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