Celeb parenting trend has no room for toys

Imagine a world full of kids who weren’t treated, well, like kids… That’s a bit what it’s like for parents who have chosen an unusual form of parenting for their children. No toys cluttering up the house, no rattles for babies- even the ubiquitous sippy cup has been bumped off the shopping list, according to Vanity Fair.

Dignity not disrespect

It’s called Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE, and the main promise offered to parents and their kids is dignity. According to the book Baby Knows Best by RIE proponent Deborah Carlisle Solomon anything which interferes with the “dignity” of a baby or “disrespects the baby’s true emotions” isn’t acceptable. In fact, treating a baby like a baby is not the way to do it. RIE practitioners are called educarers rather than parents and they don’t believe in praise, toys, rattles, bouncy chairs or dummies as these remove the option of choice from the baby- the baby didn’t have a choice in those things, and they are offered to the baby for the well-being of the adult- generally to prevent the baby crying.

So the trick is to treat kids like adults. Even tiny one-year-old babies are encouraged to sit and eat neatly and drink out of glasses. There’s no tickling or play-fighting, and RIE parents don’t interfere when their kids fight or cry (within reason).

Among celebrities who have used RIE techniques are the actors Tobey Maguire, Penélope Cruz, Helen Hunt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Felicity Huffman, and William H. Macy.

Those in favour of RIE say that the method introduces balance and calm to children and parents as they maintain an even approach to dealing with experiences and emotions. Those against it suggest that it’s too extreme and, in effect, robs children of the right to experience life as children.


Attachment parenting
French parenting
Helicopter parenting

Detachment parenting?

It’s yet another parenting style and it seems to have the most appeal for those of the opinion that attachment parenting and helicopter parenting produce kids that are too reliant on their parents for everything, kids that grow up incapable of independence.

RIE parents say that the style has proven success, having first been implemented in the 1940s, and that it produces balanced, confident children rather than overindulged brats. Perhaps that’s part of the appeal for Hollywood Parents, VF suggests, as the neat and orderly method of parenting helps to remove the excesses expected of the A-list lifestyle and allows for a more circumspect form of parenting- just as an actor studies the behaviour of others while preparing for a role, a RIE parent will observe closely the behaviour of his child and respond to it as an adult.

Could you do an effective job of raising a child without toys, dummy, sippy cups and other “disrespectful” products?
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