January 4, 2019

5 things a parent should do every day the Montessori way

We all love our children and want the best for them. As a Montessori parent, there are some routines that have been incorporated daily routine that may or may not have been there before.

1. Observe

Maria Montessori stressed the need to observe children and their needs constantly. She was clear that this need to observe should not be reserved only for for teachers, but that parents need to have an observing spirit as well. In her book The Child in the Family she said, “the necessity to observe the child before hazarding an approach will finally penetrate the family too and create there not only a new child but a new mother and father.” Take time everyday to observe – not comment, just observe and intentionally watch your children, even if it is while you are cooking, reading, or cleaning up. What are they doing? What are they drawn to? How do their hands move? What challenges them? What excites them? Are they independent in their task?

2. Wipe Up Spills 

This one is pretty self explanatory! No one is perfect! Not here, not anywhere. Just this simple action will be of great benefit to them as they grow up to clean up after themselves.

3. Take Deep Breaths 

Frustration happens to every parent, but taking some time to be the calm is essential to me. And for me, stopping myself from reacting is important to keeping that calm. Using Montessori at home does not mean your children will be perfect and not test limits or make decisions that are difficult to deal with.
A simple deep breath is often gives you enough time to observe before responding, to calm your initial reaction. It won’t always work but may help you not to loose your cool

4. Set Limits

Follow the child as his leader. We set limits, often in how we prepare the environment, to allow a child to act as independently as possible. Set limits through your words and your actions and also through how you create space to  give your children freedom but also keep everyone safe and happy. Those limits should tested and explored.

5. Invite Participation 

Invite participation everyday. Invite  your children to work with you. Ask them if they want to come and help with cooking, with gardening, or with cleaning. Sometimes, they join sometimes they don’t. Your environment should invite spontaneous participation. Your home must be accessible to your children to make these contributions. This includes making larger design decisions (like creating a small accessible shelf, or something) but also smaller daily details like making sure the water dispenser is full, or paper has been replaced, or cleaning towels are laundered.

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