I enjoy reading. Normally I prefer books, but on occasion I will grab a large stash of magazines from our local library to peruse the newest fads and fashion tips to hit the runways. The February 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, covered the newest parenting fad to hit Hollywood and it’s a doosie!
Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE (pronounced “wry”), firmly believes in treating children like adults. Babies do not sit in high-chairs, use sipper cups, or have pacifiers. Infants will not be put in baby carriers, have mobiles hanging over their cribs, or be placed in a playpen. All of these actions are considered demeaning to the child, who ought to be given the same respect as we would any adult. Did the children ask for any of these items? Why do we assume they must be treated with so little dignity?
RIE also advises that no toys be purchased for your children. Anything they need for their entertainment can easily be found already existing in your cupboards at home, there is no need for colorful objects which make noise. (Ironically, their website has pictures of children playing with toys.)
It seems we are raising a generation of “adolescents” who never leave home and still do not know how to have a proper conversation. (All points I would have to agree with.) Making choices for them, using “baby talk”, and imprisoning them in devices are believed to be a major contributing factors for this social disease.
The article, which I hope you will take a moment to read, goes on to discuss more aspects of RIE that I find fascinating. I would like to think I’m generous enough to see these parents’ hearts. They want what is best for their children and wish to raise a generation better than my own. I just think they might have forgotten a few things.
Perhaps we treat children like children because they are children. It isn’t that we are being disrespectful, but that we recognize these little minds have yet to form an opinion of their own. A child cannot form an opinion about which he is ignorant. Maybe we give children colorful toys and rattles because for years they have naturally reached for them on their own, not that an adult forced one into their hands and made them play with one.
I also find it interesting that RIE parents expect children to sit at tables and use proper tableware and yet they are allowed to yell and scream. In one respect they want children to act adult and, on the other, they are allowing them to exhibit immature behavior. Proper adults should not be going around yelling and screaming at one another; they ought to carry out a conversation and work through their problems. So, which is it?
While on one hand I agree with some of RIE’s principles, mainly the need to raise a mature generation of youth, I see many faults in their program. The next generation cannot raise itself; it needs guidance, council, and a firm hand. I wonder how long this newest fad will last, before it’s replaced by another? I give it six months….
Have you heard of RIE? What are your thoughts on their parental program?
“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2