I read an article titled “Childhood’s End” on the Vanity Fair website and I immediately felt a weird combination of emotions ranging from amusement to rage. Oh, and then I puked a little. The article talks about a parenting method called “Resources for Infant Educarers” (RIE). Let me just throw in some of the offending quotes:
“Stop treating children like children.” Should I also stop treating adults like adults?
“RIE is opposed to anything that ‘disrespects’ a baby”…Like strollers and high chairs, apparently.
Seemingly, pacifiers are also out of the question because, the method asks, ‘”Does an infant have a right to cry?”‘ Not when I got a crushing migraine.
If you are not rolling around on the floor laughing like a mad man there is one of a few reasons for that. Either you are an affluent person, who believes fervently in this method because you can afford to; or you are a non-affluent person who wishes you could afford to employ this method of parenting because you have been suckered into believing that this actually makes sense.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect anyone who is that invested in their parenting job that they would make every effort to improve themselves as parents. But this parenting “philosophy” is laughable for several reasons.
Namely, it is a philosophy that is clearly meant for affluent parents who can afford to have sitters and “nanas” to help with the task of parenting.
I am a single father of two boys. I had to change diapers for a while on top of having to work, wash dishes, sweep the house, wash clothes, do homework with my oldest son, etc. You get the point. There is absolutely no chance in hell I would be able to go into my bedroom and shut off my phone and tell my child: “‘I’m going to take the phone off the hook so nobody will disturb us, because now I really want to be just with you.’ ” That’s taken directly from the article in which Magda Gerber, the originator of the method, is quoted as writing. For me, strollers, high chairs and mouth plugs, a.k.a. pacifiers, were my best friends.
I could write a book on the anti-thesis to this approach. Unfortunately, I only have a limited space. Just enough space to say that this method is a bunch of caca de buey. In other words, it’s b.s.