RIE in Real Life – Giving Thanks and Resources

Day/Deck Dreaming

If your inbox is like mine was this morning, you are probably inundated with all the black Friday deals and holiday gift guides and notes from random companies that want you, yes you, to know how grateful they are for YOU.

I don’t want to add to that, so instead I’ll tell you things that actually make my heart warm with joy and appreciation…the email from the Mom who checked in to say that the talk we had last week helped and things have gotten better. The text from the Dad who said he appreciated a recent newsletter. The way that parents almost always say that what they’re taking away from class each week is that it feels so relaxing. The big hug a parent gave me after she had a hard day. The zoom chats that go late into the night and explore deep truths and myths while we meander through books. The way I’ve gotten to know so many of you, and the way you have checked in with me in your own personal ways to let me know you are there. The tip I got from a former student about a new book to explore. The joy and peace I get from watching your children grow and blossom…and the honor I feel in getting to know you phenomenal people, who are doing this careful, intentional, and challenging work of raising your phenomenal children.

Thank you.

Before I sign off, I want to lean a little into that R in RIE that stands for Resources…

While I promise you…I can 100% guarantee…that no matter what you give your child this or any holiday season will never, ever, be as special to your child as you simply spending time and paying attention to them…I am also an Aunt and I know how special it is to think about holiday gifts for my 4 niblings…and I know that all of grandparents and aunts and friends and cousins in your lives are probably all asking you for your wish lists. I’m a big fan of simple toys, and I appreciate the list of recommendations Janet Lansbury has pulled together on her site (it includes books, which are honestly some of my very favorite things to give!). (I also will mention that I sell a RIE toy ‘starter’ pack, which is specifically curated to include not only RIE classics, but things that are hard to find only one and two of (Curlers, ramekins, wooden rings…things like that).)

I also wanted to bring your attention to this discussion coming up next Tuesday evening: You Can’t Celebrate That! Courageous Conversations with Children, Families, and Colleagues. It’s easy to forget how much children are taking in, every minute of every day. How much they are absorbing and learning…forming understandings and ideas about how the world works: culture, race, religion. And they are absorbing it all from you: your values and assumptions and ideas. As you all know, becoming a parent puts all of those values, assumptions, and ideas on the table again, for you to examine, if you are ready to look. Conversations like the one on Tuesday night can help sharpen your focus.

The other thing I resource I wanted to offer is an online parents-of-siblings-support-group: In the past couple of months, many of my families have added a second (or 3rd) child to their clan, and they are finding…well, they are finding that it is harder than expected in many ways! One thing that has been helpful? Talking with other parents of siblings…simply knowing that others are going through the same thing…or did and survived…is immensely helpful! (And the tips and strategies that are shared are golden…) To that end, I wanted to see if there is interest in my setting up an online space for parents to gather and talk. If that sounds like something you would want to be a part of, send me an email or a text.

That’s all from me for now, I’m heading out on my newly constructed and almost completed back deck (pictured above!) to enjoy a few moments of sunshine and to dream about the day I get to share it all with parents and children.

With respect and care (and gratitude!),