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2 min read

It's not uncommon in Montessori schools to see young children with their shoes on the wrong feet.And not only that... but it's actually something that's celebrated!Why? Because it means that child put their shoes on completely independently.Instead of correcting or interrupting the child, Montessori teachers choose to simply celebrate the accomplishment.

They recognize that:

  1. A task like this takes immense concentration for a young child, it's not worth interrupting.
  2. The child feels so much joy and pride in their accomplishment that it's not worth correcting.

Resist The Urge To Fix Their Work

While it's tempting to:

  • Fix self-dressing errors (shirt on backwards, mismatched socks, shoes on the wrong feet)
  • Re-clean an area that your child has already cleaned up
  • Reorganize a space your child has already tidied

I invite you to consider... letting it go.If there's nothing dangerous or about how your child has completed a task, it's often better to allow them to work uninterrupted and enjoy that sense of pride and confidence after completing it.Eventually they will learn to completely wipe up a spill, put their shoes on the right feet, and fold their clothes.

Let Natural Consequences Be The Guide

In certain situations, like shoes on the wrong feet, you might worry your child is uncomfortable.BUT this is a situation where you can allow natural consequences to do the teaching.If your child has put their shoes on the wrong feet, you can simply ask them if they're comfortable.If they they are, then there's nothing you need to do in that moment.At some point while you're out, they might say their feet hurt or that their shoes are bothering them. This is now a great time to offer feedback - "oh, it looks like your shoes are on the wrong feet. Let's switch them and see how that feels".Natural consequences are a great teacher. They allow our child to understand their mistakes without having to offer regular critiques and criticism.If you're interested in reading more about natural consequences, I wrote an article on that topic last winter, related to choosing appropriate seasonal clothing.Go here to check it out: https://themontessoriroom.com/blogs/montessori-tips/hear-me-out-what-if-we-didnt-force-our-kids-to-wear-mittens

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