The R.I.E. approach to discipline is not permissive, but understanding. Children, like adults, need rules and guidelines. We could easily exchange the word ‘discipline’ for the word ‘educaring’—they are both a combination of learning and nurturance. The goal is inner or self-discipline, self confidence, and joy in the act of cooperation.
In our Parent-Infant Guidance classes, we like to model how we teach and reinforce rules. We have a snack for the older babies at a special table around which the demonstrator and the babies sit. Children may choose between items to eat or drink, and may choose not to have snack, but they may not take food, juice, or bottles away from the table. It is an incredible learning experience for all of us to see how even the youngest infants learn the rule and decide whether or not to obey it. After many repetitions of the rule they get the message and then have to test it over and over again. We’ve often seen a baby or toddler steal away from the table and then turn back to make sure that the demonstrator sees her, as though she were checking to see whether the rule would be enforced. This shows that the child understands that a rule exists.
It is natural for children to carry food away from the table. They can see no real reason not to. When a child ignores the rule, the demonstrator tries to show that she fully understands the child’s desire to do what he wants, and that he is not naughty or bad for having that desire. Therefore, she does not get angry with the child, but calmly and unemotionally repeats the rule.
Of course, we understand parents who get irritated after their toddlers play with the television set after being told ‘no’ several times. But it becomes easier to handle once one realizes that the child’s behavior stems from a natural inclination and not from a desire to drive the parent crazy.
While you may see orderly photos and videos of this girl eating by herself, she only does so not more than 10 minutes (usually before she completes her full meal). Then she requests us to feed her or gets away from the table before returning to the table. This happens since 20mo (what a longgggg phase). We tried many ways from rough methods to soft methods – and concluded that ‘they do not work effectively’. (Punishment during mealtimes does not work: https://17chipmunks.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/punishment-during-mealtimes-think-twice/)
So, we have let her be as long as she is happy and eating. (Occasionally she does finish her full meal before getting off the table)
Now that I stumbled into this article (as above) I understand why and should further comprehend her.
Self reminder: Calmly and unemotionally repeats the rule