Why RIE?

A while ago, RIE asked its Associates (of whom there are now close to 70, and not just here in LA, but in many places around the world!) to think about what we teach, who we teach, and what happens for children, for parents, and for ourselves. It was a lovely discussion that I was reminded of today as I was going through some of my old notebooks. I loved them so much, I thought I would share them with you:

End result of RIE:
Confidence in parenting
A connected, collaborative relationship throughout life
More joy in the role of parent

Benefits of RIE for parents:
Being present
Greater confidence
Growth in their skill set
Deeper connections
Seeing oneself
Greater joy

What makes RIE unique?
Trusting in the infant’s competence
Respect of both baby and parent
It’s a journey…growth…unfolds over time
Personal development, not child entertainment
Parents find their own authentic voices
Not trying to teach baby

RIE is…
Caring, knowledgeable, respectful, responsive, inclusive, flexible, natural, understanding, supportive

A RIE parent is…
Open, seeking, willing, curious

Does this ring true for you? Of course, it isn’t all rainbows and roses, right? RIE is a wonderful framework, but we’re talking about humans…messy, complicated, contrary humans with emotions and opinions and hormones and hunger.

Recently, a parent and I were talking about one of the many books we’d been reading for my book clubs, and she had a sudden realization…she realized that so many parenting books seem to have a covert (sometimes overt) message: just read this book, say these words, do these things, and you will be a perfect parent and your children will never have issues, never get into fights, never disobey you…life will be easy. But that’s simply not true…parenting is hard work. Emotional work. And growing up is hard work. Emotional work. There is no shortcut. There are no magic words, no magic formula…but this special approach, grounded in slowing down, being present, allowing one another to think and feel and struggle…allows one another to be the messy, complicated, contrary humans we are. And what a gift that is, to parent and child: to be authentic.

30.  Good Behavior

There are many ways to get children
to behave as you wish.
You can force, plead, and bribe.
You can manipulate, trick, and persuade.
You can use shame, guilt, and reason.
These will all rebound upon you.
You will be in constant conflict.

Attend instead to your own actions.
Develop contentment within yourself.
Find peace and love in all you do.
This will keep you busy enough.
There is no need to control others.


If you are able to release
even some small part of your persistent need to control,
you will discover an amazing paradox.
The things you attempted to force
now begin to occur naturally.
People around you begin to change.
Your children find appropriate behavior
emerging from within themselves
and are delighted.
Laughter returns to all.