RIE Method Advocates “Do Less, Observe More” Parenting

ss_ISP2093704Want to raise a peaceful, confident baby? Forget the dangling mobiles, Baby Einstein—even playpens. RIE(short for Resources for Infant Educarers) devotees, including celeb followers such as Tobey Maguire, Helen Hunt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Alexander and Felicity Huffman, would argue their paired-down, empathy-for-baby based method is the way to go, The Daily Beast reports.

Co-founded in 1978 by Magda Gerber and Tom Forrest, a pediatric neurologist, RIE (pronounced like “rye”) is a parenting philosophy that emphasizes treating infants with respect in order to help them grow into well-adjusted, independent individuals. Followers seek to take their parenting cues directly from their babies,  connecting to the actions and feelings a child exhibits in hopes to gain an understanding of what their little one is experiencing. Simple kitchen utensils and household items, for example, are opted for instead of battery-operated devices that are thought to distract rather than engage.

Similarly, a crying baby isn’t immediately soothed but is encouraged to ’let it out’, and asked why he or she is crying. “One of the most common misconceptions is that we just let the babies cry and we don’t pick them up,” longtime instructor Hari Grebler, who teaches in Santa Monica and makes RIE-approved toys and baby furniture, was quoted as saying. “What RIE talks about is, how do we pick them up? Do we just snatch them up from the floor? Or do we go over and talk and try to find out what’s up and tell them, ‘Now I’m going to pick you up.’”

Those dedicated to bringing up their babies under the guidelines of REI often attend REI training courses and meet-up groups. Emma Gray, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based fine art consultant and mother of two, appreciated the way these classes made her more focused and connected as a parent. ”It had a very profound effect …There’s this idea that the children have got to dance, have got to swim. What they need is nature. Basic stimulation from other children. Being outside. Natural stuff.”

This month, the method goes mainstream as RIE teaching materials arrive at 1,700 federally funded Early Head Start programs for families with infants and toddlers nationally.

Would you want your child to participate in these programs? Do you think RIE is a bit too ‘granola’ in its approach or do you see the method as a refreshing departure for our generation of ‘high-achieving super-babies’?

Add a Comment
Back To GoodyBlog
  1. by Kathleen

    On November 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I agree with the RIE approach to raising children. I think alot of parents today are caught up in “entertaining” their babies by using outside forces and basically just keeping them distracted & busy. Children like to be engaged in simple ways especially with the human touch, facial expressions, your voice, etc. There is no substitute for having time to spend with your children…it’s the best gift you can give.

  2. by HumbledDad

    On November 2, 2010 at 12:13 am

    For everything you ever wanted to know about the practical application of RIE, visit Janet Lansbury’s site at http://www.JanetLansbury.com. I have three RIE kids, all confident, authentic and excelling in life. It’s the good stuff, and soooo makes sense.

  3. by Felisa Geimer

    On July 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    hey bros!! Brilliant site!

  4. by roofing NYC

    On September 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

    - I’m not saying Saddam was a nice guy, but he’s no Hitler. He ruthlessly stamped out a Shite uprising (one Bush Sr. encouraged by the way) and has major blood on his hands as a result. Gassing the Kurds and the Iranians was no doubt an atrocity as well (the latter of which we supplied targeting information and materials). Now after having done billions of dollars of business with this man throughout the 80s we decide we can’t live with this barbarian anymore causing more collateral damage than all the terrorist attacks combined. Yes, it rings just a little hypocritical, if not to us, to the rest of the world.

  5. by Arron Parrott

    On November 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Beyonce is set to make number 1 when it comes to this weekend’s album charts, taking Lady Gaga away from the top spot. The United states performer, who just headlined during Glastonbury, is marketing her album, 4, 3 times as rapidly as chart challengers as mentioned in (blank) the Official Chart Update.

  6. by Alia Zertuche

    On January 5, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

  7. by Lyle Renna

    On August 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Boobs Virtually all excellent information can be a very good concept in most or perhaps the some other indicates. Retain modernizing the blog, excited for a lot more content material.

  8. by auschwitz

    On December 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Being a web internet site operator I believe the info this can be reallyfantastic. My partner and i appreciate it for the endeavours. You should keep writing permanently! Ideal of luck.