Is Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) the Newest Parenting Trend?
Who needs modern day toys and sippy cups? Not a baby. Especially not those born to the glamour of Hollywood. Glass cups, conversation suited for adults, and lack of noisy, bright toys make for a great childhood, according to a recent article in Vanity Fair on the hippest parenting trend: RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers). Upon further research, this philosophy has, in fact, been around for decades.
Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) is a parenting concept derived by the “respect for the infant as a complete, if immature, human being with a self-initiating agenda to discover the world (and us) with an almost scientific approach.” Focused on understanding our infants as whole beings, with competencies and inborn traits, this parenting philosophy urges parents to observe their infants, without any preconceived understandings of who they are. The philosophy also suggests parenting quietly and gently, without the use of modern day toys and walkers/exercausers, and classes on the topic encourage confidence in parenthood to trust the infant to express their needs.
While the popularity of RIE is growing with the recent publishing of Baby Knows Best, a new book on the principles of RIE, the parenting philosophy itself has been around for awhile. Founded in the 1940s by Magda Gerber, the Educaring Approach of RIE is now depicted as a Hollywood fad, according to Vanity Fair. The magazine claims that A-list actors and, “a great deal of new parents in Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz, and the staffs at such elite feeder pre-schools as Pacific Oaks” have adopted.
And I can see why. I’ve only recently been introduced to RIE, and have not read the new book, but I recognize many of its principles in my parenting. The Educaring Approach fosters a sense of self and lays a foundation for secure relationships and lasting self-confidence, all of which have been a parenting priority since the day my daughter was born four years ago. As a new mom, I recall parenting in a state of observation, watching and listening to my daughter’s cues. I didn’t speak in baby talk. We weren’t bombarded with toys, rather spending a lot of time “talking” and spending focused time together. And I like the way my little lady turned out.
I also think RIE is a philosophy that I should use to engage my toddler son more often—a second child who is often lost in the shuffle of life, wrapped up in his big sister’s schedules and activities. Whereas I felt connected and understanding of my first child, using RIE to have meaningful and respectful interactions with my son would be a great stepping stone to impacting his development and understanding the little man he is growing to be in a purposed and gentle way.
RIE might be a fad and it might be mocked or likened to practicing your acting skills. But listening and showing respect for anyone, especially your baby, is important and the foundation for all strong relationships.
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