Encouraging Your Baby’s Independent Play


In this episode: A parent writes that her 3-month-old is not happy when left on the floor to play by himself. He quickly begins “screaming and crying to be saved,” and the situation is causing problems both at home and at the child’s day care.

Struggles With Independent Play


Self-directed play is a gift that keeps giving with profound benefits for every aspect of our children’s development. As an added bonus, nurturing our child’s ability to self-entertain affords us the occasional much-deserved break. So, cultivating independent play and establishing it as a habit is well worth the effort. Unfortunately, no matter how early we … Continued

Independent Play, Meltdowns, Boundaries — Success Stories from My Inbox


A parent who’s always been her toddler’s playmate helps her child over the hump to flourish in independent play. Another parent learns to set boundaries, shift her perspective, and accept her child’s meltdowns. Janet shares a special milestone and much more in this latest episode of Unruffled. Transcript of “Independent Play, Meltdowns, Boundaries — Success … Continued

How Our Boundaries Free Children to Play, Create, and Explore


Janet discusses children’s crucial need for boundaries and how our authentic responses can free kids up to create and explore. She shares a success story from a parent who says that her son began constantly demanding she draw pictures for him after she “made a rookie mistake” by drawing for him one time. From that … Continued

Engaging in Your Child’s Play Without Interrupting


A parent hopes to encourage her 21-month old’s self-directed play by sitting with her in her play area observing, “ready to respond if she engages with me.” Lately, she says, her daughter has been asking for help with tasks she can do by herself, and also actively directing both she and her husband to perform … Continued

Independent Play, Bonding, and Setting Limits


In this episode: Janet responds to two comments from one of her website articles, “Independent Play: 5 Hints to Get the Ball Rolling”. First, a mother’s question about reading and her 13-month-old’s demands for attention when she has other things to do; and then another mom’s critique of Janet’s advice. Both comments bring up helpful … Continued

7 Myths That Discourage Independent Play

The value of child-directed play is universally recognized and one of the few aspects of child-rearing that experts and thought leaders agree on. Independent play makes for highly productive, happily occupied kids, which in turn makes for happier, calmer parents. And it’s natural — the desire and ability to create play is inborn. So, what … Continued

Encouraging Baby’s Self-Directed Play

Hello Janet, I have found the basic tenets of RIE philosophy to be very intuitive. I naturally see my 5.5 month son as an independent and individual human being who is, for the time being, dependent on me for his basic needs etc. He and I are each other’s daily companions, and we have fallen … Continued

Shhh…Babies Playing (Scenes From a RIE Parenting Class)

I have a reverence for babies at play. Actually, any child at play. Even when my 9-year old builds forts, or creates stories with his soldiers, knights and dragons (sadly, becoming a rare occurrence) my husband and I are careful not to interrupt. So, I had very mixed feelings about filming the 7-10 month old … Continued

When Your 3 Year Old Grabs Toys

Hi Janet,  I started reading your blog several months ago, and have managed to read most of your posts, and a couple of Magda Gerber’s books too. I have 2 children, Caleb is now 3 1/2 years and Bella is 7 months. I really struggled looking after them both after Bella was born. I had … Continued

Stop Making Mealtime a Challenge


A parent of a 27-month-old writes that her son refuses to come to the table when called and will not sit in his chair during meals. This parent says they’ve tried just removing his food when he isn’t cooperating, but then “he ends up hangry… and it’s so difficult to get anything done.” So, they’ve … Continued