Common misconceptions about RIE parenting philosophy

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Common misconceptions about RIE parenting philosophy

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I think that there’s so much controversy about the RIE philosophy of parenting because it can be easily misunderstood. It’s simple and yet, it’s not what we typically do with babies here in our culture. So on the one hand, the RIE philosophy can be seen as – there is an impression, “Oh that’s the one where you just let the baby do whatever they want. The baby leads and you never tell them no. And you never discipline them.” On the other hand, there’s an impression sometimes that, “Oh that’s the one where you treat the baby like an adult and you know, you just let the baby cry. You don’t pick the baby up when they cry, you don’t comfort them. You just leave them and they’ll figure it out eventually. It’s a hands-off parenting.” And neither is true.

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Lisa Sunbury, MA

Parent Educator

Lisa Sunbury has dedicated her life to caring for, supporting, and advocating for infants, toddlers, and their parents. She has over 20 years experience working in the field of Early Childhood Education, in a variety of roles. After earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University, she worked as a nanny, and as an infant/toddler teacher in several respected childcare programs. While attending a workshop led by Diana Suskind, which focused on the unique needs of infants and toddlers in child care centers, she was introduced to Magda Gerber’s philosophy of infant care. Intrigued by Magda’s work, she went on to study with her for three years at the original home of RIE (Resources For Infant Educarers), in Silver Lake, California. There she earned a certificate of completion in the program to become a RIE Associate. She has taught RIE Foundations through University of California Santa Barbara, presented at several early childhood conferences, and had her writing published in the RIE Newsletter and the Giant Encyclopedia of Activities for Infants and Toddlers. Her most recent work has included growing her website, Regarding Baby, and caring for a wonderful family that includes two young children. She maintains professional memberships with the National Association of Early Childhood Education (NAEYC) and RIE, and is proud to serve on the board at Santa Cruz Toddler Center.

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