Carol Gray Describes RespectThis is part six of the Tribute to Magda Gerber series.

The sign outside the bathroom door read. “Due to her great love of the water Christa should wash her hands last.” Hand washing time for the children at Our Own School could have been a disaster if the teacher had not respected and appreciated Christa.

Magda took what she had learned about infant/child development and adapted the principles to the home and day care setting. She taught parents and professionals how to foster cooperative  relationships with babies and children while respecting and honoring their individuality.

Respect was the foundation of everything Magda taught.

We show respect by not picking up infants without telling them in advance. We show respect by speaking directly to infants and waiting for their response. We show respect by creating a safe space for infants and children to explore and learn. We show respect for children’s abilities by giving them household responsibilities appropriate for their development. We show respect for infants and children by telling them when we are leaving the room and when we will return. We show respect for children by allowing them the opportunity to resolve their own conflicts. We show respect by giving undivided attention to children when caregiving and also just for fun. This modeling of respect helps children grow to be respectful adults.

Thank you, Magda.

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