Magda Gerber and Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)
Magda Gerber studied under the famous pediatrician Emmi Pickler in Hungary. Pickler founded Loczy, later known as the Pickler Institute, an orphanage in Budapest whose children didn't have the typical institutional damage common in other orphans. Inspired by her work with Pickler, Magda Gerber began sharing her ideas when she emigrated to the United States. Magda Gerber founded Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) based on simple principles of intentional infant care and education that she called educaring.
- Basic Trust in the infant to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner.
- An Environment for the infant that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing.
- Time for Uninterrupted Play.
- Freedom to Explore and interact with other infants.
- Involvement of the infant in all care activities to allow the infant to become an Active Participant rather than a passive recipient.
- Sensitive Observation of the infant in order to understand the infant’s needs.
- Consistency, communication, clearly-defined limits and expectations to develop self-regulation and self-discipline.
- Listen to your child's cry to understand what they are trying to communicate and start a calm dialogue to offer comfort and assurance.
- Attuned care that responds gently not reacts to children prepares your child for separation and confident independence.
Wants Something, Wants Nothing, and Joy Time
Educarers plan for three types of time for young children.
Wants something time is the routine times when children are supported to get a diaper changed, take a nap, get dressed, or get buckled into their car seat. The role of the adult is to prepare children for cooperating by communicating the expectations and talking children through the process. The goal is for the child to be an active participant in their care and routines.
Wants nothing time is the time when children play uninterrupted. This is challenging for adults but your role is to observe if you wish but also let your child play. Give your child time to move freely, explore, experience frustration, and work out problems. Dictate or coach if necessary, smile if looked to for assurance, but try not to interrupt.
Joy time is the cuddly, story reading, game playing, time of love. Adults can engage and connect with their young child following their cues but playing joyfully.
Resources for Infant Educares in Los Angeles Online at www.rie.org
RIE Associate's Blogs - www.regardingbaby.com or www.janetlansbury.com
Read about RIE - Magda Gerber's Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect - Your Self Confident Baby - Janet Lansbury's Elevating Child Care - No Bad Kids - Debora Carlisle Soloman - Baby Knows Best - Irene Van der Zande's 1, 2, 3... The Toddler Years
Young babies need to have time to be held and time to move freely.
An often repeated belief is that babies cry when bored. Actually they cry when over-stimulated.
Children engage in deep play when given time, not taught how.
Allow your infant to do what they can do.
Children will develop in their own time and in their own way.
Half attention all the time will never be full attention.
Respect is the basis for all relationships.
Experiencing frustration and disappointment is part of life we cannot and should not protect our children from feeling but rather be present to help children process feelings.