Am I The Only Parent Doing This?? - The Montessori Room

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by Laura Berthiaume December 16, 2022 2 min read

Parenting can feel so isolating, even more so if you follow a Montessori approach.

In trying to "follow the child", Montessori parents and teachers will sometimes go to great lengths to respect each child's interests and motivations.

Some people view this as permissive or indulgent.

I’d reframe this as empathic.

Have you ever worried, "Am I the only one letting my child...?":

  • Repeatedly climb up and down the stairs (with close supervision) because they are strongly motivated to learn how to use the stairs?  NO.
    • Use whatever dish ware, clothes, or other item they currently have a strong preference for (even if it means you have to wash the purple PJs 3x/week)?  Definitely not.
    • Pull all their clothes out of their drawer or all the items out of a cupboard?Nope!

    If you've ever felt like the only one "indulging" these types of behaviours, I want to reassure you that:

    1. You’re not alone.
    2. All those "indulgences" will (very likely) run their course in a month or less.

    From birth to 6, young children are like little scientists, learning about the world.

    Part of this learning includes experimenting with different behaviours. They learn through experience. If you observe your child repeating an action or behaviour it’s likely because they’re trying to learn something.

    What not everyone realizes, is that by allowing your child to safely explore a behaviour they're drawn to, it's often easier and the behaviour resolves itself faster.

    "Lack of character, or defects of character disappear of themselves, without any need for preaching by grownups or for grown-up examples. One does not need to threaten or cajole, but only to ‘normalize the conditions’ under which the child lives."
    ~ Dr. Maria Montessori from Absorbent Mind

    Most often these behaviours are phases and simply need to run their course. The phase will end sooner if you let them conduct their experiments.

    As Montessori says in the quote above, normalize and accept the behaviour, rather than trying to convince your child not to do it.

    If your child seems drawn to a behaviour and the only thing holding you back from allowing them to do it is fear of judgement, know that there's other parents out there, like me 🙋‍♀️, who get it.

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