This two-minute video gem (uncovered by my clever husband Mike) illustrates the immediate benefits of independent play (a cornerstone of RIE parenting) far better than any of the thirty or so articles I’ve posted on the subject. I’m humbled and thrilled to share this slice of parenting heaven. It’s reminiscent of scenes I often witnessed with my own children when they were small.
RIE Bred from Michael Caulder on Vimeo.
Michael Caulder, the dad who made this video and allowed me to share it, writes:
“The best gift we gave ourselves and our kids was committing to RIE and Waldorf. Who knows if we’ll be able to afford Waldorf for the long haul, but RIE principles we can practice forever.”
“…kids are allowed to make up their own games with their own rules and contrary to what you’d expect, these games are usually quite peaceful.
I always thought that kids were these beasts you tried to contain, especially with multiple boys. But generally, with RIE and Waldorf (and enough sleep) they’ll take care of things on their own. Of course, anyone RIE or otherwise will tell you honestly that once you have a three year old, the peaceful demeanor takes many holidays throughout the day; but the beauty is that they always seem to find their way back to a really peaceful base.“
Thank you, Michael!
I love this video- no words needed- just watch.
Thanks for sharing this Janet. The more and more I read about RIE and your amazing articles, the more I am loving it.
The funny thing is, I always thought my children needed to be entertained at those ages (baby and toddler). I always felt so bad if I left them to their own devices, like I was ignoring them or something. But, oh my gosh, those two were happily enjoying independent play in a safe environment.
Even now, I wonder if I didn’t give my children enough of that time b/c I feel they are often saying “mom, play with me”…which of course I do but I’m definitely going to try the let them play and explore more independently.
Wow, Melissa, I really admire your open mind, thoughtfulness and self-awareness! I believed as you did about entertaining infants and toddlers…until I accidentally came across the work of Magda Gerber and was encouraged to foster independent play. Our children definitely get used to whatever we do with them, but the good news is that children are very adaptable and we can change our habits with them anytime, with just a brief transition period. Magda Gerber taught it best to be honest and admit, “Yes, I usually give you things to do, but I have faith in you to do think of something to play on your own.” Then, the waiting is the hardest (but most rewarding) part…
I wrote about encouraging a toddler to play independently in: Becoming Unglued ( https://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/11/becoming-unglued/ ) and Solo Engagement – Fostering Your Toddler’s Independent Play ( https://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/08/solo-engagement-fostering-your-toddlers-independent-play/ )
Is this video still on the page? I can’t see it, and I don’t seem to be having trouble with any of your other articles or videos… Thanks!
I’m having the same problem as Heather – I don’t see the video on this page! Thanks!
Aaaah! I think the dad who posted it on Vimeo might have taken it down…Such a shame! I’ll go have a look when I get the chance.