Have you heard of RIE training? It seems to be growing in understanding but many parents are still not familiar with it. We love the principles of RIE training – the focus is respecting children from the moment they are born and continuing respect for them as they grow. From the youngest of babes, he or she is a unique human that is to be respected, and never treated as an object. The goal of RIE training is to help encourage and develop an “authentic” child that feels loved, secure, safe, competent, and connected to those around them.
The Basic RIE Principles
TRUST – We trust that the child will eagerly initiate when the child is ready to learn something – We allow the child to show us when he or she is ready to sit up, crawl, walk, etc. and only provide help when it’s initiated by the child or when the child is in danger.
OBSERVE – Lovingly observe your child as he or she learns to communicate and develop new skills. We provide a safe environment for learning and “teach less” and respect how much children will learn in the first 3 years of his or her life. The more you observe your child, the more you’ll understand his or her needs.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION – We encourage actively involving the child (even as a young infant) in the activities that are happening. Let your child know you’re about to pick him or her up, change his/her diaper, going into the bath, feeding time, etc. Fully interact and connect with your child during these times to create trust and intimacy. This is true quality time together. Be fully present.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE – To fully allow a child to learn and thrive, his or her environment must be a safe space where he or she can have the freedom to explore safely and without too many limitations. As babies become more mobile, they need safe spaces to move about and discover the world around them. They have an innate desire to move so as parents, it’s vital to make this happen for them.
TIME FOR UNINTERRUPTED PLAY – Allow ample time for your child to play without interruption. We discourage teaching babies new skills and instead encourage loving and respecting where each child actually is and what they are currently doing. Don’t teach your child how to do something – Let him or her guide you and let you know when they are ready to learn or try something new. And again, only provide help as needed.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY – Children thrive on a healthy routine, clear limits and boundaries, and healthy communication. Discipline respectfully and never shaming.
Magda Gerber was the founder of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) and her research and studies are easily found on the internet or at www.magdagerber.org.