BROWSE BY Category: Respect

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.

Read More »

Discipline is Learning and Nurturing Combined 

Children, like adults, need rules and guidelines. I conceptualize discipline as being a system based on and facilitative of mutual respect among family members. We could easily exchange the word ‘discipline’ for the word ‘educaring’—they are both a combination of learning and nurturance. The goal is inner or self-discipline, self-confidence, and joy in the act of cooperation.  

Read More »

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 It was called a bad habit and was blamed for producing protruding teeth and a disobedient, withdrawn or insatiable child.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.

Read More »

Can too much love spoil my child

Can too much loving spoil my child? – “Love? No! But many ways of demonstrating love? Yes! The list would be endless to tell all the atrocities both physical and emotional that adults inflict upon children in the name of love. Even kissing and hugging may not always convey to a child that she or he is loved.

I will try to recall from my own experience what it feels to be truly loved by someone: It makes me feel good, it opens me up, it gives me strength, I feel less vulnerable, less lonely, less helpless, less confused, more honest, richer. It fills me with hope, trust, creative energy, it refuels me.

How do I perceive the other person who gives me these feelings? As honest. As one who sees and accepts me for what I really am; who objectively responds without being critical; whose authenticity I respect, and who respects mine; who is available when needed, who listens and hears, who looks at and sees me, who shares herself, who cares.

Read More »

On Loving

If one were to list all the cruelties and maltreatments, both physical and emotional, that parents and adults inflict on children under the guise of love, the list would be a long one. But, going beyond such sinister examples, even kissing and hugging may or may not convey to a child that he is loved. 

Love is a feeling, an emotional state. Artists, writers, philosophers, poets have tried to define it. Marcel Proust says, “Love is space and time measured by the heart.” What is space and time? It is the here and now. It is you. 

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Didn't find what you were looking for?
Check out one of these recommended articles.

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.)

Read More

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. 

Read More

Search the Magda Archive