Magda Gerber, an influential early childhood educator, was pivotal in shaping the U.S.’s understanding of infant interaction from birth.
Inspired by pediatrician Emmi Pikler’s innovative infant care theories at Budapest’s Loczy orphanage, Gerber developed the Educaring® philosophy.
This approach emphasizes the dual role of parents and caregivers as both educators and carers, termed “Educarer®”.
Born in Budapest, Gerber’s early encounters with Pikler led to a Master’s degree in early childhood education and collaboration at the National Methodological Institute for Infant Care in Budapest.
Fleeing post-WWII political upheaval, Gerber and her family settled in the U.S., where she worked with children, notably autistic ones.
In 1978, Gerber co-founded Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE®) in Los Angeles, introducing the RIE approach that emphasizes respect, trust and active participation for infants.
The Educaring® Approach has since gained global recognition. Gerber’s contributions have shaped quality infant care and parenting programs worldwide and she has published essential works on her philosophies.
I have chosen the best quotes from Magda Gerber for you.
Magda Gerber Quotes
A positive goal to strive for when disciplining would be to raise children we not only love but in whose company we love being. ~ Magda Gerber.
Much harm has been done in the name of love, but no harm can be done in the name of respect. ~ Magda Gerber.
Observe more, do less. Do less, enjoy more. ~ Magda Gerber.
Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write and count. It is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child. Earlier is not better. ~ Magda Gerber.
The way we care for our babies is how they experience our love. ~ Magda Gerber.
An infant always learns. The less we interfere with the natural process of learning, the more we can observe how much infants learn all the time. ~ Magda Gerber.
All children accomplish milestones in their own way, in their own time. ~ Magda Gerber.
Having Respect for the world is when you allow people to be what they are. ~ Magda Gerber.
Best Magda Gerber Quotes
Children raised with respect and inner direction tend to play well in groups, at times quite peacefully, each involved in her own project or involved with the other children. ~ Magda Gerber.
The more we do, the busier we are, the less we really pay attention. ~ Magda Gerber.
When you approach your baby with an attitude of respect, you let him know what you intend to do and give him a chance to respond. You assume he is competent and involve him in his care and let him, as much as possible, solve his own problems. You give him plenty of physical freedom and you don’t push development. ~ Magda Gerber.
Every baby moves with more ease and efficiency if allowed to do it at his own time and in his own way, without our trying to teach him. A child who has always been allowed to move freely develops not only an agile body but also good judgment about what he can and cannot do. ~ Magda Gerber.
If infants are ready to do something, they will do it. In fact, when they are ready, they have to do it. ~ Magda Gerber.
When you hold an infant, hold him not just with your body, but with your mind and heart. ~ Magda Gerber.
Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play. ~ Magda Gerber.
Powerful Magda Gerber Quotes
We all need someone who understands. ~ Magda Gerber.
What parents teach is themselves, as models of what is human – by their moods, their reactions, their facial expressions and actions. These are the real things parents need to be aware of, and of how they affect their children. Allow them to know you, and it might become easier for them to learn about themselves. ~ Magda Gerber.
Educarers demonstrate love by showing and teaching respect. ~ Magda Gerber.
By closely supervising our infants, by allowing them to do what they are capable of, by restraining ourselves from rescuing them too often, by waiting and waiting and waiting, by giving minimal help when they really need it, we allow our infants to learn and grow at their own time and in their own way. I believe that, no matter how much and how fast the world changes, a well-grounded, competent, and confident person is best equipped to adapt to it. This is our goal. ~ Magda Gerber.
As I say so often, Observe and wait. Sometimes you may even find out that what you believed the infant wanted was only your assumption. It is natural to make mistakes and easy to misunderstand pre-verbal children. Nevertheless, it is important to keep trying ~ Magda Gerber.
Famous Magda Gerber Quotes
Wouldn’t life be easier for both parents and infants if parents would observe, relax and enjoy what their child is doing, rather than keep teaching what the child is not yet capable of? ~ Magda Gerber.
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll probably not remember. Involve me and I’ll understand. ~ Magda Gerber.
What infants need is the opportunity and time to take in and figure out the world around them. ~ Magda Gerber.
We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object ~ Magda Gerber.
Children do not play because they learn; They play because they play. ~ Magda Gerber.
Allow the child to be authentic, to move, to feel the way they move, appreciating them for what they are. ~ Magda Gerber.
Top Magda Gerber Quotes
Sadness, discomfort, frustration – they are all valid human emotions. Why would we want to suppress them? ~ Magda Gerber.
RIE emphasizes the benefits of infants spending peaceful, uninterrupted time following their biological rhythms of falling asleep when sleepy and eating when hungry, rather than their having to adjust too soon to external schedules and unrealistic expectations. First, we have to let the child develop his own rhythm; and then later he can adjust more into adult life. ~ Magda Gerber.
Set aside predictable, regular times to give full attention without being distracted by other concerns while also creating a safe, familiar place for baby to spend time playing alone. ~ Magda Gerber.
Predictability brings about security. ~ Magda Gerber.
I have spent my adult life trying to figure out why parents and society put themselves into a race – what’s the hurry? I keep trying to convey the pleasure every parent and teacher could feel while observing, appreciating, and enjoying what the infant is doing. This attitude would change our educational climate from worry to joy. ~ Magda Gerber.
Meaningful Magda Gerber Quotes
I wish children could grow according to their natural pace: sleep when sleepy, wake up when rested, eat when hungry, cry when upset, play and explore without being unnecessarily interrupted; in other words, be allowed to grow and blossom as each was meant to. ~ Magda Gerber.
Do less; observe more; enjoy most. ~ Magda Gerber.
Remember, nobody can make another person fall asleep. How to relax and let sleep come is a skill your child, like everybody else, must learn all by herself. ~ Magda Gerber.
Infancy is a vulnerable stage of development, therefore, it’s not enough that babies receive good care, the care must be excellent. ~ Magda Gerber.
Here is a powerful video from Magda Gerber on professional infant toddler care.
So these were the 40 quotes from Magda Gerber on child care and infant care.