Diana Suskind is a professor at Fitchburg State College in MA,and is the person who introduced me to RIE and to Magda Gerber’s work.
She is a wonderful, creative lady and a tireless advocate for RIE. She has literally traveled the world introducing Magda and the RIE philosophy to parents,children, and child care providers. In fact, she is now headed to Nepal to continue a project she started there a year or two ago.
Diana also coined the term “tarry time” to describe the time it takes for a young child to respond to a stimulus,such as a request from a parent,or a change in body position. Since everything is so new to infants it takes them a longer time to process and respond to what is happening,and adults can help young children by slowing down and waiting, thus giving the child the time she needs to fully integrate her experience. I will write more about tarry time in another post.
My intention in this post is to introduce you to a sweet board book for children, that contains an important lesson for parents as well. Baby Dancing was written by Diana,and is now available for purchase directly through Diana or this web site.
Baby Dancing takes the reader through the seasons of a baby’s first year or so, depicting the natural gross motor milestones a baby achieves from laying on his back, to standing and walking. The soft water color drawings,and the simple, lilting text celebrate each achievement.
One of the corner stones of Magda’s teachings is to never interfere with a baby’s natural gross motor development, but to allow it to happen naturally. This means no tummy time before a baby has learned to roll onto her tummy by herself. It also means not propping a baby into a sitting position before he can achieve that position on his own. Baby seats, baby swings, highchairs,exersaucers,and baby jumpers are all discouraged.
I know, it sounds hard, but it’s not, and it saves tons of money on unnecessary baby equipment as well! The pay off is a young child who is at ease and secure in his body,and often very graceful in his movements.
This is what Baby Dancing is all about, plus it’s fun ( no preaching ),and little ones love having it read to them again and again.
If you are interested in learning more about Baby Dancing or would like to obtain a copy of the book, please contact me, or visit www.fsc.edu/ctl/documents/babydancing.pdf.