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Thoughts on a Madge Gerber Night

Madge Gerber met with a group of us at Queen of Angels Hospital. She discussed how to raise children gracefully without the stifling smother-love. Ms. Gerber showed us two mind-blowing films. “How Wonderful It Is To Bathe” showed a careperson bathing children while maintaining a constant, cheery, loving dialogue with each child. Like a fine piece of choreography, it had a kind of ritual to it. The children knew what the washcloth and soap were for, and, while the babies anticipated each step – were obviously cognizant of everything that was happening and was going to happen (we saw babies barely old enough to sit up and reach their arms to the woman to help her soap their tiny bodies) the older children (2 & 3 years) already held their own in this bubbly ballet.

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Reflections on “Loczy”

“Loczy”, Is a residence for normal infants in need of full-time care in Budapest under the direction of Emmi Pikler, M.D., It is acknowledged as a model center for the study of infant development. Loczy has attracted visitors from all over the world. Caregiving is guided by:
An intimate, stable relationship with one person, developed during care-giving, where the infant is freely exploring and manipulating objects in a safe environment.

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Reflections Upon My Work With Dr. Emmi Pikler

Who is Dr. Pikler? She, as well as her accomplishments, are well known. She was my children’s pediatrician and my professor. Later, I had the privilege of working with her in Budapest, at the National Methodological Institute for Infant Care and Education. Dr. Pikler proposed that unrestricted an not sought gross motor development positively influences all other areas of growth – social – emotional, cognitive and even character formation.

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Toys

Toys should be sturdy but simple. I do not like busy toys. I like busy children manipulating their toys in many imaginative ways. Include objects that are safe and simple. These objects should be basic, able to be manipulated in many ways, and not requiring adult help or supervision. They should require the child to be active, not passive.

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Intro to Madge Gerber and Cara Wilson

Cara, you asked me to explain why I keep telling you parents how much easier you could raise healthy “happy” children if you would make outdoor living a regular habit for your babies. Why? Because babies thrive out of doors, they sleep better, eat better, look better, play better, and learn better

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Thumb or Pacifier

Sucking is an instinctual need and adults have an instinctual rather than objective reaction to it. Throughout history thumb-sucking has aroused strong feelings. It was called a bad habit and was blamed for producing protruding teeth and a disobedient, withdrawn or insatiable child. The pacifier is a plug. It does stop a child from crying, but the question is, does an infant have a right to cry? Should an infant be allowed to express her feelings and communicate them. By plugging her mouth, the message given is, “Don’t do what comes naturally. Do what pleases me, your parent.

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First Dear Magda Artice

“I often feel insecure because I am unsure whether what I am doing with my child is right or wrong. What can I do to help my baby feel secure, self-confident and relaxed?”

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Welcome to RIE

When I met Dr. Emmi Pikler, her ideas seemed so natural, sensible, and simple that I tried to learn more about them. …The interest we have in common is the desire to improve the care of infants. … many organizations, schools, classes, and publications professing to the same goal, yet we believe there is a difference in the way we see the infant.

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Crying

Very young infants cry when they feel discomfort from hunger, pain, feeling too cold or too warm, sudden changes in position, transitional times, and too much stimuli from environment. Respect the child’s right to express feelings, or moods, whether crying or smiling. Try to find and eliminate discomfort.

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One Point Of View

The key word in Magda Gerber’s philosophy is RESPECT . . . respect for your baby and respect for yourself, the parent. An awareness of your child’s point of view, as well as your own, will greatly help in building a respectful relationship.

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Diapering Is Quality Time

Quality Time is that precious time of truly being with your child … The best way to begin this gentle balance is by making the diapering time, and all other care, a special time. No distractions, just the two of you doing the rituals of caring in a pleasant, peaceful, and rhythmic way while you talk with your baby… about everything you are going to do and are doing. “Okay, love, let’s take off this wet diaper… the child and you are a team. Your eyes are not frozen on the diaper, and you are not under the pressure of dealing with a frustrated baby who feels trapped.

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Notes and Quotes On Magda Gerber

[Magda Gerber] offers Insight into the best ways — usually the simplest — to live with our children. See the child as a human being. Talk to your child as if you are having a conversation with him. Trust the child’s ability to solve problems. Treats them all, from infants to toddlers, with respect.

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Dear Magda

Original RIE Manual

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is not a separate function. It is an everyday life experience. (Read How Children Learn [(1967)] and How Children Fail [(1964)], by John Holt.)

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Magda’s Writings

Magda Gerber’s Basic RIE Principles

Respect is the Guideline of RIE’s Philosophy. The Educarer shows respect, for example, by not picking up an infant without telling him beforehand, by talking directly to him, and not over him, and by waiting for the child’s response. 

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