About 80 times a day, my toddler wants to do something that could potentially hurt or kill him. That means about 80 times a day I have to set a limit of some kind (“Hold hands with mama while we cross the street,” “I'm going to move this chair so you can't climb on the table and throw glass”), and 80 times a day he gets mad and throws a fit. After learning some things RIE moms do that every mom should try, I figured out how to stay much calmer in those moments, so they're over faster and my son (hopefully) learns that he can deal with disappointment and frustration.
RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers; say “wry”) is an approach to caring for children pioneered by Magda Gerber, who advocated for treating children like the whole, autonomous people they are from birth. It fits in well with a lot of peaceful, authoritative parenting styles, because RIE is about letting kids grow up whole, healthy, and well-adjusted by treating them with patience, empathy, and respect, rather than using shame, misdirection, manipulation, threats, coercion, or force to shape their behavior.
Most parents don't think our actions toward our kids fit that description, but because things like shaming and threatening kids for their behavior (“What is wrong with you?” “Quit whining before I give you something to cry about!”) is incredibly common, it often seems more normal and less destructive than it actually is. Especially for folks who are trying to overcome our own histories with toxic parenting, learning more about RIE and putting respectful parenting into practice can be a life-saver. We could all learn a lot from things RIE moms do, like: