RIE Parenting: Where A Kid Can’t Be A Kid

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If I wanted to give birth to a tiny adult, I would have adopted a 60-year-old man. I don’t know what it is about hot parenting philosophies today, but some of them seem so… Oppressive? Restrictive? Over the top?

Enter RIE. You know that if Vanity Fair wrote a piece on it, then RIE must be on the horizon as a fancy-schmancy, celeb-friendly parenting trend. The RIE parenting philosophy Vanity Fair speaks of takes place in Hollywood, on Melrose Avenue—but of course.

Here’s what Hollywood-style RIE might look like, according to Vanity Fair:

On a recent afternoon in the heart of Hollywood, on Melrose Avenue, a small group of one-year-olds gather around a table. Not a normal-size table, mind you, but a teeny-tiny one, with teeny-tiny stools that they sit on for lunch. They wear clean bibs. Their food remains on plates and not on the floor. They drink juice out of real glasses, not plastic baby bottles or weirdly shaped sippy cups. “If you set limits around mealtime,” says the adult acting as master of ceremonies, “it is possible for babies to eat in a dignified way.”

In theory, this sounds like a great idea. But the more time I spend as a parent, the more I realize how much I don’t want to stifle the person my child actually is—and how I have been guilty of it.

When my first son was a baby, I was totally obsessed with doing everything right. I was crazy about his perfect “sleep schedule” so that he would be the super baby that slept through the night at just the right time. Sleep training did work for us, and now both of my sons are good sleepers. But we were much more lax in sleep training my second son, using a looser interpretation of the all-important schedule.

All that is to say that in the early days of parenting, I felt like a total failure if my baby didn’t do exactly what I thought he should do. I felt like it reflected poorly on me as a parent. While there is importance in discipline and boundaries for a young child, I often see parents in my social circle getting all bent out of shape because their kid is acting like a kid.

The parenting practice of RIE stands for Resources for Infant Educarers. I have heard some positive things about the RIE philosophy, but the Hollywood-ized version described in Vanity Fair seems a bit much. Very strict RIE practices are described a little something like this:

Parents are instructed to carry on long, adult conversations—no baby talk!—with their pre-verbal charges. “Take the telephone off the hook before you intend to feed, bathe, or diaper your baby,” Gerber wrote, “and tell your infant, ‘I’m going to take the phone off the hook so nobody will disturb us, because now I really want to be just with you.’ ”

I do think it’s great to pay attention to and talk to your kid. But again, isn’t this a bit much? There’s more to the picture. RIE is “philosophically opposed to anything that disrespects the baby.” What does this mean exactly? I’ll tell you—no sippy cups, no highchairs, no baby gyms, no baby carriers, and no baby walkers (also called “moving prisons”).

There’s more:

“Children don’t need toys,” says Solomon. “Almost all of the toys at RIE can be found in somebody’s cupboard.” No rattles either. According to Gerber, “Rattles are an adult idea: you pick up something, and it makes noise. Why does it make noise? Because some adult put something into something.”

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • Armchair Observer

      This sounds suspiciously like a super ramped up, extreme, over the top, misinterpretation of Montessori. The real drink and dinnerware thing is straight out of Maria Montessori’s playbook–and she encouraged toys that mimic or replicate everyday life, so “from the cupboard” could be from that too. And the explaining things like baby is a grownup? Isn’t that from Ferber (totally probably misspelled that…)?

    • Alexandra

      Ummmm ok, so I’m ready for the down votes….
      Obviously, certain parts of this are on the very Gwyneth P ridiculous spectrum.
      However, I do think that if you’re going to be around your baby, while they are awake, why not carry on an intelligent (OBVS one sided) adult conversation with them? Why should a “rattle noise” be better than hearing their mom or dad or grandma just have a running one-sided dialogue where you explain everything you’re doing? That just seems to me to be a very smart way to not only expose children to speech and words, but also keep parents from going crazy “goo goo ga ga little baby boo ‘rattle rattle’ peek-a-boo” etc etc. I’m not saying you should expect them to understand or reply of course or that if they WANT to play peek-a-boo because they’re babies that’s fun, but if it’s all basically “white noise” to them anyway, why not just have the white noise be something that may actually feed their brains?

      • Armchair Observer

        Linguists can’t decide if baby talk is helpful or damaging for verbal development. Right now the “hot new theory” is that it is actually good for it, but talking to your baby or toddler, is always good–right? My mom (who vaguely subscribed to Ferber and strongly to Spock) fondly remembers talking to me in the mornings when I was tiny and I would be sitting there actually mimicking what her mouth was doing. Not surprisingly, I started speaking (in full sentences and longer) very early. Might have been the talking to me…or, you know, not.

      • rrlo

        You know, my dad taught me how to read at like 2 years old. I was reading full, adult size novels in Grade 1.

        How did that impact me now when I am 32 years old and married to a man who only started reading in the 4th grade (due to learning disabilities)? Not very much at all… We both work in the IT field, have a similar salary and enjoy equal levels of satisfaction with life.

        So even if all of this makes for a loquacious toddler with impeccable grammar (not convinced that it does at all) – who cares… World is full wonderful, strong silent types!

        I’d rather just have a good time with my little soft bundle – while he is still a soft little bundle – and keep him safe, happy, fed – parenting “theories” be damned!

      • pixie

        My parents talked and read to me from a very early age, but I didn’t talk until I was about 2, probably a combination of not feeling a need/want to and my teeth came in late, but when I did start talking it was in pretty well full sentences. I understood what people were saying to me, I just didn’t talk back. (so, similar to you, just started talking later for whatever reason)

      • rrlo

        I dunno… when my son was a baby – all I wanted to do was make silly noises and goof off with him and still do. I just loved it. And I think he loved it too. I don’t want to deprive myself of being myself and enjoying myself around my own baby, simply because of yet another “new” parenting style.

        I have nothing against discussing women’s rights or whatever with the baby using complex language. But I unconvinced that when baby is a baby – one method (especially if it is less fun for the parent) is better than the other.

        Also, if a parent enjoy intellectual convos with their babies over making goo goo noises – all the power to them.

      • Roberta

        Personally, I think the using adult-speech thing is more for the sanity of the adults, not the improvement of the kids. But like the previous commenter said, scientifically speaking it flip flops on what is better for your kid.
        That being said, as an infant with colic, I would only calm down when dad would rattle a toy and sing “Ralph Ralph Ralph, Ralph the rattlin’ bear” on repeat. So who knows.

      • jane

        Because actually both things help them learn. First of all, babies LIKE that stupid way we talk to them. It helps us to slow down our speech so that they can understand what different words are, phrasing, etc. Think about it, if you go to another country where you just barely speak the language, what’s the first thing you say? “Please speak more slowly.” The whole world sounds like that to a baby. Motherese (what that way of talking is called) slows us down.

        Additionally, most people do naturally talk to their babies. It’s not a parenting philosophy, it’s a fact of life. But that doesn’t mean it has to be ALL ABOUT THEM all the time. Nattering on about “this bath water is so warm, I’m soaping up your hair, doesn’t this tickle your toes” is great and all, but I don’t think it requires us ignoring everything else that’s going on. I can’t imagine that a baby is going to be traumatized by hearing “oops! what’s that? The phone’s ringing. I’m going to grab that and be right back!”

        Finally, rattles and whatnot DO feed their brains. You know, of course, that if you shake something with grains of rice in it it’s going to make noise every time, but babies don’t know that. They’re figuring out how to pass things back and forth between their hands (which is actually super important for brain development and studies suggest helps with reading later on). They’re testing little baby theories (if I shake it will it make the same noise as if I drop it?) They’re figuring out that some things you manipulate with your hands, others with your feet, others with your mouth, etc.

        Baby toys and baby talk have both been around for pretty much as long as there have been babies. While I’m hardly an evolutionary essentialist, let’s not be so arrogant to assume that the last few thousands of years of human history have gotten it wrong because some Hollywood folk have decided that they’d like to have mini-grown-ups.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I love your insight on this (zero sarcasm).

      • candyvines
      • pineapplegrasss

        me too, love your insight.
        And, most babies, by the time the are one, understand almost the whole language being spoken to them. They don’t need RIE talking techniques to learn that

      • SusannahJoy

        I wish I could like this twice!

      • Blueathena623

        I believe they have found Neolithic rattles, so there you go.

      • EX

        I certainly don’t have any objection to that part of the RIE approach. I’ve had a rule since my daughter was an infant that I do not pick up my phone while she’s awake/with me. Granted, she’s in day care full time so my time with her is limited and I want to make the most of it. Not sure I would have kept to this rule had I been a SAHM. Anyway, I always talked a lot to my daughter and still do and for the most part speak like a grown up. I think that’s very good for kids and their language development (not that I think there’s anything wrong with the occasional baby talk thrown in). Anyway, the rest of this RIE stuff sounds pretty crazy. I mean, infants can’t move on their own but you’re not allowed to use baby carriers (and what about strollers?!) so, what they’re supposed to just lie on the floor and wriggle around for 7-10 months until they start crawling. And that with no toys?

      • Véronique Houde

        Yup. You got it. Lie on their backs and stare at the sunlight shining through the window ;)

      • rrlo

        LOL!!! That made me laugh. If only they did that…

      • Ana

        We know that speaking to a child in a regular adult way and explaining things you’re doing is good for them, but I think what bothers people is that the point of the RIE approach is that it is the Only way to talk to them. That a little baby talk now and then or simplifying your speech is “disrespectful” is kind of ridiculous.

      • Véronique Houde

        Oh, and if you DARE disrespect an RIE mother’s child, she will set her RIE mafia on your ass… Once, a woman wrote into the group, asking what to do about her mom disrespecting her child (on her rare visits to the US from eastern Europe) when she grabbed the child without his permission and said “Wow you’re stinky! Let’s change your diaper!!” She was actually thinking of cutting her mother out of her baby’s life because her mom dared to call her child stinky and not ask him before picking him up.

        And another mom was near burnout because she didn’t know how to handle the fact that her parents bought her child an electronic remote control toy that would “overstimulate” her child and “ruin his natural propensity to play creatively and make believe with his wooden blocks”

      • rrlo

        Oh God, they must be very anti-tickling then…

      • Véronique Houde

        They compare tickling to assaulting your child – the worst possible mistreatment ever

      • rrlo

        Even if the child gets into tickling position and says “Again”?!?!?! Call child services!

      • Véronique Houde

        Yup. They say that you have socialized the child into thinking that tickling is a form of affection. brainwasher ;)

      • rrlo

        Awesome!

      • G.E. Phillips

        That one I can get behind, because I fucking hate to be tickled. My grandfather was an otherwise lovely man, but he would tickle me until I couldn’t breathe and/or I would pee my pants. Anyone who tries to tickle me now has it coming to them, but good (cue some Spaghetti Western music here.)

      • rrlo

        I was a bit anti-tickling too – because my dad used to tickle me so much that I lost the ability to be tickled (true story! I can sit stone faced now while people try to tickle me). But then my little one LOVES it. So I changed my mind and realized what was hellish for me is fun for my son. Also, the act of tickling is fun.

      • kay

        I’m super ticklish. I always used to have boyfriends who thought it was SUPER FUNNY. I learned if you reacted by kneeing them in the balls they stopped thinking it was funny realllllly fast. Not sure how that’d go with a grandfather though.

      • Bunny Lucia

        To be fair, I consider getting tickled to be a form of assault. I certainly wouldn’t want someone doing it to my hypothetical future spawn.

        But that’s mostly because tickling always makes me super nauseous and induces hardcore anxiety problems, people didn’t understand that when I was younger and I didn’t know how to explain it so it ended up with me being kicked out of two separate daycares for either: Having a complete meltdown or barfing on a classmate

      • Véronique Houde

        Yeah but that’s a personal reaction to tickling, and i think it’s important for people to understand that not everyone has that same reaction to tickling, and that some people don’t mind it so much. To say that tickling is ALWAYS an assault is an exaggeration.

      • Blueathena623

        It depends on the kid. I talked to my kid with adult language from day 1, but he still developed a speech delay. His SLP advocated simplified language, and he does pick that up better.

    • Véronique Houde

      OMG YOU CAVED AND WENT TO THE FACEBOOK GROUP!!! I have been waiting for this blog post for months mouahahahahahah. Yeah, they drive me crazy. BUT I have to say that you missed a huge point that really gets on my nerves – the main goal of RIE is to make independent, emotionally controlled children, which means that you must always be careful of not creating shame and guilt in these children. Which includes not punishing them – according to them, just talking should be enough ;). It’s insane.

      • Véronique Houde

        Oh. And they absolutely DISCOURAGE tummy time, and propping a child up in a seated position, or making them stand… They think that they child should do things on their own time and when they are naturally ready.

        A lot of it is based on personal observations of one lady, and not scientific in the least. You really have to watch out with this approach.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Wow, just wow! Eve made me infiltrate the ranks like a scary spy LOL. It was pretty intense!

    • Aimee Beff

      No toys makes sense. Baby should develop hand-eye coordination by reaching and grabbing for a slide rule or a copy of “The Wealth of Nations”.

      • Teleute

        I have pictures of my son at 13.5 months carrying a leather-bound copy of The Fountainhead around our living room.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ilikeswears Dusty

      Ever since I read “Bringing Up Bebe” whenever I hear about something like this, I immediately think, “What would they French say about this?!” Seriously, though, the French are laughing into their hot chocolates right now.

      • Véronique Houde

        LOL the french! It always makes me laugh when people compare themselves to the french because my child’s father is french, so I have access to their family and friends’ parenting philosophies. They’re just as crazy as us ;)

      • http://www.twitter.com/ilikeswears Dusty

        My family is francophone so I’m right there with you. As a Canadian living in the US, I plan to adopt “That’s such an American thing to say/do” as my new blanket response to sanctimommies and their ilk. I said it to my MIL over the lunch the other day and the look on her face was priceless.

      • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

        Oh my gosh, that’s brilliant. That’s like the meanest thing you can say to a sanctimommy!

      • Lilly

        I’m a Canadian in Canada and I so plan on stealing that line — I think it would work awesomely here.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I LOOOOVED that book because of the “fuck it” subtext. Correct me if I’m wrong, Véronique Houde?? :)

      • Véronique Houde

        I don’t know… I think that some parents are like that, but in general french parents have the same neuroses as everyone else. My SIL is a little bit too “fuck it” in my opinion… But I know that she’s not necessary the parenting trend…

      • zeisel

        yeah, they would be like… “no pacifier, ever.. you mean i have to take it away from my 4 year old?”

    • EX

      If baby carriers and walkers are disrespectful to the baby then what about strollers? I mean, the baby didn’t ask to be put in the stroller. And what about carrying the baby in your arms? I mean, the baby didn’t ask to go wherever you are going with the baby. So, what? They’re supposed to just lie on the ground and wriggle?

      • shel

        And we thought we were already seeing a lot more babies with flat heads since starting the “back to sleep” (which has also dramatically reduced SIDS! YAY!)
        But tummy time and sitting upright/ being in things that hold a baby upright and off the back of their head is very important for not only head shape but also muscle and motor development.
        I’m sure some of the ideas have some merit, but like everything, someone has to go and take to a crazy extreme…

      • Véronique Houde

        The issue is that they deny the well established fact that with back to sleep, there have been delays in muscle development. They still like to think that all children will develop in their own times and you shouldn’t teach them or rush them. They have this philosophy about teaching too – you shouldn’t instruct things to your child, instead they should learn by trying. It’s like a scandal to show your child how to use a crayon… You’re supposed to put the box of crayons in front of them, and eventually they will figure out that there is something in the box, and eventually they will learn that they can draw with them… *sigh*

      • shel

        I know when I gave my baby a crayon and showed her that she could draw with it… she tried to take a big bite out of it… So just leaving a box of them in front of her with absolutely no guidance, I imagine she would be pooping rainbows in no time…

        This isn’t even how we teach adults things…

      • rrlo

        My son is 2.5 years old. The other day he took a bite out of his crayon just for the hell of it… I can’t imagine leaving delicious crayons in front of a young infant – unless they were made of food. Because THEY WILL EAT IT – 100% of the time.

      • pixie

        My grandmother’s dogs used to eat my crayons if I left them out. Seeing multicoloured poop in the backyard was how I found out where my missing crayons went.

      • EX

        My dog loves to eat crayons. And stuffed animals. It makes it pretty interesting to have her and a toddler under the same roof.

      • candyvines

        But you could frame those diapers.

      • EX

        And hang ‘em next to your placenta prints.

      • shel

        Great ideas!! Just think of the bodily function/body part gallery my little one could have before she even learns to draw!!
        It’s going to be worth millions!! Millions!!!

      • EX

        Wow. Google this stuff at your own risk. Apparently not only are baby carriers disrespectful, the term “babywearing” objectifies babies. I am not making this up.
        http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/03/babywearing-i%E2%80%99d-rather-go-naked-than-wear-baby/

      • Véronique Houde

        Janet is insane. lol

      • EX

        Yeah, it didn’t take too long into that post for me to figure that out! Lol. I was actually googling because I was curious about their stance on strollers (I mean, how is that less of a prison than a walker where the child actually has some control). But that was the first link I came across and now I’m scared to google any further. So, you seem well informed on this subject. What’s the position on strollers? Ooh. And what about car seats? My child always felt very disrespected by being strapped in.

      • Véronique Houde

        LOL I don’t think I’ve ever read anything on strollers to be honest… Nor on carseats. But let me look it up and I’ll tell you :)

      • Véronique Houde

        I do remember her once saying that she was convinced that being strapped into a bouncy seat led to constipation.

      • pixie

        Personally, I’d think the opposite. All that bouncing…might help with constipation :P

      • shel

        Definitely, have you ever tried pooping while laying flat on your back??

      • Bethany Ramos

        This made me LOLLLL

      • shel

        :)

        I use that as an example all the time when my patients come in concerned that baby is constipated, cause he grunts and strains and gets red in the face when he poops…
        It’s because he’s flat on his back with weak ab muscles… it takes work to get that poop out!

      • pixie

        Not that I can remember!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        This is because you blocked it out due to childhood trauma because your parents gave you a play piano that made noise

      • pixie

        Those bastards!

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        If my son hasn’t pooped in a bit, he goes in the jumperoo. Poop central, man.

      • melena gasper

        My kids always shit the bouncy seat. We called it the poo chair.

      • AugustW

        My daughter pretty much only poops in the bathtub at this point. On the one hand, it’s nice not having poopy diapers…but on the other hand….

      • Véronique Houde

        This is what Janet said to a mom worried that a stroller would restrict her child’s playtime: “And I love the concern you have about Kees missing out on play time in the stroller. Most of us are led to believe that walks are ideal, even necessary for babies every day. Yes, his movement will be restricted and he won’t be able to play actively, but if you need a walk, that is certainly a good enough reason to take Kees for one.

        Would late afternoon timing work for you? After the second nap? Late afternoon is often a fussy time for babies (sometimes referred to as “the arsenic hour”). Maybe that would be a good time to give him the entertainment and lulling effect of the stroller? Of course, if you could afford one of those fancy old fashioned prams that he could move a bit and sit up in, wouldn’t that be great? (I couldn’t.)”

      • EX

        I find this all totally fascinating in a I’m-glad-I’m-not-THAT-neurotic-of-a-parent sort of way. I ended up using a lot of attachment parenting techniques (mostly baby wearing, co sleeping) out of necessity (my baby would not let you put her down for the first 3 months) but I never really bought into the philosophy (or any other parenting philosophy for that matter). The people who drink the kool-aid of any one of these philosophies fascinate me endlessly.

      • Véronique Houde

        I agree wholeheartedly ;) Anyone who follows ANY parenting approach religiously and tells others off for doing differently are just setting themselves up for failure.

      • rrlo

        Isn’t it weird? As if one parenting theory can be applicable for all parents and all babies…. Also, social “theory” is not like theory of gravity. Every time I drop my pencil – gravity will be in action; but you can attachment parent the hell out of your kid and they could still turn out to be a d-bag that hates your guts.

      • EX

        Haha. Sad but true!

      • Lilly

        The hypocrisy of REI annoys me. The whole philosophy is that each baby(person) should have the wherewithal and autonomy to make decisions for themselves and that learning is a process of doing not having something shown to you. But parent programs (such as REI) in practice are all about taking away a parent’s autonomy and ability to learn by doing and instead supplanting them with an outsider’s directive of “how things should be done”

      • shel

        Can we get a showdown between the Attachment parents and the RIE parents??? That would be epic! Somebody find the popcorn gif!!

      • Véronique Houde

        Join the facebook group. You’ll see a lot of it ;)

      • shel

        Oh, I can just imagine!
        Though I’m picturing more of a Jets Vs Sharks…with the finger snapping and everying, maybe even some dancing… of course one side would be wearing babies… and the other side would be expecting their infant how to figure out proper street fighting without guidance of any kind. :)

      • Bethany Ramos
      • Mystik Spiral

        That comment just about made me pee my pants… :D

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        RIGHT? my mascara is all fucked up omg you guys

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        hahahah how can a baby learn how to street fight or breakdance fight without any guidance are we raising STUPID BABIES or what

      • Véronique Houde

        Well DUH maybe they would INVENT their OWN way of fighting and dancing.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        HAHAHAH ALL THE RIE BABIES WOULD BE ALL VERY QUUIET NONVIOLENT DANCERS WITH NO MUSIC

      • Mystik Spiral

        Those babies would like to be able to think outside the box, but nobody ever explained to them what a motherfucking box even is…

      • EX

        This. I’m picturing it like that old mtv show, Celebrity Deathmatch. With the claymation and everything.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        You guys I wanna make the Epic Death Match Between Attachment Parenting And Rie Parenting Mommyish 2014™ happen so bad

      • Véronique Houde

        DO IT!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        we need some serious RIE parents

      • Kate

        Um…if you want to see this, just join the RIE/Mindful Parenting facebook group. All that goes on there all day is AP-ers trolling and giant arguments breaking out about crying, cribs, babywearing, etc. Spoiler alert: The AP-ers always win the crazy contest.

      • ChillMama

        Awesome! I will totally waste hours of my life reading that.

      • datch

        Ooh, and for real fun, disagree with the “experts” and watch the hounds attack (before you get quickly kicked out for being a troll, that is)!

      • rrlo

        Hahaha this is so funny! Is RIE supposed to be anti-attachment parenting?

        Baby carriers may be “disrespectful” (Baby: how dare you carry me!) – but they sure are cute. It’s so much fun to kiss their little heads and still have your hands free! It’s a Miracle!

      • candyvines

        Yeah, and sippy cups and baby carriers were invented to make parents’ lives easier!

      • rrlo

        Convenient parenting is the WORST form of parenting. If you’re not in tears and dying, you’re not parenting… didn’t you know that?

      • EX

        It’s funny because it seems like it so wants to be the opposite of attachment parenting but at the core it seems like they both have the same (in my opinion totally crazy) idea – that the baby should be in charge.

      • rrlo

        The truth is, in most loving families, the baby IS in charge…
        Otherwise, no one would be up every 2 hours at night nursing a new born. Or change their whole lives around to raise a little human…
        Baby’s well-being drives most decisions parents make – where to live, what to eat, where to work, what schedule to keep…

        It is absurd that some of these parenting philosophies put so much emphasis on random behaviors like baby carrying or not using toys.

      • EX

        Well that’s true of course. But I mean more this idea that you have to ask baby’s permission to change her diaper or whatever none sense. Like there was an article on here not that long ago about not combing a kids hair because it disrespects their autonomy or whatever.

      • rrlo

        I totally get what you mean… it is ridiculous. Children depend on parents to let them know what is safe and acceptable and what isn’t.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        Oh, I remember the no brushing the kid’s hair thing. I mean, sure, why not respect your child’s right to grow a rat’s nest on their head? It’s their life, their rat.

      • reinzig

        You’re so right. It’s so fun for you. And it’s so great for you to have your hands free. If anything, RIE is asking people to stop–even just for a moment, and even if they don’t intend to follow the philosophy–and consider the idea that it’s not all about you. RIE practitioners can appreciate and accept that it’s cute, fun, and handy for you, but they’re ALSO interested in what it’s like for the baby.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I have ONE dream, all I want is for someone to ask them if putting hat with ears on your baby is objectifying them. I need to know

      • Véronique Houde

        ROFL

      • EX

        Ask Janet, Eve. I’m sure she’ll tell you. Oooh. You should send one of the mommyish writers in under cover and have her ask increasingly ridiculous questions.

      • Véronique Houde

        I LOVE this idea. I vote for Frances or Julia! seems like the perfect fit for the job :).

      • Julia Sonenshein

        DREAM TEAM!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        By mommyish writer you mean mommyish reader which means you, go put on your spy trench coat

      • EX

        It’s in storage. Sorry. Also, I’m afraid I’d get paid in cilantro.

      • Teleute

        Don’t forget about tummy time!
        http://www.regardingbaby.org/2013/02/21/tummy-time-babys-way

        This RIE blogger and self-proclaimed parenting specialist is fostering her niece, whose parents “couldn’t take care of her” — and apparently, neither can she. She denies the baby toys, insists that tummy time is grossly disrespectful, and has video clips of the baby girl at 7 months behaving like a 2-month-old, and then again at 11.5 months just beginning to combat-crawl. The baby is now seventeen months old and but appears to have the motor development of baby half that age.

        What I don’t understand is how ALWAYS placing an infant onto its back (even to play!) and hindering its development is supposed to be respectful. And denying an infant or toddler developmentally-appropriate toys (especially one who is already significantly delayed!) isn’t a “parenting philosophy” — it’s straightforward child neglect.

        Here’s a clip of the baby “during an hour long play session in which R., who is five months old, peacefully and contentedly explored and manipulated a piece of wax paper, forever challenging the notion that babies get easily bored”:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_9IyIZhNcM

      • Lindsay

        Who the hell has time to sit around and genuinely get mad over something like this? http://Www.whitewhine.com

      • Véronique Houde

        Clearly we are all bored, privileged housewives who have nothing better to do with their time ;)

      • Lindsay

        Not you guys! Janet! I had a feeling that would come across the wrong way :(

      • Teleute

        Trust me, if a baby doesn’t like being worn, it WILL let you know. I shelled out over $150 in carriers when my son was a newborn/infant, and he HATED every one of them. He’s never been much of a crier, but he would go into hysterics every time I’d try to wear him!

        The “respectful” thing to do is expose your baby to different things and generally avoid doing anything that sends it into a conniption fit — unless of course it’s in their best interest, i.e. vaccinations and emergency evacuation.

      • zeisel

        one word- contradicting.

        It’s like the old saying “children are meant to be seen and not heard”

        Kids should be allowed to be kids. I find that this parenting concept contradicts itself on so many levels, especially the part on what ‘disrespects’ the child/baby. There are some strange parenting styles out there and I personally haven’t adapted to a single one, but find myself implementing several different ones that fit with our families lifestyle, not just a single way.

        I find this very military, going back to the old school way of raising kids in the fifties. Some good points, with learning manners, but too much was expected to be perfect as such an early age.

      • h

        I thought it was contradictory as well: on the one hand expecting babies/toddlers to do things traditionally seen as beyond that age group, but on the other hand, rejecting any kind of direction. How would that even work?? Despite being the “opposite” of attachment parenting, it seems that way only in practice.. so one side thinks we give independence too soon, and another thinks we give it too late. And yet both seem to operate in a way of the child learning that they are the center of the universe. Yes a child is the center of their PARENTS’ universe, but that is not the case outside the home. What is with this all or nothing? What about cuddles AND encouraging development/independence?

      • Aimee Beff

        Obviously you need to spend all the time baby is awake with her in her preferred, developmentally-appropriate milieu (the floor) so that you can properly respect her as a person. While she steeps in oversoaked diapers and vomit-encrusted jammies because you are too busy respecting her to do laundry or run out to Target to buy Pampers. On the bright side you also won’t have time to feed yourself, so pretty soon the floor will also be YOUR developmentally-appropriate milieu, putting you and baby on equal footings as human beings! Awesome!

      • Teleute

        Baby is not about to “steep in oversoaked diapers and vomit-encrusted jammies because you’re too busy respecting her” — she’s going to sit in her own piss and puke because she hasn’t *consented* to being changed.

    • Kelly

      Children do need toys. It’s an actual need, not a luxury. Kids who don’t have any toys will make them out of things like rocks and sticks because they absolutely do need them for proper development.

      I feel so bad for the kids of parents who buy into this bullshit.

      • Armchair Observer

        I kind of wonder if these parents also don’t give toys to their cats or dogs. I know my dog also has a real need for toys–or, you know, she’d eat the cat.

      • Kelly

        LOL, I washed some of my cats’ toys the other day and didn’t give them back fast enough. One of them responded by shitting on my floor.

        Now I’m picturing these people’s children retaliating in the same way and I’m giggling like mad.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        ALSO.

      • Aldonza

        I sleep with earplugs because of husband snores…loudly…and my cats have decided that the earplugs are the BEST TOYS EVER. Our boy cat walks around with them in his mouth and spends hours batting them around our apartment. We had to move the stove to fix something and found hundreds of them under there. Once night, he tried to pull the earplug out of my ear while I was sleeping. I keep trying to distract him with actual cat toys, but he will not be deterred.

      • Jallun-Keatres

        LOL this reminds me when my cat would randomly attack my converse shoelaces! Bat bat bat…

        I’d put on some high tops and one lace would be like 2 feet longer than the other. XD

      • Mystik Spiral

        I’ve spent a small fortune on cat toys over the years. My boy likes them, but my girl would rather sit on a table and knock shit onto the floor. Who knew that all I needed was a $0.20 BIC pen and the patience to pick it up off the floor and put it back on the table over… and over… and over… and over…

      • Muggle

        I’ve lost so many sets of earbuds to my girl thinking they were evil scum that needed killin’. She’ll bat them around, then she’ll just chomp on them. Uggghhh. I’ve also caught her chewing on the phone charger.

        She would have enough toys to murder to her cold, black, feline heart’s desire if the dogs didn’t keep eating them. le sigh.

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        My cat can take appropriate toys or leave ‘em, but daaaaaamn, does he have a thing for cords…my iPhone charger, my headphones, anything delicate and expensive. I can no longer count the number of times I have had to yell, “That is NOT a food source!” to prevent him from electrocuting his stupid fuzzy self.

      • Bunny Lucia

        Have you thought of looking into treatments for the snoring?

        Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, and sleep apnea has been linked to Dementia in later years because the chronic low oxygen saturation in your blood while sleeping. It’s totally treatable though, and will lead to you and him both getting a better night’s sleep!

      • Paul White

        I don’t know, my son ignores his toys and plays with other random, usually breakable, stuff. It’s frustrating.

      • Blueathena623

        But then the rocks and sticks are the toys. I’m not anti-toy, but everyday items can be great “toys”.

      • Kelly

        Yes, exactly, the rocks and sticks become toys because children NEED toys. They need them so badly that even very young children will actually create them from the environment. That’s how strong the need is.

        Therefore the statement, “Children don’t need toys.” is a big steaming load of bullshit.

      • Guest

        They need things to play with, but “toys” doesn’t necessarily have to mean primary coloured plastic garbage with flashing lights and a Fisher-Price label. Toys can be as simple as some kitchen utensils, empty boxes and paper towel tubes.

    • pixie

      So, my parents didn’t baby-talk to me, BUT they also used language I could understand, adjusted it as I grew older, and explained words I didn’t understand by using words I did on the few times they used vocabulary a bit over my head. I know I was a fairly easy kid, hardly threw tantrums (and never in public), and was pretty independent, but by no means did I ever feel like I couldn’t be a kid. I was handed paper and crayons or toys, sippy-cups (until my parents got too lazy to clean them when I was about 7, then it was juice boxes). I was allowed to have my moments of just being a kid with overwhelming emotions. I feel kind of sorry for children whose parents follow RIE system.

      And I would like to see a one year old who could successfully use a regular cup without spilling it all over themselves.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I will basically give cilantro to anyone who posts this link on their fb page

      • Véronique Houde

        UMM…. Not sure that’s a great incentive… I mean, I want to share the link, but… don’t really want the cilantro :S

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        It’s all I have to offer!

      • Véronique Houde

        I would, but I use my real name on here… Afraid Janet might stalk me tonight and kill me in my sleep after seeing what I wrote in the comments :S. Anyone else?

      • shel

        I don’t think I’m every going to be able to cook with actual cilantro ever again… there goes my great quac recipe! Thanks Mommyish! :P

      • shel

        And I can’t type worth cilantro today!! Gaack!

      • Paul White

        what did I miss? As far as I know, cilantro is a somewhat pungent seasoning herb

      • Véronique Houde

        See post on anal sex ;)

      • Bunny Lucia

        SHARE THE RECIPE SHARE THE RECIPE!!!!

        I’ll repost my seven layer dip recipe (It uses guac!)

      • CMJ

        How about nail polish?

      • G.E. Phillips

        Can’t discern if that’s a threat or a promise.

      • havronsm

        Can I post the link using a fake FB account? No cilantro needed.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        oh yeah hahah

      • G.E. Phillips

        Done!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      There are certain things with RIE I really like. For example, I never help my son with his physical milestones. I give him a safe place and he figures it out himself. He gets lots of time for uninterrupted play. I try to stay away from toys that go beep and boop (Mostly that’s for me). I let him know when I’m coming and going and that I’ll be back and I tell him I’m going to change him before I do it.

      Other than that, I disregard all things that I don’t care for. He goes in a high chair, I feed him with a spoon, he’s used a exersaucer, a jumperoo and a jolly jumper, and I don’t narrate most things to him and fully engage in baby talk and singing silly songs to him.

      Adhering to one parenting philosophy to the exclusion of your own common sense or intuition is bonkers. Cherry picking is A-ok.

      • cesp

        Why do parents need to subscribe to a “parenting style” to begin with rather than doing what works best for everyone involved on a case by case basis. The whole premise is creepy and cult like.

      • Véronique Houde

        Because this is 2014! It’s the “thing” to do if you want to stay interesting ;). Oh, and with parenting approaches, no need to think for yourself! Just follow the book and success guaranteed! (until you realize that it absolutely doesn’t work… Then throw the parenting approach away and follow a new one!)

      • datch

        What if respect IS what works best for everyone involved?

    • aCongaLine

      That seems like an awfully exhausting way to parent. I’m good with messes :)

    • Jallun-Keatres

      F that. I’m not giving up my carrier!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        how daaaaare youuuuuu you terrible terrible mooooom

      • EX

        Baby objectifier!!

      • Jallun-Keatres

        Until she is capable of decision making she is my little sleepy object!!

    • Renee J

      I don’t know what kind of parent I am.

      • Véronique Houde

        You’re so 1980 man… Everyone knows what kind of parent they are ;). LOL

    • Jacob Chang

      this one is dedicated to all the lovely parents, bit.ly/19Zx6921

    • MerlePerle

      All I can think about is how that baby looks like Ricky Gervais!

      • Bethany Ramos

        OMG, yes.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Look, when I have kids I’m probably going to be the snottiest parent alive, enrolling them in Mandarin classes before they can sit up and that sort of thing. But this is utterly ridiculous. Babies are not just tiny adults, people!

    • Kate

      Okay, lots of misconceptions being flung around here. I have read several RIE books and have been involved in many Internet discussions, including personal conversations with Janet Lansbury and Lisa Sunbury Gerber. I am not a dogmatic RIE follower, but I use a lot of RIE philosophies to guide my parenting. RIE folks, for the most part, do not judge other people’s parenting choices…and Janet would never go around calling someone a baby objectifier for wearing a baby in a sling. One thing I really like about the people in the RIE community is that most of them are NOT dogmatic (like most AP-ers I’ve met).

      I think following any parenting philosophy by the book is RIDICULOUS but I think many of them have good ideas and food for thought. I have taken a lot of ideas about gentle, respectful parenting from RIE. It’s not about trying to turn babies into adults at all…it’s about following the child’s lead and respecting, where safe and appropriate, his/her ability to be independent and self-confident. I have loved being able to connect with my child by slowing down and involving him in my life instead of just carrying him around like an accessory. I have Magda Gerber and Janet Lansbury to thank for that.

      • Lisa

        This, totally.
        The author of this article has got RIE all wrong – lots of misconceptions and those commenting have no idea either.

      • Bc

        Dood, Lisa Sunbury Gerber is bat shit crazy. No misunderstanding that.

    • Jo

      I don’t know that much about RIE, but it definitely sounds oppressive to me. It seems strange to refer to the way we treat our children as “disrespectful” when we are really just making a point to meet them at their level. They are not adults, cognitively or otherwise, so why should we force them to act like it? I do see value in being honest with children, but this just seems like another super doctriney parenting style that will be old news in a few years. Very interesting read :-)

    • Paul White

      Rich yuppie problems I guess.
      You can have our sippy cups when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      “What does this mean exactly? I’ll tell you—no sippy cups, no highchairs, no baby gyms, no baby carriers, and no baby walkers (also called “moving prisons”).”

      Uh. I did this with my oldest (except for the sippy cup). But back in the early aughts, in my circle, it was called the “I’m too poor for all that shit” Parenting Method.

      Seriously though, you’re totally right. While there are a few parts of this that I totally agree with (baby toys are over-priced and pots and pans rule as baby-distractors) this whole thing as a “parenting movement” seems overwrought and kind of silly.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        IM TOO POOR FOR ALL THAT SHIT PARENTING, I totally adhered to that method too at one point

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Oh, I evolved out of that though. Now I’m in the “I’m too cheap for that shit” Parenting model. It’s much more FANCY.

      • AugustW

        My daughter learned to eat on my lap because I couldn’t afford a high chair. Who knew I was on the cutting edge of parenting styles.

      • Lynnie

        That is my parenting method.

      • aCongaLine

        I’m a fan of it’s related “That shit isn’t going to clutter up our house so that we can be on Hoarders” parenting method as well…

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I LOVE that show!

      • aCongaLine

        It only takes ten minutes before I overcome my vacuum procrastination habits FAST.

    • Natasha B

      This is why I don’t read ‘parenting’ sites. I stick to Mommyish and common sense.

    • melena gasper

      Yeah, none of this is new. Magda Gerber’s name and philosophies have been part of every ECFE class I’ve been in.

    • Kati

      There’s a reason that adults use baby talk with infants. They respond to it! Babies pay longer attention to adults who varies their pitch and intonation. If you walk up to a baby and flatly say, “hi,” you don’t get much of a response. If you say, “hiiiii babyyyy !” you’ll probably get a smile. Parents don’t do it to be annoying. They do it naturally (at least in our culture) as a way of promoting interaction. It’s fine to talk to your baby and say that you’re going to answer the phone, but if you’re super dry in your delivery, don’t expect the baby to look at you. If you’re narrating everything for their benefit, isn’t it kind of important that they attend to it?

      • Rochelle

        I always thought that baby talk referred more to using nonsensical words like, “baba” for bottle, or something along the lines of, “Oh wookit da wittle baby, gootchie gootchie goo”. I think using a higher pitch and intonation just comes naturally . I feel I once heard that studies proved this…

      • Kati

        Using exaggerated pitch, pauses, reduplicated utterances (baba for bottle, Mama. Dada), utterances that model infant’s first utterances are all examples of baby-talk. It’s also referred to as child- directed speech or motherese. It can help infant’s attend to speech. I personally find something like ” ooh, dook at da ittty bitty widdle puddin pie” annoying. But, using simplified speech and words that young children use themselves to approximate adult utterances (like baba, blanked, Dadda) along with exaggerated pitch can be useful when talking to young kids. Baba isn’t nonsensical so much as it is a child’s approximation of an adult utterance. A new talker might use the word ” ba” when pointing to a ball or a book because the child isn’t capable of producing the word correctly. As long as the approximation is meaningful, it’s considered a word in their vocabulary.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      This kind of reminds me of the Victorian Era and children should be seen and not heard stuff. Except for the disrespecting babies stuff. That’s just crazy.

    • cesp

      I just created a new parenting style….it’s called “Use some effing common sense but ultimately wing it and pray that your child doesn’t grow up to be a sociopath”.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I will do this!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        ™ this, becomes your literary agent, accompanies you when you appear on Oprah.

    • DatNanny

      You’re absolutely misrepresenting RIE in this article. It’s completely nonrestrictive: that’s the point of not using walkers, sippies, etc. A baby spending more time on the floor is going to learn to crawl/walk and explore his environment more than a baby in a swing.

      The point is letting them develop their muscles, coordination, processing, at a natural pace. RIE is against electronic toys and silly “learning” tools. They’re all for an enriching environment filled with stimulating objects, musical instruments, physical play equipment. It absolutely encourages energetic, messy kids. Yes, a kid sits at a table with a tall glass half filled with liquid. And if they spill it, you don’t react negatively, you just let them keep spilling their milk while they get the hang of it. It’s not about discipline at all. It’s just about letting kids use their muscles and gain coordination.

      I think, as with any philosophy, some parents have taken it, twisted it, and gone completely off the deep end, which is very unfortunate. I’ve studied RIE, from it’s actual philosophy, in a university setting. This article is extremely misinformed. It truly upsets me that this is the idea of RIE you’ve gotten from parenting forums and that it’s now being spread as having anything to do with RIE. Magda Gerber’s work and research is actually fascinating, and her videos are absolutely eye-opening.

      I really wish you had stayed off parenting forums, the yahoo answers of raising children, for this article.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        “Yes, a kid sits at a table with a tall glass half filled with liquid. And if they spill it, you don’t react negatively, you just let them keep spilling their milk while they get the hang of it.”

        I totally appreciate you are all about the RIE parenting method, but if I did this with my babies they would have spilled whisky EVERYWHERE and I’m sorry, that shit is expensive.

      • DatNanny

        Eve, Eve, Eve. ALWAYS water down the babies’ whisky. That’s Parenting 101. Jeez. You think Babbling Joe knows the difference between top shelf and the gas station swill? And you know they weren’t going to leave a tip anyway.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I’m a terrible mother :(

    • Teleute

      In the event of a fire, make sure to secure the baby’s permission before picking her up.

      – Magda Gerber

    • Teleute

      http://www.regardingbaby.org

      This RIE blogger and self-proclaimed parenting specialist is fostering her niece, whose parents “couldn’t take care of her” — and apparently, neither can she. She denies the baby toys, insists that tummy time is grossly disrespectful, and has video clips of the baby girl at 7 months behaving like a 2-month-old, and then again at 11.5 months just beginning to combat-crawl. The baby is now seventeen months old and but appears to have the motor development of baby half that age.

      What I don’t understand is how ALWAYS placing an infant onto its back (even to play!) and hindering its development is supposed to be respectful. And denying an infant or toddler developmentally-appropriate toys (especially one who is already significantly delayed!) isn’t a “parenting philosophy” — it’s straightforward child neglect.

      Here’s a clip of the baby “during an hour long play session in which R., who is five months old, peacefully and contentedly explored and manipulated a piece of wax paper, forever challenging the notion that babies get easily bored”:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_9IyIZhNcM

      • Kate

        It is really mean and creepy that you’d go to so much trouble to pick on Lisa, who is doing a really noble thing raising this little girl. Maybe you need to find a new hobby other than picking on people you don’t know for reasons you don’t understand.

      • Teleute

        She’s promoting a controversial parenting philosophy and experimenting on her niece. I’d say this leaves her open to criticism.

      • Kate

        She is not “experimenting” on her niece. RIE has been around since Lisa’s mother-in-law, Magda Gerber, began working with infants in the 1940s. It has only become controversial this week when a bunch of useless websites decided to write lazy articles boiling the philosophy down to “don’t give toys and sippy cups.” Lisa has learned first-hand about RIE from Magda. You’re jumping to so many conclusions about Lisa I can’t even see straight. She is one of the most thoughtful, attentive parents I know. There are reasons R may be developmentally behind that have nothing to do with RIE — have you ever considered why the child may have been removed from her original home?

        But if scrutinizing her makes you feel better about yourself, go on I guess.

      • Teleute

        I’ve said it before about Attachment Parenting, and the same holds true for RIE: “If a baby has a developmental delay, that’s unfortunate. If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so. But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that’s just unforgivable.”

        Your friend Lisa is “a pediatric therapist’s nightmare.” And I’m quoting an actual pediatric physical therapist on that.

      • Yomomma

        But what does a medical doctor really, know?? SMH

      • Annabel

        …Or perhaps if she is fostering a child that the parents couldn’t care for, said child has developmental delays.

      • Kate

        Thank you. Yes.

      • Teleute

        Do you think then that she might have a duty to address these developmental delays instead of sweeping them under the rug and using the kid as her poster child?

    • Pingback: Let’s Talk Baloney on RIE | zebearfamily

    • Concerned parent

      Totally un-researched writeup based on another article and not in facts. Do a little work before you write something like this. Or is being a legit journalist too hard? So sad.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Lols username

      • Yomomma

        Well, what’s great is that RIE itself isn’t based on anything more than an aristocrat’s experience and observation of a foreign orphanage. Call me crazy, but I like actual research when choosing which parenting philosophy to screw up my kid with.

    • Megan C

      The real gold (and I mean this seriously) in RIE for me is the toddler behavior guidelines. I find the baby restrictions exhausting, but I definitely can see the difference in not rushing through routines, talking the baby through it, giving undivided attention. Toddlers, though, Janet has it figured out! Please take some time to look at her articles on “unruly” toddler behavior http://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/10/the-real-reasons-toddlers-push-limits/ and I think you’ll better understand why parents follow Magda Gerber’s advice!

      • Bethany Ramos

        Thank you for this very helpful comment in explaining RIE. I have a crazy toddler and will definitely take a look!

    • aCongaLine

      Like a crazy person, I investigated Janet’s site… Specifically her post titled “Toilet Troubles” since, my toddler is on the cusp of being ready to potty train. Then I found this lovely gem:

      “I would keep your boy in diapers for now, but definitely make it clear that it is not for punitive reasons. The diapers are to help him feel secure while he is in this transition, and that’s what I would tell him.

      “I hear you wanting to wear the underwear. I think you might be ready soon. When you are ready to wear the underwear, use the potty and wash hands, please tell me and we’ll make the switch together. In the meantime, I want you to be as comfortable as possible, so we’re going to use the diapers.” Then drop it completely.”

      Errr… I think my morning was RIE. I spent 40 minutes with toddler on said potty, washing hands, and watching while I modeled, with zero results. I told her “Alright, fine. Nevermind. Diaper it is.” and I dropped it.

      Sigh.

      • Bethany Ramos

        I don’t even want to think about potty training… My toddler pooped in the bath today – so there’s that!

      • aCongaLine

        Yeah I’m over potty training right now lol. THe only thing my toddler does consistanly is ask to watch Spongebob.

    • h

      Thinking on this further, I get the idea that babies can’t control what happens to them it can be seen as invasion/disrespect etc to be randomly handled and forced into things all day long. I get it.

      But the problem is that it is tough for a baby to give “consent” after asking alone. Yes, you can attempt the action and very quickly note whether or not a baby is pleased with it, but babies do not yet fully comprehend adult language to the extent to offer an answer to words alone. I do think it is important to expose babies to regular speech, but they are not yet capable of conversational give and take. They can absolutely express pleasure or displeasure with what you DO, but asking an infant if it is ok to change them seems futile.

      And besides, is it not disrespectful to allow a baby to sit in a dirty diaper? If you asked a baby, “is it ok if I let you sit around in your own feces for a while,” chances are they would respond with a random stare and not a “NO” signal, so does that make it ok? Some things have to be done, and unfortunately babies do not have full autonomy. I’m sure it is uncomfortable and gross to sit like that, and even if a baby puts up a fuss about the diaper change, is it not necessary?

    • Say What?

      OK, So I checked out the facebook page, and there’s a member whose daughter’s name is…President. I couldn’t be sure, but I think his other child is named Irish.

    • Pingback: 12 Reasons Why the RIE Craze Isn't Crazy | TONGONTO

    • Sydney

      Here’s a RIE bloggers response to your recent post about RIE. Hopefully it will help people understand RIE more. http://tongonto.com/12-reasons-why-the-rie-craze-isnt-crazy/

    • reinzig

      This article shows a poor, or at least superficial, understanding of RIE….which I suppose makes sense if one’s exposure to it is through one playgroup on Melrose and an article in Vanity Fair. RIE does not suggest that you talk to babies as adults–they only use the word “adults” because so many people can’t understand the concept of speaking to babies as people and with respect, unless you liken it to speaking to an adult….RIE practitioners are perfectly aware that their babies are babies, that’s just silly. RIE is not exhausting or overworked, or even particularly restrictive. It is natural and easy and engaging. It has no “rules” that say what you may have and what you may not have, unless you are a person who needs a rigid set of rules, which you feel you must follow as if they were passed down by God. It is a philosophy, a set of guiding principles, that carries with it some wonderful reminders for how to raise respectful, competent, self-assured, kind children.

    • datch

      I am wondering why a free choice that some parents are makingand that works for them and their children is so threatening to so many people that they find the spend their precious time making fun of or bashing it. Lots of people do things that I disagree with or that I think are silly, or annoying. You would have to shoot me before I would buy or use an electronic toy that talks or makes noises all day long. People who have their babies on leashes? Don’t get me started. But I don’t spend my time writing about, reading, or commenting on articles talking about how stupid or unethical or impractical they are. I focus on my own life, my own child, and my own choices. I don’t get it. There must be something motivating such defensiveness.

    • Mama

      “Even if my toddler still prefers a sippy cup and my baby plays with a rattle, I’m fine with them being energetic, messy kids—as long as they can be themselves.”

      This is the point. Your toddler wouldn’t prefer a sippy cup, and your baby a rattle, unless you introduce it. Its the belied of going back to nature as well, our natural tendencies. These modern conveniences are not, and they do nothing to help drive the inner natural motivation. I understand how at a glance you find this stifling, but do some more research and you’ll find its freeing. Also keep in mind there are many interpretations, some more strict than others. We all want our children to be themselves, but when theyre focused on outside, over the top manmade things, they aren’t. We allow them to be themselves when we provide simple, open ended materials where they can choose their role. That is freedom.

      • Mama

        Also, I can’t believe I even read some of these comments. It can be funny, you can make jokes about the way you parent your kids. But look at our world. Look at our youth. What are they doing? Who have they become? If you are too overwhelmed to answer these questions and take an honest look at where our world is going, enough to realize YOU and all of us our responsible for it in the way we raise our children, then I would hold back on the judging of parents brave enough to find a better way for their kids. This is one method, out of many similar ones, that advocate for a better appreciate of childrens’ emotions. Peaceful parenting, conscious parenting, aware parenting. It all has the same goals and you can merge philosophies. And if you feel this give parents little say, well ultimately thats up to each individual. What you’ll realize in really giving this a chance, is how stifled our own emotions are. And how much our past and how we were raised affects how we parent, often negatively since these tendencies to block feelings are passed on through generations of parents who don’t make a change. This is what happens when we just figure it out as we go along. We don’t. We just survive. And our kids do not thrive. I know this is an old article, but just hoping someone passes by sees this and takes a second look at the long term effects of the way theyre parenting. Sure, some parts of this are excessive, so don’t practice those parts. But get to know the theory behind it.
        By the way, hope all of you are happy at the end of the night, truly happy, in your role as a mother and who you are.