elevating child care

Picking Up A Baby (The RIE Way)

There are several online videos demonstrating perfectly acceptable ways to pick up young infants and place them down again, but since none illustrates the way infant specialist Magda Gerber advised, I thought I’d share a brief example (N.B. – no infants were harassed or harmed in the making of this video)…   A few thoughts…. This is not meant to be a demonstration of the only “right” way, or to be...

4 Ways To Kindle Your Child’s Genius

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein Genius, commonly defined as “extraordinary intellectual and creative power”, is a term we probably wouldn’t use to describe ourselves or our children. We may believe we’re smart or talented, but most of us don’t think we’re all that...

Breaking An Abusive Cycle Through AP And RIE (Guest Post by Suchada)

Please, don’t let them grow up like me…  I have three vivid memories of growing up: The first is of my mother when I was five or six years old. I was getting ready for school and had difficulty putting my shoes on the correct feet (being slightly dyslexic), and my mother went ballistic. She hit me, over and over, all while yelling at me how stupid I was for not having it figured out by now. The second...

Life With Baby: A New Parent’s Struggles And Success

One of the happy benefits of blogging about RIE parenting is the positive connections I’m making with some outstanding dads and moms (or, as in this case, a warm, exuberant mum).  As New Zealander Helena is discovering, learning to parent is nothing like acing a multiple-choice quiz. Developing our relationship with a unique other person — a much smaller, more fragile, non-verbal one — is an ongoing...

Teaching Our Children About Love And Loss

Hi Janet, Our first “baby”, our beloved dog Maxine, is going to have to be euthanized.  She’s about 15 and in failing health. We are obviously heartbroken. As devoted followers of Magda Gerber‘s respectful child care approach, my partner and I wanted to know if you had any advice on how to explain to our 3 year old daughter what is about to happen.  We have no problem using the word...

Parenting Decisions – Different Strokes (Guest Post by Lisa Sunbury)

Yale professor Amy Chua’s controversial Wall Street Journal essay “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” spurred Oshrat, an Israeli mom and frequent commenter on my blog to begin a discussion in the community section about parenting philosophies.  Regarding Chua’s strict directive approach to parenting, Oshrat commented, “It looks a bit extreme and I am finding many of the RIE tips to be more of a middle...

Baby Discipline, Person To Person

Hi Janet, My question is about my almost 13 month old son. He is extremely curious and engaged in the world around him. We have always tried to empower him and make him feel safe and supported to try anything and everything (within safety, of course). Drawing from my experiences working as an educator in a school that was very much inspired by Reggio Emilia and Montessori, I try to speak to him in terms of what he...

Toddler Testing Toy Story

Hi Janet, We got a very un-RIE gift — Penguin Race — and here’s what happened. Mia really loved it, and then she tried to break it. These mechanical penguins climb stairs and then slide/luge down a big slide, then climb the stairs again. It’s cute, noisy, fun to watch, but that is all there is to do… watch. She kept asking to “play” with it, and then every time the play...

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