RIE® Parent Infant Guidance™ classes are a peaceful way to learn respectful parenting strategies while appreciating your baby's naturally unfolding development. This class is a combination of discussion and sensitive observation of your baby at play. The pace is determined by your interests and the children’s needs as you grow together throughout the first two years of the infant’s life.
As you arrive, take a deep breath and take a seat with your baby. Our class has a slow pace. If your baby is comfortable, not hungry, and awake, you can place them on their backs on the rug near you. They will wiggle about and explore. The back position allows babies to develop motor skills at their own pace.
We will spend part of our time observing the children as they play independently. Observation is a key component in the Educaring® Approach. By observing children, we learn about their interests and needs. During observation, we adults sit quietly and give children 100% of our attention. It’s a special time when children can take the lead.
Our discussion is guided by what we observe from the babies and from your questions. Please keep in mind that everyone parents differently, and there is lots of room for those differences. I want everyone to feel comfortable sharing their experiences and questions.
Topics commonly covered in a guidance class with young babies include:
-establishing sleep routines
-gentle holding, diapering, and bathing
-establishing communication patterns
-natural progression of motor skills
-ideal environments for independent play
-consistent and respectful limits
-responding to crying with empathy and gentle problem solving
-guiding babies through safe interactions with each other
-teaching toileting and dressing skills
-coexisting with siblings and other relatives
Older babies are offered a simple snack of bananas and water. Snacktime is a routine with rules, for instance: sitting down while eating. Parents observe while I demonstrate how limits like this can be set consistently and respectfully.
Please continue to feed, diaper, and soothe your baby during class as you would usually do. Many of the youngest babies sleep for a portion of the class. You may come and go from the class as you will, whatever helps with your baby's schedule. Please put your phones away during class.
Anyone that takes care of your child is welcome in class: all parents, nannies, babysitters, grandparents, etc.
If it's cold:
Stretchy pants, loose socks
Shoes, jeans, stiff pants, dresses, headbands, bows, or teething necklaces
If your child is too ill to function well in class, I ask that you keep them home. Usually the first two or three days of an illness are the most contagious period, so it is especially important to keep your child home during that time to avoid spreading illness.
Before you come, you may want to read a few short articles that cover the basics of the Educaring® Approach:
A free 30 minute home visit is included with your participation in the class. Many people use this time to get tips on setting up a baby-safe play area in their home. You can also schedule your home visit during a difficult time of day to get inspiration, or for the topic of your choice. If you want a longer visit, we can arrange that at my standard rate.
Payment & Registration
The class is divided into 8-12 week sessions. Many families stay for the entire 2 year span, which allows the children to thrive and form relationships with each other. It is also fine to attend for a shorter amount of time. The cost is $30 per class. Sliding scale is available. To sign up, please register through the Berkeley Rose Waldrof School website.
This calendar will be updated with all classes and holidays.
The Educaring® Approach
Respect is the basis of the Educaring® Approach. We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object.
Our goal is an authentic child, one who feels secure, autonomous, competent, and connected. When we help a child to feel secure, feel appreciated, feel that “somebody is deeply, truly interested in me,” by the way we just look, the way we just listen, we influence that child’s whole personality, the way that child sees life.
The RIE® Principles
1. Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner
2. An environment that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing
3. Involvement of the child in care activities to allow the child to become an active participant, rather than a passive recipient
4. Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand their needs
5. Time for uninterrupted play
6. Freedom to explore and interact with other infants
7. Consistency and clearly defined limits in order to develop discipline
About Christina Vlinder
I became a RIE® Associate in 2017 and have been studying with RIE® since 2010. I have been working with infants and older children as a nanny since 1999. I use my knowledge of the Educaring® Approach and years of experience working with children to serve families in the San Francisco Bay Area through parent-infant classes, group education, consulting, and more.