Respond rather than React

One day in my RIE®Parent-Infant Guidance class, one of the children, Lacy, brought a baby doll to her mother. The doll’s clothes had Velcro instead of buttons, to make it possible for her to undress the doll, which she wanted to do. She struggled and cried because it was still difficult for her. Her mom moved closer to offer empathy. She supported Lacy by holding the doll in a position that would make it easier to get the clothes off, but she didn’t do it for her. Finally, Lacy succeeded in undressing the baby doll.

She smiled but in the next second, she realized she was missing one sock from the doll. She started crying even harder than before and arching her back. The sock was hidden right next to her under a hat.

What Lacy’s mother did in response was amazing. I wonder what you would do in this situation. What would your response be?

In my classes, there are no strictly right or wrong answers. The idea is to slow down and explore out loud. Allow oneself to have “negative” feelings, and frustrations. Also, to make mistakes so that we can learn going forward. The class is about modeling real-life situations, brainstorming together, observing, practicing various solutions, and learning to trust oneself. 

After I shared the first part of the story, my parents asked me what Lacy’s mom ended up doing.

Lacy’s mom responded with empathy. Then she named what seemed to be a problem, “It looks like you cannot find the second sock.” Mom slowly looked around and saw the sock under a hat. She waited for the cries to subside, then continued, “I wonder if the sock is under the hat?” she asked her daughter while touching the hat. Lacy went and found the sock. She was beaming!

It seems like a very simple solution and yet it is amazing! It is amazing because Lacy was supported by her mom while simultaneously being allowed to deal with her frustrations. Lacy’s mom didn’t fix her problem; instead, she guided her through the solutions, so that Lacy could solve the problem herself. She trusted in Lacy.

Let me know if you need more information about RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes.

Wishing you all the best in the difficult yet exciting journey of parenting!


Teacher Kira

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Parent-Infant Guidance™

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Facilitated by a RIE® Associate, small groups of parents and babies come together in a relaxing, infant-friendly environment to make friends and enjoy learning together.


What will you and your child learn in RIE class ? Children move, explore, discover, play and learn.


Tips and ideas how you can build connection and cooperation with young children in your family.

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