I hope you are all enjoying your summer fun. Independence Day was a highlight spending time with friends, family and quiet time at home before the fireworks rang out. It was a day of celebrations big ones and quiet ones.
If your eyes are opened
you’ll see the things worth seeing. —Rumi
With the RIE(tm) philosophy we foster independence. We create opportunities in the day-to-day life of the child for each child to grow, stretch and in turn learn. Whether it’s getting dressed in the morning or feeding during a mealtime… Through observation we can gain understanding about our child and from there we have the opportunity to grow, stretch and in turn learn too. One of the biggest gifts of being a parent is learning different ways of thinking, learning different aspects of yourself that you didn’t know existed. In my “search” not even knowing I was searching. I was gifted, two opportunities to pick up my work. First while attending Early Childhood classes I came across this almost unheard of book “The RIE Manual” edited by one of my teachers Magda Gerber. I remember reading it and thinking Whoa! This is different, this is awesome AND you really can’t do this. The next opportunity I got was while interviewing for position at a center for young children. Then I was able to see in action the RIE philosophy and I thought Whoa! You really can do this! I left picking up my jaw from the ground and appreciating what I read about two years earlier but vaguely remembered. Interested more now after seeing and believing in the possibility I sought out more information. What drew me to my work was something more than just care of the young child, it was RESPECT.
When life keeps sending you messages you are bound to listen sooner or later… and I did, finally. I studied RIE and have been practicing it in my life and work ever since. I was once asked how I got it, so quickly and was able to integrate into my life and work so quickly. I look back now and remember being a student and working with children and absorbing as much as possible of the philosophies and child development that I was working with at the time. It was so different from how I was raised. Knowing only I didn’t want to repeat the way I was raised I was determined to learn differently. RIE is a great foundation but I found our best teachers are our children.
When I look at my oldest son I know he has taught me to live with flexibility, to play hard and to laugh out loud. In his staunch posture, rigid thoughts and strong ideas I see me, when he was younger. I want to shed and grow into what he has taught me.
When I look at my middle son I know he has taught me to be true to my word, consistent in my values, to look with loving eyes and full attention and to find curiosity in those whom you love. In his untouchable values, unrelenting language and over attentiveness to others faults I see me, when he was younger. I want to shed and grow into what he has taught me.
When I look at my youngest son I know he has taught me to take the time to slow down EVEN more, enjoy the moments of doing less and creating more and that love can be expressed so deeply with simple words, felt so deeply with a simple touch and understood so deeply with a simple gaze. In him I will watch and observe what I carry now. What I must shed now and grow into what he is taught me.
Why would we want to foster independence? Really what we are striving for is AUTHENTICITY, FREEDOM from our past ties to old thinking. AUTHENTICITY begins at birth for the youngest children and somewhere in between all the input, opinions, and beliefs of those who care for us we may stray from our authentic selves. Yes, Radical thinking but that is what it takes to be a parent of children of these times. What are you ready to declare your independence from?
What you do today is important
because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.