Liz Memel of Authentic Babies
Elizabeth Memel, M.A., Certified RIE® Associate, resides in Ojai, California and provides weekly parent/infant groups for families with children from birth to age two in her beautiful home studio as well as in Los Angeles on the staff at the RIE® Center and in her own private classes. Trained over time with renowned infant specialist Magda Gerber, Liz has more than twenty-five years’ experience consulting with and guiding adults, including professionals, who care for infants and toddlers. As a RIE® Mentor Teacher, she instructs RIE® Training students in the Foundations Course, the Practicum and the Internship locally and in outreach programs, having recently instructed in New York City and Tucson, AZ.
Now retired from adjunct faculty in the child development department at Los Angeles City College, Liz has a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Infants and Toddlers. She co-presented a workshop at the 2004 International Pikler Symposium in Budapest, Hungary and is a contributing writer in “Authentic Group Care for Infants and Toddlers” (Jessica Kingsley Press, 2005).
Liz has served on the RIE® Board of Directors since 1985, previously five years as President and presently as Vice President in charge of Programs. One project about which Liz is very proud is the The Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center in Oak View, CA, which she designed and implemented with the 2006-07 board of Ojai Valley Birth and Family Support funded by Ventura County First Five.
A research-based program, RIE® Parent/Infant Guidance classes that I offer can provide weekly support for your family's well-being and growth during the most crucial first two years of your child’s development. The baby is respected as a competent human being and seen as a partner whose need for security is fulfilled through loving and undivided attention during care. In the small (6 to 8 families) parent/infant group, professional facilitation provides adults with the same respect for their unique learning process that is shown for infants, enabling growth of trust among members participants as relationships build and parents develop.
MAGDA GERBER'S RIE® philosophy is a preventive approach to human development. Families may find ways to balance healthy, fulfilling dependencies and beneficial interdependencies in order to build secure attachment patterns of behavior for both child and parent. This unique approach, based on observation and demonstration, fosters authentic expression of all participants, but has no structure other than a carefully prepared environment, a peaceful developmentally appropriate early childhood setting that encourages babies and young toddlers to become attentive, active explorers.
In the group both facilitator and parents have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, discuss strategies and learn from others how to increase their choices by considering various parenting decisions, how to get help before a problem develops and how to participate with their young children by communicating and reflecting and including their point of view in decision making. This experiential learning process enables growth of parents’ confidence as they build skills – through self-observation, observation of other parents, and most importantly observation of the children in a the safe setting where peaceful human kindness can emerge and the RIE® philosophy will come to be appreciated.
LEASONS LEARNED INCLUDE
• Seeing babies in empowering ways that help you, the parents!
• Becoming the parent you can be - a caring observer of your child.
• Encouraging your child’s earliest natural abilities and developing brain.
• Gaining confidence in yourself and trust in your baby’s unique ability to show you the way to nurture and respect him/her.
The children are the real demonstrators who teach the adults to be responsive carers and observing learners. As one confident family in my program stated after their child’s first two years’ participation, “Thank you for teaching us to let our baby teach us.”