RIE Moment: I Sat Down

Girl holding doll with several other dolls on the floor in front of her.

When my almost 18-year-old daughter was nine she volunteered in a toddler classroom at the childcare center where I worked. She had been with the children, in their environment, watching them grow for a few months. The children were very comfortable with her. One day after spending time with the group, my daughter shared a story of two newly walking toddlers that, upon seeing her enter their space, reached their hands up to her as if they wanted her to pick them up or help them walk. When I asked her what she did she replied, “I sat down.” When children are raised with freedom of movement, trust in their competence and respect, they know how to give it in return.

Principle: Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, explorer and self-learner

— Melissa C.