It is Day 8 of RIE Foundations today and as I begin anticipating the end of the course I am left with mixed emotions. I feel complete and utter sadness that I will be leaving this safe RIE bubble that has been created for me by our facilitator, Deborah Carlisle Solomon and her intern Michelle along with the 7 other women who have together made this experience an altogether enriching one. But I also feel excitement at what lies ahead when I return to my homeland with newly acquired understandings and a massive spring in my step.
We are on Day 6 of RIE Foundations and today was our first real-life parent-infant class observation. It was fascinating to see a basic room set out for play for different age groups and hearing about all the thought and care that goes into the choice and placement of every play object and piece of equipment. If I hadn’t learned anything of how children play and how to interact respectfully with young children previously, then I certainly have now.
RIE class facilitator, Deborah Carlisle Solomon and her intern Michelle were beautiful to watch. Their interactions with the babies and the parents was something I wish everyone could see. Deborah has this calm, confident presence about her which puts everyone at ease.
Infant and toddler specialist and RIE Founder, Magda Gerber used to say, that when a child is struggling (within reason of course) whether it be working out a toy, stuck on play equipment, in conflict with another child or even had a small tumble and are in shock or crying out briefly, wait…and then after you’ve waited for as long as you can…wait some more.
Today was the 5th day of RIE Foundations and the final day of the first week of this course. It has been an intensive week of learning, clarifying, understanding and internalising how to be a respectful parent.
Over this week I have bonded with a group of 7 other ladies and our wonderful facilitators, Deborah Carlisle Solomon and Michelle who all have the common goal of seeing children treated with respect. It’s been quite a surreal experience with a healthy mix of tears, laughter and debate which has had my head in a whirl. I am grateful for the next two days of quiet, where I can poke my head back out into the real world and contemplate all that has been thrown my way. Continue reading
On Day 3 of RIE Foundations we closely examined play. We looked at its importance and how to create an environment optimal for a child’s play, including examining the significance of the parent-child relationship in the ability for a child to play.
It was a day of many aha moments for me. Would you believe, I didn’t think I would really have any aha moments over here? I thought I knew the ins and outs of respectful parenting and was just looking to deepen my understanding. Turns out, I have a lot to learn.
Day Two of RIE foundations and I relearned something I have known for a long while but still have trouble finding peace with – It’s okay if we’re not perfect.
This was not actually the main focus of the day, we were delving more into gross motor development in infants but somewhere along the way Mummy guilt came up from all the women in the room who had discovered RIE late – well after their babies were born.
We spoke a lot about the importance of respect today. We unpacked what both respect and disrespect can look like in their many forms and what, as adults, being treated in either of these ways can make us feel.
Being a confident leader is vital for our children if we are wanting to use discipline to guide them to develop their own self-control. When we think of confident leaders in our own lives, someone who flies off the handle at every misdemeanor is not an image we would typically conjure nor is someone who shies away from conflict, lest we hurt someone’s feelings. A confident leader is a balance between these two images and is something that, as an emerging respectful parent, has taken me some time to get my head around.