Posted by: Roseann Murphy | November 15, 2010

Interesting insight into RIE and the Pikler Method.

Until recently information describing Magda Gerber and Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) or Emmi Pikler and the Pikler Method seemed to be difficult to come by.  Often times parents stumble upon this “parenting jewel” through a friend or in a blog or through a class. Some libraries carry the material, but only coincidence brought many grateful educators and parents to know and love and integrate  the parenting methods prescribed by these gifted individuals.
Lately there seems to be a welcome deluge of Internet blogs, websites, tweets and newspaper articles attempting to share the methods and philosophies of these extraordinary  women.  Having known and been involved with RIE and Magda Gerber for more than three decades we were thrilled to see “the word was getting out”.   Finally many more parents and educators  have the opportunity to experience this common sense method to child caring.
As with anything that is new… it is  easy to misinterpret what is being presented.  In the case of RIE a number of articles have been written that  misunderstand the very tenets of the RIE method. There is a website and blog that seems to touch on the reasons why the method is misunderstood by some. The  RIE/Pikler methodology is very simple and dignified.  We wanted to share Nadine’s blog with our LRS readers. It is meant for every parent and every educator.
Here is what she wrote…


The other day my friend, who is also raising her child after the Pikler method, asked me “But how come it is still such a niche? It all sounds so logical but why do only so few parents pick up on it?” And I began to wonder…

The first answer I found was that Emmi Pikler is always related to her orphanage in Budapest. Most people think that it was there that she developed and researched all the principles she came up with. From this they conclude that the principles aren’t compliant to single families with one or two children. This is one misunderstanding I wanted to clear up for a while now.

Emmi Pikler started to rethink early childhood development much earlier when she was a medicine student and working in a children’s hospital with Prof. von Pirquet and Prof. Salzer. Both were as much interested in the children’s wellbeing and motor development as they were in their health. They put the intensity of care time, a nice and friendly atmosphere and the understanding of the importance of the gross motor development as high up on the scale as the need for medication and surgery.
When Pikler’s first child was born she and her husband decided to take that into account and let her move freely and patiently wait and watch her development.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Roseann, and Magdalena for a thoughtful response to all of the inaccurate articles floating about regarding Magda Gerber and Emmi Pikler’s ideas and work. I am so grateful to have another resource to share with parents and early childhood teachers; one which allows them to see RIE teachings through another lens than the inaccurate, sensationalized one presented in the press, as of late.


    • Magdalena and I appreciate your support. The most important reason for this site and these blogs is to let people know that our articles are based on Real Life. We integrated the methods and philosophy for over three decades into the “curriculum”. We understand what RIE stands for and Magda’s purpose in teaching this method. The Pikler/RIE method is probably one of the most important areas of study in Early CHildhood today. If more people would understand and use the information correctly, families, schools and infant/toddler centers across the nation would be better off. Consistency, continuity and respect. Who wouldn’t appreciate those words as their “mantra” for life. We thank you again!


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