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The Newest Parenting Fad: Not for Everyone

funny child girl reading newspaper on chamberpot
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Babies sure do have it good: We clean up their messes, constantly treat them to new toys, coddle them if they're upset, coo at them when they're cute and ... well, you get the point. But the hottest parenting craze has something to say about all of these habits—stop.

Supposedly, by doing all of the above you're being disrespectful to your child!

RIE (pronounced "wry"), or Resources for Infant Educators, is a parenting style that first surfaced back in the 1940s but has recently made headlines in Vanity Fair and beyond. Hollywood's elite have found its fully focused, no-nonsense format appealing.

Magda Gerber, a Los Angeles mom and self-described parenting expert, coined the term. She believes that children should be treated like adults. If you treat them like, well, children, they are supposedly unable to explore their "true nature."

Among the things off limits for RIE parents? Baby talk, toys, sippy cups and pacifiers. Then again, the parents suffer, too. According to the philosophy, parents must unplug entirely and give their kids their utmost attention. Say so long to talking on the phone while you breast-feed; and you can definitely forget about watching TV while you're looking after your child.

We know what you're all thinking: What happens when they get bored and start crying? RIE has the answer: Just let 'em wail. Yes, according to the method, "unrestrained crying is what a baby should be doing." Of course celebrities are all over this new rage—they have assistants and staff to do all the heavy lifting while they play with their bored baby.

What do you think about RIE—willing to give it a try?

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