Educaring? What’s that?

When O was born, I worked on the floor as an ECE (I also did so [exhaustingly] for awhile after he was born, but that’s a story for another day). While pregnant, I deeply nested and dove into my ECE books (I spent a lot of time with this wonderful one), and in doing so, I became grounded in the tenements of RIE.

If you have no idea what RIE is, see here.

If you want to know what RIE means when it come to parenting, see here.

The more I learned about RIE, the more it began to shape the majority of my interactions with the children I worked with. Once O was born, it was my go to. It continues to be to this day. It hasn’t always been easy, and sometimes it asks of me to do things a LOT differently on this parenting journey than what is typical, but it has been SO worth it. D too follows RIE, and while at first I think that was due to my insistence, he has long come into his own with it all.

The bases (at least to me) of RIE lie in respecting, trusting and genuinely hearing the child(ren) in your life. This sounds simple enough, but it asks of you to turn SO many parenting standards directly on their head to really, really follow it through. Your language, actions, intentions and purpose? They all change. Seriously. Think about the process of authentically trusting and respecting a newborn, toddler, etc. Everything modern society is taught to do when parenting goes *exactly* against that, much without realizing it.

How so? I’ll leave that to the “experts” explain. One could first read about RIE through Magda Gerber. These days, Janet Lansbury is big on the scene with RIE, and she shares a lot of really great resources on how to go about making it a reality in your home and/or child care. Lisa Sunbury talks about it a lot, too.

(Note: I know that in the topic of respectful caregiving/parenting as a whole, there are a LOT more resources than these two, and it’s also called a lot more things now, too (i.e., Resptecful Parenting). Janet and Lisa were just my fallbacks as I learned, initially struggled with and came to strongly find my footing with RIE.)

I bring up the topic of RIE, as it matters immensely in my journey of being a parent. I’m not here to preach about it. I’m terrible at writing in this blog, so I likely won’t write about it, either. I rather wish for it to be known that in what I do post in this life, be it personally or here, RIE is the direction from which I’m/we’re working. It’s important, and it matters. RIE might not always make sense to you or perhaps seem a bit peculiar to you, and that’s okay. For our family, it works. Remarkably so.

And, if you’re curious, RIE might work for your family too! Let me know if you’d like to know more.

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We just got back from a trip to Las Vegas.

We’re home, unpacked, resting and watching O engage with his play space like it’s the most magical ever (and thank goodness for that, ‘cause we are tapped and have nothing at this moment to give him).

We may be tired, but the trip worked out well.

It was sad to say goodbye, as it always is, but I’m happy to have learned more about the resilient parts of my child.

He CAN stay the night somewhere else and actually sleep.

He CAN stay up late, or skip a nap, and not be a total mess as a result.

He CAN withstand a plane ride and all it’s weird/loud sounds and “not being able to move around lots” bits.

He CAN warm up to animals and in time, pet them and grow to be okay around them.

He CAN be at large gatherings for long periods of time and not completely shutdown because of all the loud sounds.

He CAN make his own way in places he’s never been and with people he’s never met or remembers ever meeting.

He CAN find camaraderie with his counsins and love his Vegas family from the get go, even if he hasn’t seen them face to face much in his life.

He CAN bust a sweet dance move to any length of music (expected or not), dislike other people’s “ceilings” and be terrified of his baby cousin no matter how freakin’ hard you assure him that he’s safe.

Some of these things may be obvious, and they should be even more obvious to me as an early childhood educator.

That’s the thing with post-partum anxiety + first time motherhood, though.

You convince yourself of everything but the obvious.

It was so good to be proved wrong. 💚⁣ ⁣

Thank you to those who told me it was time. You were right.

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For a few hours, that is.

Parenting is so weird.

Some days I’m pretty sure I’m the worst and that my kid is gonna grow up and think I’m the worst. Or that I look at my phone too much and am missing his whole life. Or that I should be better at socializing him on the weekends. Or that. Or that. Or that.

But then there are days we wake up, and happily engage him in putting away dishes and loading the dishwasher, putting away laundry and loading the washer, sweeping the kitchen, and helping pour and stir ingredients into the crock pot for dinner — all before 9:30AM like a Montessori/Waldorf (?) dream team, as he’s positively BEAMING the whole time.

And then I think again that this whole parenting thing is gonna be okay.

For a few hours, that is.

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I don’t know how to stop.

I have an obsession with buying/giving my kid books to read.

I don’t know how to stop.

I adore reading to him and do it lots, I keep finding amazing steals at Value Village (98% of these are second hand and were $1.25 each!) and I figure if you’re gonna spoil your kid, ya might as well do it with books in hopes of helping build a love of literacy.




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Every Child Matters.

I didn’t learn about residential schools until 2011. Having went to high school in the states, it was never covered in the curriculum (nor are there enough mentions of the atrocities committed against the Indigenous people there, but that’s a story for a different day). It was unsettling to have my picture perfect image of peaceful and kind Canada disrupted in such a way at the age of 27. Even more so by first finding out about them in a class of fellow college students, all younger than me, who were talking about the crimes of the residential schools like common knowledge. Wait, what?!⁣⁣
But in learning about it, I learned how to be different. I learned how to better understand the systematic racism that prevents people of the First Nations of being able to do and simply be. I learned how to check my own ways of thinking, and how the world (and sometimes myself) can be so quick to Other something based off of unfounded fears and assumptions. I also learned how to ask better of the people around me, and to not be afraid to call them on bullshit that does nothing but further divide us. Not just for myself, but for children in this world that deserve so, so much more.⁣⁣

My coworker and I wore these shirts today. On the way out of work we were stopped by a teenager. Our office is rented through the Burnaby Neighbourhood House, and it runs lots of community programs for people of various cultures and circumstances, etc. The teenager asked my coworker what our shirts meant. Having seen them earlier in school that day worn by his fellow peers, he didn’t know what they represented, and wanted to know more.

I too still have a lot to learn. Too many of us do. #orangeshirtday day is just a step of many that need to come next in terms of truth and reconciliation. One that I will soon took with my son. It’s a step I’ll be proud to take.

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