RIE Quotes and Mantras

Parenting the Visible Child (VC, RIE) way has made a huge difference with my kids. But by no means is it easy! Here are a few of the words and phrases and memes I keep on hand for those times when I need the reminder. All full of golden information when it comes to RIE parenting. And all meant to help you reframe, go upstream, and/or quite frankly just plainly get through tough times.

Visible Child RIE Quotes and Mantras


– “Talk to children like the humans they are." – “Would I talk like this/behave this way towards another adult?”This is a HUGE one that I repeat to myself every day and to anyone else who questions this approach and attempts to make me feel like I am “spoiling" my kids by“letting them get their way all the time". It forces a lens shift in a big way. – "Connection first.” – "Connection over correction." – "Connection over control." – "Love is always the answer." – "Children do well when they can."

– "Get curious, not furious." – "My child is not giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time." – "Sloooooooow right down." – "Kids don’t want your power. They want their own." – "No one wins a power struggle." – "There are ways to give power to a child without losing any of your own." – "See a child differently…see a different child." – "It’s not misbehavior, it’s stress behavior." – "Not everything has to be a lesson." – "Hold space. Be a safe space." – "Children are not easily damaged. They are resilient and forgiving."

– “You could always say nothing." – "What if you just said nothing?" – “Your silence provides the soil in which the child’s solutions can grow.” - Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber – "Pick your battles. Nope, that’s too many battles. Put some battles back. Pick fewer battles.” – Remember that "I prefer not to" or "not today" are complete answers. – "Approach with inquisition, not acquisition." – "Model graciousness." – "This will not ruin him for life."

– "Don’t parent in fear of the future." – "My highest priority is the relationship." – "WAIT - why am I talking?" – "That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do with a…" (fill in the blank here, straw, toilet seat, cup, etc) – "DROP. THE. ROPE." – "All behavior is communication." – "TRUST. Trust your kid. Trust the process. Trust your process. Trust their process. Just, trust." – "Parent the child *in front of you* "  (i.e., not the one you worry they will become in the future). – "This is not an emergency."

– "What you resist, persists." – "It depends. Every time." – "Have you asked them yet?”  Meaning the child, it will come in handy more and more as your child grows. – "Where is my child developmentally?” Because even if you have a great connection, there will be behaviors that make you as the parent uncomfortable. However, they are developmentally appropriate. That frontal lobe isn’t developed, and they are still learning to be integrated. – “Your parental authority rests in you" No need to arbitrarily flex it! – "When their storm meets our calm co-regulation occurs.” – "What does it say about me that my child…” Hard stop. Generally, it says very little if anything. Don’t make it about you. Keep your ego and identity out of it.

– "Be the parent you needed." – "You don’t have to tell them what they did was wrong. They already know." – "Go upstream." – "Improvise!” Because improvisation is taking all that you already know and ignoring what is not essential and creating something that responds to the need of the moment (often in an artistically pleasant way). So I remind myself to improvise so that I don't go with the default answer, but be in the moment.