elevating child care

Classes, Lessons, School

RIE Parenting Is Not About Rules

Introduced to the teachings of infant specialist Magda Gerber as an overwhelmed new mom, I found an alternative way of parenting that gave me the clarity and inspiration I desperately needed (a story I’ve shared in detail in other posts). I eagerly devoured every recommendation of Magda’s RIE approach, which included many aspects I’d been doing “wrong” (like carrying my infant in an upright position). It...

Never Too Late for Respectful Parenting

Since most of the advice I share is focused on the infant, toddler and preschool years, parents who have older children frequently ask me, “Is it too late?” My answer is an unqualified “never.”  The follow-up question is, “Great, so how do I begin?” I answer that by sharing some of the ways my mentor Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach (also known as RIE) has continued to inform my parenting with my own...

The #1 Reason We Misunderstand Our Kids (And Secrets To Better Clarity)

Since one of our primary goals as responsive parents is being attuned to our children and their needs, it’s helpful to be aware of a natural impulse that obstructs this clarity: projection. Projections aren’t all bad. These “educated guesses” stem from our healthy, socially adaptive instinct to imagine each other’s thoughts, feelings and intentions in order to relate and connect.  Projections are...

Baby Talk – Don’t Miss The Magic

Tell me I don’t have the best job! Each week I’m inspired by delightful interactions between babies as young as 3 months old during my Parent and Infant Classes. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, they show me something new.  This was a first for me: a 4-month-old boy perfectly echoing his enamored friend’s “hello” (at the end of the video). We’ll unfortunately never know for sure what’s going on...

Raising Kids Who Enjoy Coming Home

Successful parenting isn’t about getting our kids to college — it’s about what happens when they come back home. That is the one useful message I took away from “The Return of the Natives”, Jan Hoffman’s New York Times article about distant and disrespectful young adults spending their first college winter breaks with their parents.   “Your student, who will arrive home a wrung-out, post-finals...

RIE Changes Lives – A Student Reflects

Nineteen years ago I began studying with infant specialist Magda Gerber, and my perceptions of babies, parenting and life were permanently altered. Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE), the non-profit educational organization Magda founded in 1978, continues to inspire parents and professionals and transform lives through courses offered in the US and abroad. Ingrid Lawrence is one such student, and she has allowed...

A Summer To Forget

I have an unconventional view about kids and summer that I’ve been reluctant to share, because I imagine most will disagree. Some might consider my point of view irresponsible. But since both of my teenage daughters have recently offered their unsolicited corroboration, I’m taking the plunge.  My kids have great instincts, and if they have conviction in something it must be worth sharing.  My 15-year-old...

Are You Putting The Kibosh On Creativity?

Artists know that trusting their instincts is essential for creativity to flourish. Likewise, if we don’t offer this trust to our children, it’s far less likely they’ll learn to trust themselves enough to enjoy art or fulfill their creative potential. For young children, play and arts-and-crafts are the same thing. Both are inherently educational opportunities for self-directed exploration, freedom of...

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