One of RIE’s parents was waiting in the car with her sleeping baby, Elisabeth. At some point, she decided to bring Elisabeth with her car seat into the classroom, placing Elisabeth next to her as she sat down.
Moments later, a girl named Anna came to say hello to Elisabeth. Anna walked up to the car seat and stood right in front of Elisabeth, staring at her sleeping friend. Elisabeth opened her eyes and had a look of surprise on her face, as she observed her surroundings. Elisabeth’s mom said: “You fell asleep on the way to RIE class, and so I brought you together with your car seat into class.” In response, Elisabeth smiled and showed us that she was ready to get out and play.
I was sitting there, thinking about how easy it all was: her mom described to her daughter what had just happened. Her mom did this with ease – it had already become a habit for her to let her daughter know what was going on. In RIE class we practice telling young children what’s going on around them and what might concern them. Predictability creates a sense of safety and opportunity for learning. I think that these kinds of interactions are so simple, yet so genuine and important!
Magda Gerber wrote in her book Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect “‘Predictable’ means that, from the very beginning of her life, you tell your baby ahead of time when a change will happen – even a tiny change, such as ‘I will turn the light on,’ or ‘I will pick you up,’ or ‘I’ll go to the bathroom now.’ Anticipating a change gives us a feeling of being prepared, of being in control. “
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Photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon
Wishing you all the best in the difficult yet exciting journey of parenting!