let’s break it apart a bit.

 

Observing the baby can be one of the hardest things for Westerners to do, since we are so accustomed to needing to *do* something, instead of just watch.  But it is by watching that you understand her body language and can begin to read her signals, which will enable you to do what attachment researchers like Dr. Arietta Slade, whom we talked to a few weeks ago, would call ‘sensitively responding’ – in other words, respond appropriately to her needs, not just guess blindly at what she needs and do whatever you can to make the crying stop.

Forming attachment is pretty clear; the parent needs to come when the baby cries, and develop a predictable daily schedule which helps to develop trust.  Gerber believed that it is important for a parent to be home with the child in the early years – that sensitive early care outside the home can be arranged, but parental care is preferable, although she does say that it’s better for a parent to work and arrange for high quality care than for the parent to stay at home and be miserable.

Gerber believed that talking with your child is critical, although she didn’t appreciate what is known as ‘child-directed speech’ or ‘motherese;’ the high-pitched speech with drawn-out vowels that parents typically use.  As someone who has always found child-directed speech to be kind of annoying I was relieved to learn about this when my daughter was an infant, although I will say that when I mentioned this to Dr. Roberta Golinkoff recently she said she had done a study with one of her students which found that even parents who think they don’t use child-directed speech actually do use different intonation with their child than with other adults, even if it isn’t *quite* as exaggerated as the speech that some adults use when talking to babies.

Another important part about talking with your child is telling your child what you’re going to do.  I’ve seen video of a pretty young infant, no more than a few months old, and when the parent says “I’m going to pick you up now,” the baby’s neck stiffens because she understands what is about to happen.  So we might think that an infant is just a helpless thing but observations like that help us to understand that actually they do listen to us and watch us and they can respond to us if we know how to look for their response.

Gerber says we also need to think about what we say through our hands, which are the primary way that our babies feel our intentions and our love.  If we rush through diapering silently and with rough hands, it conveys a very different message to the baby than if we participate in these interactions slowly and gently.

Gerber has a pretty interesting stance on babies’ crying – she views it as a child’s language, that communicates her needs to her parents.  Rather than trying to stop a child from crying by distracting her, Gerber says we need to try to figure out why she is crying so we can help her.  She says that crying is the only way a child can express her feelings or discomfort, and that babies also cry to discharge energy, so just because a baby is crying doesn’t necessarily mean they want us to fix something.  We should absolutely address anything we can think of that we *can* fix, but if we’ve done those things and the baby is still crying, we should just hold the baby, tell her quietly that we’re trying to understand hat she wants, and don’t try to rock or bounce the baby, which really communicates more of our nervous energy than doing anything to help the baby.

So as you can see, these are two pretty disparate views of a child’s first three months.  Dr. Karp sees a baby as pretty helpless in the first three months: they really aren’t capable of doing much for themselves, least of all regulate their own crying, so we need to do it for them.  Importantly, Dr. Karp bases his observations on colicky babies but then applies them to all babies, as if all crying is a bad thing and the parent’s only goal is to extinguish the crying.

Gerber, by contrast, sees an infant as a fully capable being right from the moment of birth.  I was surprised that the concept of the fourth trimester doesn’t have more support in the research literature, given how pervasive it has become in popular culture.  There are a number of papers suggesting the concept of the fourth trimester, but nobody really providing much evidence either for or against it.  In reality, I think this is going to differ by the individual child, the reality may lie somewhere between the two, and as much of the concept of the fourth trimester is about the parents as about the child.  Some children come out much more ready to spend time alone than others; I see pictures in online communities of parents practicing RIE of babies just a few days old spending quite a bit of time alone on a comfy blanket watching the sunlight move on a wall or waving their hands in front of their faces.  Other babies scream as soon as the parent puts them down, and seem to want to be held.  And some parents have a higher tolerance for apparent discomfort in the baby than others – some parents can let a baby fuss for a minute or two to see if they can solve their own problem, while others feel as though they *must* pick up the baby immediately.  To find some kind of balance, I would encourage you to observe your baby and learn their different cries – this will enable you to understand which kinds of cries indicate needs that should be met as soon as possible, and which might just be frustration that they can work through by themselves if you give them a minute.

In her book Your Self-Confident Baby, Gerber offers 8 qualities of a good parent and I’ll go through each of these.

Firstly, feel secure but don’t become rigid.  Your child changes over time, so your parenting needs to change over time too.  Make sure your own needs are met so you can relax into flexibility.

Secondly, be accepting, but set limits.  This one can be really hard for parents – acknowledging ALL of our child’s emotions not just the positive ones.  It’s OK for your child to be tired or frustrated or angry some of the time.  It’s even OK for the child to express these emotions, but what is NOT OK is for the child to express them in ways that you consider to be unacceptable – for example, through hitting.  Gerber says “Desires should be acknowledged and accepted, but rules enforced.”  As the child gets older, this idea extends to aggressive behavior that is a normal part of toddlerhood: if she tries to hit you, block her by gently holding her arm, and say “I don’t want you to hit me.  Hitting hurts me.”  You may choose to offer her a pillow or something else to hit, or you could offer that she goes outside to throw a ball hard.  If she continues to hit, move away.  You can say “I’m going to sit over here because I don’t want you to hit me.  I’m here for you when you are ready.”

It’s OK to not be 100% calm all of the time.  If you overreact when a child hits then they will do it to get a rise out of you, but you don’t have to pretend like something doesn’t irritate you when it does, or the child will be confused by your face and your tone of voice not matching your words.  If your child hits another child, you can ask your child to look at the other child to see the effect of his actions.  With a neutral voice that doesn’t inflict guilt or blame, you can say “look at Zachary.  He’s crying.  When you hit him, it hurt his arm.”  Helping a child to develop this awareness of other feelings is a much more effective route to empathy than forced apologies.  To the child who was hit, you can say “Mackenzie hit you.  Yes, it looked like it hurt.”  If you reflect rather than offering sympathy, the child won’t learn to seek attention by becoming a victim.

Thirdly, be available but not intrusive.  This means spending time with your child without dictating what they do.  One way I’ve seen this described is “Wants Nothing Quality Time.”  It’s different from “Wants Something Quality Time,” which is a way of describing caregiving acts like diapering as a form of quality time.  But in Wants Nothing Quality Time you are just spending time with your child with no agenda, using the time to observe and participate in the child’s play if the child chooses to involve you, and in the way that the child chooses to involve you, without you providing direction.

Fourthly, be patient, but be true to yourself.  This means trying to be as patient as you can with your child, but if something really bothers you, then set a limit on that behavior.  So a limit might be “no screaming in the house,” because it really really annoys you, or “no shoes on the couch” because then the couch will get dirty.  In addition to being patient, I would add “say yes unless there’s a good reason to say no.”  This will allow your child a framework or boundary that they know they must not stray beyond, but within this framework or boundary they have a great deal of freedom to spend their time as they wish.  It also means you don’t have to say “no” all the time, and that any limit you do set will be an easy one to hold – and it’s the waffling on limits (e.g. saying “no, don’t do that…child whines…”OK; you can do it”) that makes children test us so much.  If you do need to say ‘no,’ offer your child a couple of choices about what they can do instead – and make sure both of the choices are acceptable to you.

Fifthly, be realistic but consistent with your expectations, which means adjusting your expectations according to what the child can deliver.  Don’t expect an eight-month-old to keep all food on the table, but do expect an eighteen-month-old to do it – and don’t be afraid to end a meal if they start throwing food.  It can be harder to do this when you’re tired or frustrated, and one of the reasons I love RIE so much is because Gerber acknowledges the parent’s needs and that the parent will be a better parent if those needs are met.  So try to get enough sleep, relaxation time, and time away from your child so you don’t feel drained when you are with them.

Sixthly, have the wisdom to resist new fads.  One thing we often see on the show is some new study publicized with a clickbait title that implies there’s a radically different way we should be parenting our children and we should start immediately.  And my Facebook feed is inundated with things I can buy for my child, from Mindset journals to Montessori-based toys for infants, so you don’t have to wait to start a Montessori-based education until the child is old enough to go into daycare.  Gerber says that simplicity, observation, and unhurried time never go out of style – and she also proposes a baby’s first toy being a napkin, gathered up and held in the center and then propped on the floor to catch the baby’s interest.  No expensive subscriptions to services that will deliver the optimal toys to your house every month are required.

Seventh, achieve a balance between quality time for your child and for yourself.  Did I already mention that I love this aspect of RIE?  I see a lot of parents arriving in groups for RIE parents saying that they tried “attachment parenting” (by which I mean the parenting method promoted by Dr. Sears, not the scientifically valid concept of attachment theory that we discussed with Dr. Arietta Slade) and that they are just exhausted by responding to the baby’s every cry.  Yes, we need to respond sensitively as often as we can, but it’s also true that leaving a warm, fed, clean baby alone in a safe place while you take a shower is not going to cause irreparable harm even if they are unhappy about it for a few minutes.

Eighth, achieve a state of self-respect and give equal respect to your children.  So respect your own strengths and weaknesses, and likes and dislikes.  Don’t try to turn yourself into a person you’re not because you think that person would be a “better parent.”  If you are satisfied and happy, you are more likely to interact with your child in a respectful way.

One concept that somehow didn’t make the eight key ideas list is letting the child develop at their own pace, which we touched on a bit earlier.  So RIE practitioners won’t prop a baby into any position they can’t get into by themselves.  The idea is that sitting up isn’t the big milestone that parents make it out to be, and neither is standing up, or walking; they are each small events that mark progress in the child’s ability to move their body.  Their ability to roll from their back to their side is just as momentous for the child, and then from their side to their front, and then from their front to their back again…so RIE practitioners would not move a baby into a position they can’t get into by themselves for two reasons: firstly because the baby learns as much about how their body works by trying to get themselves into that position and then eventually achieving it as they do by sitting or standing or whatever, and secondly because if we put them in that position they get the message that “my parent thinks the way I’m moving by myself isn’t good enough for some reason.”  Honestly I’m on board with the general idea of this, but RIE practitioners will also extend it out to every other aspect of the child’s life – especially emotional expression, so if the child is angry then we won’t let them hit, but the verbal expression of anger is just what the child needed to do at this point in time.  It is certainly an approach that’s geared toward success in a very individualistic society, and as someone who finds the U.S. to be a bit too individualistic in nature I do struggle a bit to balance this right that children have to have and express your feelings with consideration for others as well.

So the eight key points give you some guidance that can be used throughout the first couple of years with your child, but where I feel RIE really comes into its own is once the child becomes mobile and capable of getting into mischief.  I find that RIE really gives us some awesome tools to deal with this period, and if we start using those tools now we might find that interacting respectfully with our child becomes a habit that we don’t want to stop when our child officially ages out of RIE principles at age two.  Gerber focused on these first two years because she thought it was particularly important to have a respectful relationship with a baby before it could advocate for itself, but of course respect doesn’t just turn off when the child turns two.

Because if you’ve been talking your child through diaper changes and doing them slowly and explaining what you will do before you do it, some of the RIE approaches to caring for mobile children come sort of naturally.  If your child bonks an arm or a leg on the table, you likely won’t dangle a set of keys in front of their face or encourage them to look at the pretty flower as a way to distract them and stop them from crying, but you’re likely to be more comfortable acknowledging “oh, you bonked your arm!  That must have hurt.  Would you like a hug?” and then sitting with your child for as long as they need.  If you’ve let your child struggle for just a moment when they are very young rather than rushing to them every time they fuss, you’re more likely to allow them room to experiment with doing things by themselves, and try different approaches if the first one doesn’t work, and perhaps even fail sometimes.  Gerber says that rather than giving the message “when you are in trouble, you scream and I rescue you,” we would like to convey the feeling “I think you can handle it, but if not, I am here.”  To illustrate this, I’ll read you a passage from Gerber’s book called Dear Parent (p.69).

One element that becomes even more important as the child gets older is independent play time.  You might have started this by placing your infant on a soft surface and just letting them be while you do your own work close by, but as baby becomes more mobile you might need to institute different ways of promoting quality time.  RIE practitioner Janet Lansbury introduced the concept of the “yes space,” which is a space where your child can be left unattended that is completely safe, and if you happened to get locked out of the house for half an hour while your child was in their yes space, you would know they would be safe.  It’s called a ‘yes’ space because it’s so safe that you never need to say ‘no’ to your child when they are in that space.  Often this is a child’s room with a gate across the door, or it could be a sectioned-off corner of a living room or similar space.  Some RIE practitioners advocate for having your child spend much of the day in their yes space, except when you are engaged in wants nothing quality time or wants something quality time, because this practice helps your child to develop independent play skills that benefit both them and you (because you can get other stuff done while they’re doing it).  We never did this ourselves, although we were able to develop a habit of having our daughter in her room with the gate across the doorway for half an hour or so after breakfast, and another half hour after lunch.  The key to this is to be consistent, and to build up the time if you haven’t been doing it until now but you’d like to start.  The child may protest at first, but if you believe this time is important to both of you then you can see their protests as a choice they make on how they spend their time, rather than an indication that something is wrong.  If they protest, you can say “I hear you.  I’m busy right now, but I’ll come and see you in a few minutes.”

One area where we did not follow RIE is around the introduction of food, because we wanted to try Baby-Led Weaning, which is where you introduce real solid foods to the child rather than spoon-feeding them purees.  RIE can get you into a pickle here because many children whose parents follow RIE principles tend to achieve milestones like sitting unassisted a bit later than children who are propped, although RIE practitioners would argue that the baby has learned a lot more about themselves by going through the process of learning to get themselves into a sitting position rather than being propped, and they also tend to be more stable and less likely to fall over.  But many children are getting interested in food at around six months, and might not be ready to sit unassisted until a couple to several months after that.  The official RIE way to introduce food is to have the child who can’t yet sit up in a semi-reclined position and spoon-feed them purees, but that wasn’t something I was interested in doing.  My daughter’s grandparents were living with us for a couple of months when we introduced foods and they had been propping her up to sit so we just sat her up and gave her pieces of banana and steak and anything else we were eating that she was interested in.  You really can’t do that if you follow RIE to the T, so you’ll have to make a decision there about what stays and what goes.

If there are RIE groups or classes available in your area, you might be intrigued to see the way that snack time is handled.  A small low table is provided, and each child gets a stool.  The class leader brings out bananas and each child may eat as much banana as she likes as long as she is sitting down, but if they leave the table, they cannot have food.  This helps parents to set the expectation that while children can do pretty much whatever they want, as long as it’s safe, during play time, there are certain times of the day like meal times where we expect people to behave in a certain way.  By providing the low table and stools you give the child the freedom to decide how much food is enough for them, but the parent sets and keeps the rule that once the child gets up, no more food is given.  The children also have small cups – perhaps shot glasses for the youngest, and beakers for toddlers with small pitchers so they can pour their own drink.  You might be surprised at how civilized these sessions are.  The children don’t throw food or tip their cups over on purpose, although our daughter sometimes did at home – but she quickly learned that that was a fast way to end a meal.  Children also learn to follow their body’s own cues about hunger and satiation if we allow them to eat exactly the amount they would like, and not force them to eat ‘just one more bite.’

You can often spot a RIE parent out in a park because they will be the one who doesn’t lift their child up to reach the monkey bars and who doesn’t ‘rescue’ their child from a high spot on the climbing frame but instead guides the child to use their own skills to get down.  A RIE parent will also likely be willing to let children work out disputes over toys on their own, as long as children aren’t hitting – the parent might say “I see two children who both want the ball.  What’s your plan?”  The child who is playing with a toy gets to keep using it as long as they like until they are ready to give it up, at which point the next child takes a turn.  If parents force a child to share, the only thing the child learns is that when the parent says “share,” the child knows they have to give up whatever they are holding and want to keep.  As children become more verbal, they can begin to articulate their reasons and see how this can lead to solutions that work for everyone.  When my daughter was 3 ½, we went to the beach with a group of friends.  She and another child a bit over her both wanted a bucket, and were starting to pull it in opposite directions.  I said “It looks like you both want the bucket.  Carys, what do you want to do with it?” She said “I want to put sand in it.”  I asked her friend why he wanted it, and he said he wanted to carry some shells he had collected in it.”  A bandana was procured for him to carry the shells, and Carys filled the bucket with sand, and everyone was happy.  They didn’t just learn how to navigate that situation, but they also gained a skill that I’ve seen Carys use many times since then, as she tries to come up with solutions to problems that she and I have that will work for both of us.

So there’s your crash-course in RIE!  We haven’t looked a lot at the scientific evidence behind RIE because this is really one woman’s idea of how to raise children, based on another woman’s research on children in an orphanage.  It’s not like anyone took the best of what we know about child development and organized it into an approach called RIE, although if you’ve been following the show for a while you will note that a number of the ideas I’ve discussed in this episode on topics like sharing, and what to say instead of “you’re OK” are actually supported by scientific research.  In our next episode on RIE we’ll actually do a deep dive into the extent to which the main principles of RIE are supported by science – or not.

 

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about RIE, you can check out Janet Lansbury’s blog at janetlansbury.com.  There’s also an awesome facebook group that I help to admin with some other folks called Toasted RIE, which has the motto “it ain’t RIE but it ain’t wrong.”  As you might guess, it’s not a place where everyone follows RIE 100%, but it is a good place to come to find out how RIE can fit with your own approach to parenting.  Unfortunately the group was getting bombarded by spam requests to join and the only way to cut down on the requests was to toggle the group from closed, meaning anyone can find it but you had to ask to join, to secret, which means nobody can find it by searching.  If your group has more than 5,000 members in it you have to toggle it back to closed again within 24 hours and one time we forgot and now we’re stuck in secret mode so you actually can’t search for the group yourself.  But we came up with a workaround: if you search for “Jen Rie” – that’s JEN RIE – and you’ll find a page that shows the same picture of me that I use in my about profile, in which I’m wearing a black jacket, and it gives my location as Berkeley, CA.  Just send a friend request to that account and one of the Toasted RIE admins will then pull you into the Toasted RIE group within a few days.  Don’t send the friend request to the blonde lady named Jen Rie who lives in Germany, because that likely won’t get you where you want to go.  If you’re interested in learning more about how to use RIE alongside your own approach to raising children then I do hope you’ll join us there to learn more about it.

Finally, you can also join my new free Your Parenting Mojo Facebook group and ask your RIE questions there – just search for Your Parenting Mojo on Facebook.

Thanks for listening – you can find information about Magda Gerber’s books that I’ve described today at yourparentingmojo.com/whatisrie


Also published on Medium.

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About the author, Jen

Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.

Her Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership group supports parents in putting the research into action in their real lives, with their real families. Find more info at www.YourParentingMojo.com/Membership

She also launched the most comprehensive course available to help parents decide whether homeschooling could be right for their family. Find out more about it – and take a free seven-question quiz to get a personalized assessment of your own homeschooling readiness at www.YourHomeschoolingMojo.com

And for parents who are committed to public school but recognize the limitations in that system, she has a course to help support children's learning in school at https://jenlumanlan.teachable.com/p/school

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