Controversial Parenting Approach Says To Treat Children Like Adults

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) child rearing approach was started in 1978 but has recently spread like wildfire with chapters all over California and some in Canada.

RIE is a non-profit membership organization, dedicated to improving the quality of infant care and education through teaching, supporting, and mentoring parents and caregivers.

Translation: They are a group that doesn’t believe toddlers should be…well, babied. Started by the late Magda Gerber, her philosophy was simple: treat kids with respect.

RIE believes children develop faster and better — and are ultimately more secure  — when they are treated like adults.

For more information about the classes or orientation meetings, click on the following:

  • humbled dad

    Nice piece, though I don’t think RIE encourages treating babies ‘like adults’. Like human beings, yes. Was that Janet Lansbury’s class? If you don’t know, she has a wonderful RIE-inspired site with everything you ever wanted to know about parenting authentic, confident kids.

    Again, nice piece.

  • grateful grandparent

    Yes, thank you for the revealing but not sensationalized coverage, CBS-LA! Truth be told, adults are treated like human beings too when seeking knowledge and understanding of how to care for infants and toddlers! Parents are the experts on their babies in the RIE Approach.
    check out

  • mary lamb

    I am 19 years old and have been babysitting for a RIE family. I am amazed by the
    level of physical awareness and self assurance I see in both children. Both children seem to enjoy spending time on their own as well as interacting with me. Even the 5 month old seems capable and confidant in herself and I feel relaxed caregiving both an infant and a toddler together.
    check out:

  • Lisa Sunbury

    So often, babies are seen and treated as somehow less than “whole people” (to quote RIE teacher Janet Lansbury). Babies are sometimes treated like little love objects, to be adored, entertained, or quieted according to adult whims and dictates. lMagda Gerber, founder of RIE , taught parents and others to see and treat babies with the same respect we all wish to be treated with. She saw babies as human beings, and encouraged parents and others to care for them with dignity and respect, which means taking into account the baby’s point of view and unique needs and strengths. This is in stark contrast to “treating babies like adults.” See : http;// or

    • Janet Lansbury

      Thank you, LIsa! I wholeheartedly agree… It is so easy to underestimate babies because they are non-verbal and quite dependent on us. But our babies are full-fledged people with unique capablities that need to be acknowledged right away. Magda Gerber’s long held beliefs about infant competence are now being confirmed by every recent brain study. Babies are “all there” and hoping their parents will recognize that fact!

  • Lisa Sunbury

    Is it possible for someone to fix the video link? It seems to be broken. Thanks.

  • Susan Johnson

    I have been in the field of Early Education for 25 -years. I was fortunate to be introduced to the RIE philosophy when I was a program coordinator for a local University. I changed the way we viewed and treated infants and toddlers after an in depth training at RIE in LA. I now have two grandchildren. One grandchild is a RIE baby. I am amazed at what this 18 month can do. I was teaching from old ways when I had my children. Never be closed minded when it comes to our youngest children. I have lots more to say…finally its getting out about RIE.

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