In this article we share some tips on how to raise Montessori principles, using them when making decisions at home.
The 8 Principles of Montessori education and the sensitive periods that we mentioned in the two previous articles go hand in hand with each other and are difficult to separate. That is why in practice we will address them together. To bring upbringing with Montessori principles, the objective is use them as a basis when making decisions in the dynamics of the home and in the child-guide interaction.
Thus, for example, we can ask ourselves some challenges about parenting and see how we would solve them by following these principles:
1.- Upbringing with the Montessori principles in the Discipline
Maria Montessori says "One of the greatest difficulties in assuring discipline lies in the fact that it cannot be limited to being obtained only with words", that is to say that it is not so simple, you cannot make a child do something, just telling him to do it.
"One cannot, with a single command, bring order to the complex psycho-muscular system of an individual in the process of growth", that is, someone who is still growing, and has not yet matured, simply does not understand such an order. , at least not enough. Our job, then, is help him achieve that mental maturity before expecting him to obey our commands.
Montessori classifies obedience into three stages:
- Stage: the child cannot obey others. This child, usually between 0 and 2.5 years old, obeys a voice within himself, an internal directive.
- Stage: the child wants to obey and seems to understand your command, but cannot or can't always manage to obey, even if they want to. This stage goes from approximately 2.5 to 4.5 to 5 years.
- Stage: the child has perfected his self-control and is able to do what you ask, which does not mean that he will, but he is physically and emotionally capable of complying. So, before the age of 5, a child either cannot obey you, or wants to, but cannot do it well.
So what can we do? The best thing we can do is "be the example" of what we hope to see in them., remembering that we are your guides. Set clear limits that are appropriate to their age, but also that correspond to a real and consistent need. For example, he wants to play more time in the park and you have a meeting scheduled, it is a justified refusal, on the other hand, saying yes or no, depending on your mood, is arbitrary and to some extent unfair.
To expand more on the subject:
slowing down the pace
The best moment and the best rhythm is yours, that of each family and each of its members.
We can fall into a trap by thinking that: "it is easier and faster to do any household activity if the little ones are entertained" and not to mention leaving everything other than their toys far out of their reach, right? But if we stop to think every time we do that, somehow we are preventing our children from feeling included in the space where they live. Slowing down the rhythms allows us to dedicate time with patience and presence to include them in the routines and activities of the home.
Children a year old are able to do the food cycle by themselves... set the table, take their plate, eat, take their plate to wash, wash and clean the table, and even help cook! Of course they are not going to achieve everything the first time and done perfectly.
At this stage a meal can take a couple of hours, but if you let them they will go from simple to complex. Maybe they run the cleaner over your eating area at first and make more of a mess than they clean up, maybe the water gets spilled on them on the way to the table. Regardless of the difficulty in each part, remember that mistakes are an indispensable part of learning, and not from failure, will gradually generate self-confidence, self-control and responsibility.
For all the wealth it contains:
Montessori activities that can be applied from home offer us the possibility of expanding the range of experiences that our children have, but once again the fundamental principles of the Montessori philosophy are our best tool. especially the one that says "Follow one's own interest."
If you have found a fascinating activity and you are dying to try it, go ahead and flow… Observe how your child feels when doing itAre you happy, interested, entertained, or are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, not at all interested? If it is option A, you have found something that your little one likes and you will be able to explore with him and share the same emotion, If it is option B, do not worry, maybe it was not the right time or maybe it is not an activity of interest, they can try again later to check.
Give yourself the opportunity to trust your little one's inner intelligence, enjoy the process of accompanying as well as guiding.
We can also appeal to "freedom" and "following one's own interest" What do you like to do the most? Perhaps you think that his interest is not worth it, perhaps he is very inconvenient for you, perhaps you have other concerns that tell you that you should not let him do those things, and you feel that you should not allow it.
Offering them spaces where they can move freely: run, climb, climb and explore their bodies to develop increasingly complex skills. An open space at home or in nature offers children the perfect space for this. In addition, we can prepare the space, satisfy emotional needs (for example, physical support through hugs) and dress them in comfortable clothes that make it easier for them to move.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have other scenarios where you can apply parenting with Montessori principles?
Remember that in the Millaray Montessori School we are all a team. The family plays a fundamental role in the child's experience within the Montessori community. We invite you to get involved and express your concerns and experience about the development of your children directly with the Montessori guide.