Emmi Pikler (1901 – 1984) helps our understanding of young children and how to respectfully care for their needs.
Her theory includes 7 Key Principles:
Key Principle 1 – Give babies your full attention
Many parents lead busy lives and parents are often multi-tasking, therefore it is important that we give the babies in our care our full attention.
Key Principle 2 – Slow down
Give babies time within routines and activities instead of always rushing to complete and start the next task.
Key Principle 3 – Build a trusting relationship
It is important that babies develop a trusting relationship with the people who care for them.
Key Principle 4 – Carry out care routines with the child and not to the child
All care routines should be carried out with the child, speaking with the child, interacting and supporting independence – care routines should not be something that you ‘just do’.
Key Principle 5 – Babies should not be put into a position which they cannot get into themselves
Babies should be allowed freedom to move and not always put in chairs, seats and carriers.
Key Principle 6 – Allow babies time for uninterrupted play
Give babies time and space to explore for themselves.
Key Principle 7 – Be respectful to babies’ cues
Although babies don’t use spoken language they do communicate with their carers. It is important for carers to respond to these cues and to show respect, so when a baby turns their head away because they don’t want any more food we should respect this.