A Broken Arm… or Impromptu Aerial Gymnastics?

Not a scratch on him?

Since the little boy I nanny for was born, his parents and I always gave him complete freedom of movement, inspired by Magda Gerber and Emmi Pikler. We never propped him in a sitting position, put him on playground structures, or pushed him to walk by having him dangle from our hands. As he grew, he was appropriately cautious in risky situations, but also very comfortable in his body and developing new skills. He fell a lot, but was never severely injured. When he was a toddler, he ran off a concrete ledge without looking where he was going and tumbled head-first off the edge to the ground over 4 feet below. I’ve cared for non-RIE children who broke their arms or collarbones in similar falls from playground equipment, but instead he tumbled in a perfect somersault worthy of the Olympics. He was shaken but didn’t have a scratch on him. This was just one of several near-misses that were saved by knowing to keep his body loose and to roll as he fell. I really believe RIE helped him to be safer with his body.

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