What is RIE BRED ?
RIE Bred is the name I gave to Parent Infant groups I've been privileged to lead here in Miami. The groups are inspired and based on the RIE philosophy and principals. The groups share in a series of 8-12 classes with infants two months - babies up to 2.5 years of age. The classes are divided into three specific developmental stages. Infant classes begin at 2 months as mentioned, babies who are crawling and toddlers who are walking. Classes meet once a week for 1 ½ hours. Parent support groups are a by-product of the class. Parents learn to observe their infants noticing subtle cues. Learning from these cues is valuable for a lifetime of child rearing.
What is RIE ?
RIE stands for Resources for Infant Educarers . RIE classes were parent-infant groups started by Magda Gerber in 1976 in Los Angeles. After meeting and working under the mentorship of Dr. Emmi Pickler (1902-1984), a renowned pediatrician who oversaw and started Lozy an orphanage in Budapest, Hungary, Magda was impressed and inspired with the manner is which the children were cared for, a manner which fostered independence yet provided close loving relationships. Today, RIE is a non- profit organization founded in the US by Magda Gerber(19—2007). As stated by Magda Gerber in her book Your Self Confident Baby, RIE promotes infants to learn on their own rather then by active stimulation or teaching them. This is the basic RIE tenet. Children learn all the time from the day they are born. If we refrain from teaching them, they learn from the experience. What we need to do in not interfere. Instead, step back and allow learning to happen. The essence of RIE is to promote respectful care of infants.
How did you first learn about RIE?
I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles. My girlfriend and her child were attending a RIE class, this time with her second child. She invited me to come along to observe the class and I was moved to tears from what I had witnessed.
The parents sat in the outer circle away from the play area but were close by if the child needed to see them or to touch base. During the class I witnessed children who were allowed to have their authentic, core feelings in that moment without being told what or how they should feel in that given situation. There was no interference by the parents or Educarer telling the children to "share" when there was a struggle over a toy they both wanted. There was a thoughtful discussion with the Educarer and the parents after observation time where issues were brought up in a thoughtful manner. A real learning experience was taking place, not just for the children but mainly for the parents. The children were treated with respect. I knew then that I wanted to learn more and signed up for my RIE I training in LA. That was in 2004. I was under the mentorship and supervision of Beverly Kovach RIE Associate who was trained under Magda Gerber herself. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of something so powerful yet so simple.
You have worked with children from different walks of life, what
attracted you to RIE and why?
There are so many approaches to childcare and so many "how to do it the right way" books. Parenting and childcare is a process. There are no easy answers. The RIE approach is the most harmless and respectful approach that I have experienced. How can you harm a baby by not treating them as an object but as a respectful receptive participant?
What are some of the positive effects you've observed in the parents you work with?
They are able to sit back and enjoy their babies more, they are not as frustrated and they see their children in a different light- of being able to cooperate. They look for subtle cues before intervening in a situation with their children and feel more relaxed. They feel they don't have to fix every problem when there is a struggle. Every time there is a power struggle with another child as long as the children are safe, they feel they can work it out together. The feedback is the following: "For the children, they form relationships with other infants and children. They are in a safe environment where they are able to take physical and emotional challenges." The parents are able to witness new subtle and not so subtle changes over time in regards to emotional and physical developmental abilities it changes
What is a typical RIE group like?
There is never a typical RIE class, that's the beauty of this class…It is always changing as the children change on a daily basis so no two classes are alike. The structure of the class is always the same, predictable in its structure and environment. Once everyone is settled in, the class then moves into quiet observation time with little or no interaction with parents. We then have a discussion on our observations and then closure. In the toddler class it is the same format but with a snack which is introduced midway through the class.
What are the most important building blocks in the parent-baby relationship? The goal is inner or self discipline, self confidence and joy in the act of cooperation (Magda Gerber)
LISA CHARIFF BETTER - BIO
Lisa Chariff Better is a lifelong resident of Miami Beach.
Lisa has been an Advocate of Children's Rights since she could remember. She has been a Guardian Ad Litem for over 10 years and was awarded GAL of the Year in 2006. She holds a bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Barry University with a specialization in Social Welfare. She has a certification in Substance Abuse Addiction and was a counselor for over 15 years working with the dual diagnosis and the seriously mentally ill. She launched Coral Rock Academy where she taught Social Skills to children with neurobiological disorders
Lisa has been involved in the RIE process since 2004 when she received her first formal training at the RIE Center in Silver Lake, California. She was under the mentorship of Beverly Kovach. Lisa is a RIE Certified Associate teaching the only RIE Accredited Parent Infant Class in South Fl.