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Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)

by in Education January 15, 2014

Happy young boy creeping on the ladder in the park

Magda Gerber – RIE Founder

Resources for Infant Educarers:

“Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE®) was founded in 1978 by infant specialist and educator Magda Gerber and pediatric neurologist Tom Forrest, M.D. RIE is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of infant care and education around the globe. Teaching, supporting, and mentoring parents and professionals, RIE offers a variety of classes, workshops, conferences, and mentoring opportunities that support adults and babies in their lives together.”

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RIE Basic Principles

From Resources for Infant Educarers:

1.  THE BASIS OF THE RIE APPROACH:  RESPECT

Respect is the basis of the RIE philosophy.

We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object.

2.  OUR GOAL: AN AUTHENTIC CHILD

An authentic child is one who feels secure, autonomous, and competent.

When we help a child to feel secure, feel appreciated, feel that “somebody is deeply, truly interested in me,” by the way we just look, the way we just listen, we influence that child’s whole personality, the way that child sees life.

3.  TRUST IN THE INFANT’S COMPETENCE

We have basic trust in the infant to be an initiator, to be an explorer eager to learn what he is ready for.

Because of this trust, we provide the infant with only enough help necessary to allow the child to enjoy mastery of her own actions.

4.  SENSITIVE OBSERVATION

Our method, guided by respect for the infant’s competence, is observation. We observe carefully to understand the infant’s communications and his needs.

The more we observe, the more we understand and appreciate the enormous amount and speed of learning that happens during the first two or three years of life. We become more humble, we teach less, and we provide an environment for learning instead.

5.  CAREGIVING TIMES: INVOLVING THE CHILD

During care activities (diapering, feeding, bathing, dressing, etc.), we encourage even the tiniest infant to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient of the activities. Parents create opportunities for interaction, cooperation, intimacy and mutual enjoyment by being wholeheartedly with the infant during the time they spend together anyway.

“Refueled” by such unhurried, pleasurable caring experiences, infants are ready to explore their environment with only minimal intervention by adults.

6.  A SAFE, CHALLENGING, PREDICTABLE ENVIRONMENT

Our role is to create an environment in which the child can best do all the things that the child would do naturally. The more predictable an environment is, the easier it is for babies to learn.

As infants become more mobile, they need safe, appropriate space in which to move. Their natural, inborn desire to move should not be handicapped by the environment.

7.  TIME FOR UNINTERRUPTED PLAY AND FREEDOM TO EXPLORE

We give the infant plenty of time for uninterrupted play. Instead of trying to teachbabies new skills, we appreciate and admire what babies are actually doing.

8.  CONSISTENCY

We establish clearly defined limits and communicate our expectations to develop discipline.

© 1998 by Magda Gerber
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Elevating Childcare

When I began my quest for soaking up RIE, I found it quite hard to find anything online (I have read several books on the topic since). I stumbled upon a blog titled:

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Fun RIE Video Example

Here is a video clip of my daughter at 9 months of age. I have no idea if I did everything right, but I observed her in a safe (somewhat), challenging, and predictable environment.  I allowed her uninterrupted, independent play (which lasted for over an hour).  What she did was so intriguing, and I am so happy I left her to explore in her own way. Oh, bless her little mind!! 🙂


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RIE Resources

  1. Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)
  2. Janet Lansbury- Elevating Childcare
  3. Elevating Childcare: A Guide to Respectful Parenting
  4. Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect (2nd Edition)
  5. Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities — From the Very Start
  6. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
  7. It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (MY ABSOLUTE FAVE)
  8. 1,2,3…The Toddler Years: A Practical Guide for Parents and Caregivers
  9. Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE Approach
  10. Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!  (MAMAS, PUT DOWN WHAT YOU’RE DOING, IT’S NOT THAT IMPORTANT!!!)

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Reviewed/Updated: 09/14
Content Created: 06/14

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