“You’re okay,” is repeatedly told to a child who hurts himself and does not feel okay. I would much rather give the child permission to feel the way she feels and then wait it out. Again the magic “waiting” works, because emotions have their beginning and their end — even tantrums have a beginning and an end.” Magda Gerber, Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect
Eva, the 15 month old toddler who captivated and inspired in Don’t Cramp Your Toddler’s Style recently provided her mom Tracy another powerful lesson in trust…
I have to share this story with you. Yet another example of what RIE parenting contributes to. Had I interrupted, tried to fix her feelings, or said, “Don’t touch that snail!” I would have missed the most beautiful moment!
A few days ago, Eva and I watched a big snail crawl up a wall in the sun. She loved the snail and kept petting him. At one point she tried to lick the slug, to which I said, “Let’s wait before we start eating escargot.”
Yesterday we went on one of our typical afternoon excursions. I happened to have my camera with me, because Aunt Laura had sent Eva a cute dress and I wanted her to see her in it. Eva opened our blue door and was on her way. As we descended the stairs, Eva suddenly came upon a crushed snail. When she saw the poor guy, she immediately got upset. To my surprise, she went over to the flower garden next to him and picked out a few flowers. She sat down next to the snail, still upset. Then, she put the flower on the snail. After his small burial, she walked back home her normal, happy self.
She was so cute and dear, I couldn’t believe it! I was sad to see her upset, but realized she was having her own little process about the snail. Watching her reminded me to be aware of others and keep an open and empathetic heart! I just had to share!
Trace and Eva
“Accept the feelings of your baby, positive as well as negative” -Gerber
As the result of being encouraged by her parents to experience the world on her terms as much as possible – supported to be herself – Eva is able to demonstrate her astonishing capacity for empathy, grace, and respect for life.
“At RIE we encourage parents to learn to quiet down, to sit peacefully, to observe and to allow babies to be real. …And as we get sensitized and skilled in the art of observing, we may try the greatest challenge: to look inside – to see, observe and learn about ourselves.” -Gerber