When I was first introduced to RIE parenting a little over four years ago, I was grateful to have specific advice for raising my then 18mo and 5mo with respect. I read as much as I could, copied out scripts to use in speaking with my children in certain situations and followed what I saw as “the rules” in order to give my children the wonderful, supportive childhood that most of us could only dream of.
I wasn’t entirely sure how to make this announcement. I have been thinking, does anyone really care the third time around? But with a fairly serious scare on the eve of being on the right side of ‘safe’ this week, I realised that I care!!
I am not just adding a third child to our family. I view this child with the same reverence as I viewed my first and then my second just 13 months later. My excitement and anticipation is equal to what I felt when I discovered I was pregnant with my first. I wonder what gifts he (yes, I have boy vibes for this baby, but of course, will be happy either way) will bring to the world and I can’t wait to watch him grow from birth, confident in his amazing capabilities.
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.
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.
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.
We stopped using time outs in our household about three years ago when we discovered Janet Lansbury’s wonderful blog and began to follow Magda Gerber’s RIE parenting philosophies. Prior to that time, we followed popular advice to enforce a short time out (1 minute per every year of age) to try to steer our spirited and strong-willed child towards more suitable and compliant behaviour.