In reality, these two parenting styles have a lot in common. But where Dr. Sears took the observations of Bowlby and Ainsworth's attachment theory and created Attachment Parenting, Magda Gerber created RIE based on the observations of the pediatrician Dr. Emmi Pikler. After WWII, Dr. Pikler founded an orphanage. Given how institutional care can often be detrimental for children, Dr. Pikler sought out a way for the children to physically flourish and develop a healthy attachment.
So what is RIE really about? In a word, respect. While Lansbury has dedicated an entire blog to writing about RIE, she manages to condense it into 9 basic tenets:
- Communicate authentically (use real voices and real words)
- Invite babies to actively participate in caregiving, while giving them full attention
- Encourage uninterrupted, independent play
- Allow children to develop motor and cognitive skills naturally
- Value intrinsic motivation and inner-directedness
- Encourage children to express their emotions by accepting and acknowledging them
- Recognize that children need confident, empathetic leaders and clear boundaries
- Allow children to problem solve and learn from conflicts
- Understand the power of modeling
While none of the tenets of either of these parenting styles directly contradict each other, parents who appreciate more physical space and independence might find RIE appealing.
For further thought:
How does this style of parenting compare to how you were raised? In what ways do you wish you had been more or less parented like this?
What do you find appealing about this parenting style?
What about this parenting style makes you uncomfortable?
Do you feel more aligned with RIE or Attachment Parenting? Why?
For further reading:
RIE vs. AP
How Attachment Parenting and RIE are different in Practice
If Attachment Parenting Isn't Working, Try This