I hope that I've never given you the impression that parenting is somehow effortless and simple with a Montessori approach.
And I really hope that you don't think children raised in a Montessori home are perfectly-behaved, independent, little angels who always clean up after themselves.
Because that's definitely not the case.
I say this because I've noticed frustration online from some parents that are trying to implement a Montessori approach.
They seem to feel like it's "not working" or they're failing when their children haven't fully transformed into independent, patient, neat, and polite little toddlers. Montessori toddlers are still toddlers :)
Unfortunately this is how it can seem on social media. I'm even guilty of sharing Montessori tips and techniques that might seem easier to implement than they actually are.
What Montessori At Home Actually Looks Like...
For instance, giving children a choice is popular in Montessori. The idea is that giving children a choice between a few limited options can help them feel in control and build their confidence, while engaging their cooperation with you.
When you first read about this approach, you might be expecting this:
Child: I want a snack Parent: Sure! Do you want yogurt or a banana? Child: A banana, please. *Everyone proceeds to have a pleasant snack break.
Here's how it often goes (or some variation of this...).
Child: I want a snack Parent: Sure! Do you want yogurt or a banana? Child: NOOOO. I want a cookie. Parent: We don't have any cookies right now. Would you like yogurt or a banana? Child: Cookie. COOOOOOOKKKKKIEEEEE. Parent: We don't have any cookies right now. Would you like yogurt or a banana? Child: *Lots of crying, more cookie requests*. Parent: I'll put these away and maybe we can have a snack later. Child: NOOOO, I want a banana. Parent: *peels banana* Child: NOOOOO, I wanted to peel the banana, *more crying*. Sometimes the first situation happens but often it's a much less direct route to snack time, like the second situation.
Parenting is hard and as far as I can tell, there's no way to make it not hard. There's no magic solution, strategy, or tips that will change that.
The goal of Montessori is to support our children into becoming confident, independent adults with a love of learning.
And while it can help with daily parenting challenges, a lot of it is about helping the child in the long-term.
"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live."
- Dr. Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
Montessori's goal was not to make parenting easier or make children more manageable but rather to improve all of humanity by helping to guide our children into competent adults that are ready to lead the next generation.
The point is that none of us are perfect parents and this is hard. REALLY hard.
So be gentle with yourself and solidarity from us here ✊
I'm going to link back to this post a lot when I share other Montessori tips and info... simply as a reminder to us all that we're all trying our best.
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