Conscious Parenting Classes

Parent Infant Philly offers classes in South Philadelphia for parents with babies up to age 3, using RIE® principles.

Babies are sentient beings from day one. In class, we discuss and employ a few RIE® principles, including:
• Raising Authentic children
• Respect & Trust in their Competence
• Independent Play
• Emotional Validation
• Conscious Caretaking
• Consistency

Applying these principles, begun in Hungary by Magda Gerber and expanded upon by Janet Lansbury, our classes employ sensitive observation to help you understand your baby or toddler better.

What happens during these classes/playgroups?
• We model subtle nuances of language
• We employ limited intervention with the children to build
resilience, kindness and self-confidence
• Your children demonstrate how capable they already are
• There is the opportunity to socialize with other children
from similar-minded families
• We see how they learn, mimic sounds and
language while socializing
• Children explore movement and play
by observing other children at play

Registration Form

Ages 0-3 — EVERY Friday, 9:45-11:15am

Coming in January: 4-week session for pre-walkers. Get to know other families who may share some of your parenting goals; learn and share while allowing the children to play and grow together. Please email if you are interested in more details or signing up. Dates will be January 10, 17, 24, and 31. Investment is $100 for the series.

Monthly Saturday classes! Nov 23; Dec 14; Jan 25; Feb 22; March 21. 10:30am-12pm

“You opened our world up into a relaxed parenting style. Even sent me toward a Waldorf school. It is wonderful. Thank you Maria for holding the RIE classes it really changed everything for us!! We…hope that other parents find their way to you!!”
— J.D.

“When we had kids, we wanted to make sure that we treated them with the respect and understanding they deserved. But in the heat of the moment, it can sometimes be hard to remember the difference between setting boundaries that children need and doling out punishments that don’t really help anyone. We found that the RIE approach provided lots of simple strategies, and also helped us frame our decisions as parents in ways that emphasized collaborative problem-solving and creating the space everyone needs to express their emotions without negative judgment. The RIE focus on observation, space, and boundary-setting is intuitive when you get the hang of it, but it always helps to have other parents and professionals who understand those strategies to model the practices, whether you’re new to it or if you just need to reflect or adapt as your kids get older and the strategies grow along with them.”

I am so honored to support you in your parenting journey. Working on building a respectful, connected relationship with your children can be so rewarding, and hard work, too. The words we use, the expressions we show, working through our triggers, the choice to intervene or not, holding space for a child during a tantrum, all require practice to help you parent the way you want to.

Parents are taking care of our children as best we can. The nuances vary from one family to the next. There is a lot of trial and error as you get to understand your child and your role as a parent. Recognizing that our behaviors and choices are based on our life experiences, including how we were brought up, is an important step toward the self-reflection RIE® can bring about. There is an effort in looking inward and understanding that your child reflects what you put out, and respecting your child as they are, from day one. Holding space for a child and yourself can be challenging at times.

Building a deep connection in those first few years can make your parenting journey more relaxing in so many ways — we can take some time to ourselves when our babies are in their safe spaces; our minds can be at peace knowing they can play happily without requiring us to be ON, and follow your child’s natural curiosity and development. A baby’s choice of when and how to play are of vital importance to their self-confidence. Those big emotions our toddlers have are valid, and stem from somewhere, and with RIE®, we learn to look for the meaning behind the behavior.

About our classes:

WHY: When we give young children uninterrupted playtime in a safe environment, they can show us how capable they are. Attentive caregiving deepens the bond between parent /caregiver and child, leading to fulfilling attachments for both parent and child, while also fostering age-appropriate independence in your child.

WHERE: Classes are held at Lilypad, 1234 S Broad Street, just north of Wharton Street in South Philadelphia, easily accessible by public transportation or with plenty of 2-hour street parking.

Single class: $25 per class with pre-registration
10-Class Card: $215
5-Class Card: $110

Register for a class: Pre-registration required Register here.

If you practice or wish to learn more about RIE® and/or conscious and respectful parenting, join us for a class. You can be the change!

Classes begin with a check-in with space for questions as they come up, and include quiet observation of your children immersed in their play, which can help us to recognize their current interests. We model respectful parenting principles with the aim of becoming more confident as a parent and trusting of your child. Your little one has the space and freedom to move, play and explore as she wishes. Playing uninterrupted in an open, safe space with others allows your child a secure emotional and physical space to learn, move, and interact authentically. Parents enjoy the relaxing non-judgmental atmosphere and discussions.

SNACK TIME: Snack is included (for toddlers+). Children enjoy eating while learning about patience, turn-taking and manners around mealtime. Parents get an example of how to explain and hold limits in a respectful and age-appropriate way. Children choose whether or not to participate.

CLASS DURATION: All classes are an hour and a half.

CLASS SIZE: Attendance is limited to a small group of children per class to ensure smaller groups. Send us an email or fill out our registration form to let us know class date(s) you plan to attend, and once payment is received, your spot is reserved.

BENEFITS: So far, our classes have shown us how well babies can move when they are free to pursue their own goals (reaching for a ball that rolls away can help with resilience and build self-confidence when baby at last grabs her plaything). Our toddlers have been drinking from open glasses with great success (sometimes a change of clothes is in order as they learn), and sitting for a delightful snack time as we chat and model limits and patience. Toy taking all but disappeared by the end of our first 8-week toddler session. Parents have enjoyed seeing their child interact with other babies and toddlers. Each child discovers new ways to interact with the play objects, both alone and sometimes with peer assistance, which is such a joy to watch. We talk about the common phrases parents use: “you’re ok” “good job” “share” to discuss the emotional and social repercussions of our language, which has brought up great conversations and helps us subtly rethink how we interact with our children. “Are you ok?” “You did it.” “It’s hard when someone has a toy you really want.”

We realize nap times can vary and would love your input on the best times for your little ones. If you are interested in classes in Fishtown, be in touch so we can try to make that happen!

If price is holding you back, we can offer scholarships and discounts for EBT card holders with ID.

Private facility and at-home sessions are also available by appointment. Home sessions include assessment of your baby’s play area/safe space (including play objects), and advice on how to implement select RIE® principles at home, in ways that work best for your family. Specific questions can be answered after observation time with your baby as we get to know your child’s preferences, interests and movement.

Facility workshops are for child care providers, parents or teachers at facilities with multiple children, and offer hands-on exploration on the value of child-led play, the whys of minimal adult intervention, and benefits of respectful interactions with young babies. The importance of continuous care between providers and children will be explored. A relaxed, respectful and loving care provider/child relationship is the goal of these sessions.

Maria’s Bio

Maria is a RIE®-practicing parent who has completed the RIE Theory and Foundations Course™. She has been practicing with her son since he was almost one (skipping this and skipping that, as it worked for her family). When she discovered it, RIE® really resonated, and she has been attempting to spread the word for the last 7 years. Emotional validation of children is so vital to the process of RIE®, (and to all humans!) and this concept has forever changed the way she sees and interacts with others. After running several RIE®-inspired playgroups and a few classes from 2016-2018, Maria decided to enroll in an intensive RIE® foundations course. The course has led to greater understanding of Magda Gerber’s principles and has really opened up the whys of RIE®. In fall 2018, Maria started Parent Infant Philly to share those principles with you, and hopes that your views will be expanded and shift when you notice how well RIE® helps you relax, while connecting deeply and empathizing with young children.

Contact ParentInfantPhilly at GMAIL dot com to sign up or with questions.