Saturday, May 5, 2012

The RIE Effect

Tonight I read a beautiful and awakening blog by Suchada of MamaEve.  It was such a clear moment that I felt I needed not just share it on my facebook page, but bring it into context with the work I do.  She said:

"RIE tells us our children will be themselves."

No more.  No less.  This is our goal.  We challenge ourselves to trust this and also not go beyond.  

The "uncomfortable" part is understanding that RIE is not about helping children to become better or more of themselves, but trusting they are able to become everything they are supposed to and that they have the tools they need.  They do not need to become better, they only need to become who they are!

RIE tells us to slow down, respect the child not to just have the ability to be a part of their world from birth, but also to be an active participator.  This is where I find my joy is working and playing and caring with the children, watching as they make discoveries about the world through the provocations I give  them, and allowing for them to draw their own conclusions.

It seems so simple, yet the complexities of sitting back, slowing down and allowing a child to be goes against how our society views child rearing.  After reading her words I realized that this discomfort is why I often have trouble explaining what it is exactly that I do.  Yes I work with children all day.  We play and laugh and sing and dance and change diapers and eat.  But those are just the practicalities.  

The real work I do is to follow the child in their natural progression and trust that they know what they need to become who they can be.  I support this by offering an environment rich in possibilities, by being ready and available to listen, follow, scaffold and care, and by noticing the moments when connections are made.  My work is to share the joy of being a child.  Again, such a simple thing yet full of complexity when one slows down.

So, thank you Suchada for giving me the words to explain my work, both simply and in a way that gives much credit to the work of others.

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