Finding A Passion For Parenting
Parenting is one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. It can also be exhausting, frustrating and utterly confounding.
The difficulties I faced as a new mother caught me off guard. I had looked forward to motherhood all my life and assumed that caring for a baby would happen naturally. Instead, I soon found that I had no clue.
My baby was adorable, yet never in my life had I felt so tired, lost, inept and disappointed in myself. The mothering instincts I had assumed would provide me with clarity and guidance never materialized. My life had become a monotonous succession of feeding, burping, diapering, entertaining, and soothing tears (lots and lots of tears, most of them my daughter’s). Though I combed desperately through stacks of popular parenting books, I found nothing that resonated.
At my wits end, I fatefully stumbled upon RIE (Resources for Infant Educators), the respectful approach to parenting founded by infant specialist and child care pioneer Magda Gerber. The approach made immediate sense to me, and I embraced it like a drowning victim with a life preserver.
Before long I had experienced a radical transformation in both perception and experience: first, by discovering my baby’s astounding natural abilities to learn without being taught, to develop motor and cognitive skills, communicate, face age appropriate struggles, initiate and direct independent play for extended periods and much more; then by realizing the tremendous energy and stress I had been wasting by struggling to entertain and second-guess my child.
Over the years, Magda became my dear friend and mentor, and her philosophy of child care my passion. I became a RIE parenting teacher, a lecturer at Early Childhood conferences, an active blogger with millions of readers worldwide, a personal parenting consultant, and an author.
This book is a collection of 30 popular and widely read articles from my website. They focus on some of the most common aspects of infant and toddler child care and how respectful parenting can be applied.
You will find Magda’s name or a quote from her on nearly every page of this book. Everything I know and write about springs from her wisdom and my own experience – with the hundreds of infants and toddlers who have come to through my classes, and with my own three children (now 21, 17 and 12). Janet Lansbury, Elevating Childcare