Starting with Respect

 

October 29th 2016, I became a new mother. Over the past few months there have been many shifts in both my work, and perspective of the relationship between the child and the adult. Nearing the end of my pregnancy I became eager for a new opportunity to observe the child. I began looking forward to applying the things I learned through RIE ® and time spent in the classroom in my own home. I quickly noted that raising my own child would be the greatest opportunity to be authentic and to raise an authentic child who is peaceful, cooperative, and inner-directed. In the early stages of infancy, the child begins to shape his understanding of the world, and himself based on the environment and the people in it. We are role models for our children. We are helping to awaken the hearts and minds of children who will then, go out and have an influence on others. On several occasions, my son has been referred to as “just a baby”, this is something I often find surprising.

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Just; as in only or simply?

From the perspective of both a mother and caregiver this saying strikes a sore spot for me. Not only does it come off as dismissive, but it also implies that somehow the child is considered less than.

“Let us realize that the child is the worker who produces man . . . it is the child that society must take into consideration, this worker who produces humanity itself.”-Maria Montessori

Our actions as parents, teachers, or members of a community are far reaching. With each word, acknowledgement, and touch we are sending messages that will help to build up, or tear down the growing sense of self within our children.  Modeling behavior not only sets an example for our children, but for other adults who may not be familiar with a more respectful approach.

So what can we do?

We can begin by treating the child with respect. We speak respectfully of children, and infants, as people of equal value. Not as “just” a child, or “just” a baby. Regarding children with respect helps the child to learn that they are worthy of receiving respect, and sets a positive example of how to treat others.  We may also model respectful behavior by acknowledging our children’s feelings. This includes their likes and dislikes. Acknowledging our children in this way sends the message that they are respected as individuals with feelings that may differ from our own.

All of this is not to say that there are no boundaries or limits. We know that children need freedom within limits to maintain safety and order. However, it is possible to maintain this order while still providing a respectful environment in which the child can thrive. In The Absorbent Mind Montessori states that, “Nature does not merely give the power of imitation, but that of transforming oneself to become what the example demonstrates.” We must be the positive examples on which our children can base their understanding of their own value and the world around them.

“Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object.”- Magda Gerber

summer and archer kids fair 2017

Leading Early Childhood Center Promotes “Education from Birth” with Innovative Infant Video Curriculum Guide

March 6, 2017

Being with Infants: A Curriculum that Works for Caregivers (video series) by Beverly Kovach

MACTE accredited 0-3 Teacher Trainer, Pikler® Certified Pedagoge Instructor, and RIE® Associate and certified Foundations® Instructor

About the series

A 3+hour unique video training series linking early childhood providers with direct access to a comprehensive care approach. Beverly Kovach author of Being with Babies, Being with Infant and Toddlers: A Curriculum that Works for Caregivers, and numerous nationally published articles facilitates the series as caregivers demonstrate putting theories into daily best practice.

Beverly developed her theories and practices as a Fellow of Magda Gerber and under mentorship with Anna Tardos. She refined these techniques to be used within the daycare she founded in 1977, Little Learners Lodge. Current caregivers of Little Learners Lodge provide the video demonstrations for this series.

One of the greatest challenges in working with children in institutions is developing a congruent approach amongst adults as they balance the child’s emotional well-being within the guidelines of policies and procedures. This video series brings providers together in the discussion utilizing the expertise of today’s leading practitioners.

Being with Infants: A Curriculum that Works for Caregivers (video series) combines four decades of learning and presents it into easy-to-digest chapters. Demonstrations include supporting infants in transitional positions, bottle and lap feeding, sequencing to sleep, and peaceful diapering. The series also provides caregivers and centers the necessary tools to integrate the method into their own daily routines allowing each child to thrive, develop, and learn individually.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 10.26.54 AMAvailable for purchase or rent on demand via https://vimeo.com/ondemand/lllinfants. Get the entire series and receive a $40 discount and three bonus features. Organizations interested in becoming an affiliate (10% of sales) should contact  theRIEway@gmail.com for details.

What makes this video different

  • First of its kind
  • Complete introductory course of instruction specific to infant care
  • Demonstrates the daily implementation of three “best practices”
  • Well organized and easy to understand
  • Closed Captioned
  • New information for providers working with children in institutions
  • Affordable
  • Presented by childcare professionals for childcare professionals

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Who should view content

  • Caregivers
  • Teacher Trainers
  • School Owners and Administrators
  • Public Providers
  • Parents
  • Those working with infants at risk
  • Policy Makers

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About Beverly Kovach, R.N., M.N.

Beverly has been working with and consulting in early childhood centers for more than 40 years. She is MACTE accredited to train at the 0-3 level and is one of two teacher trainers certified by Anna Tardos to facilitate Pikler® intensives in North America.  Mentored by Magda Gerber, Beverly is a leading RIE® Foundations and established the first RIE® satellite training center in Melbourne, Florida. She currently serves as Vice President of the Pikler®USA Board and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences. The center Beverly founded in 1977, Little Learners Lodge, became the first RIE® certified center on the East Coast. The center serves as a demonstration site for daily implementation and paraprofessional trainings as it cares for children ages infants through Kindergarten.