… but I still got quoted in the New York Times! Here’s (the beginning of) the piece:
November 8, 2010, 3:59 pm
The Newest, Latest Parenting Trend
By LISA BELKIN
Two recent articles are cause for a lot of chatter on parenting Web sites, highlighting, as they do, new trends that are not actually new and may not actually be trends.
“Move over L. Ron,” writes Gina Piccalo, over on The Daily Beast.com. “Rejecting the trend of pressure-cooker, high-achievement-oriented development for their kids, some Hollywood power parents are embracing a back-to-basics approach that critics say has cultlike aspects. The parents, according to people familiar with the approach, include Tobey Maguire, Helen Hunt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Alexander, Felicity Huffman and husband, William H. Macy.”
Umm? Huh? The “cult” Piccalo is writing about is called Resources for Infant Educarers, known as RIE and pronounced “wry.” It has been around since 1978, when it was founded by an educator (Magda Gerber) and a pediatric neurologist (Tom Forrest). It is, as Piccalo describes it, a push-back against “parenting that can seem an extreme sport geared toward raising a bionic generation of high-achieving super-babies,” replacing it with a “follow your child’s lead” philosophy. Paradoxically, declaring it a trend goes against the very “don’t worry about the crowd” foundation upon which it is based.
RIE, at its core, sees no need for fancy gadgets, and Baby Einstein, and directed play. Think of it as a decrease in sensory static, and as a refutation of the “keeping up with everyone else” mentality. That said, at its core, it can be more than a little tricky to implement. As Jenna McCarthy notes on iVillage.com, (responding to the Daily Beast article):
“For instance, parents are encouraged not to immediately console a sobbing tot but to view a baby’s cries as intelligent, meaningful communication in need of deciphering. Which is all kinds of enlightened and fabulous in theory — until you’ve got a career-making conference call or other children sleeping nearby. Similarly, while I agree that the RIE motto “never disturb a contented baby” makes a nice wall plaque, when you’ve got to get another kid to soccer practice, dinner is burning on the stove and the U.P.S. guy is banging on the screen door demanding a signature, sometimes baby’s precious contentment is going to have to be disturbed.”
You can read the rest of the article here. And if anyone can figure out what the hell Ms. Jong is saying, feel free to enlighten me.