Montessori is not just an approach to education, it’s a lifestyle – and is something that we can apply to our parenting in an effort to embrace holistic development when it comes our children and families. And guess what? You might have be practicing Montessori without even realising it!
Maria Montessori said, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed”. With this as a starting point, here are ten simple ways in which you can apply Montessori principles at home:
- Take your time – don’t rush, slow down and plan less so that your child has the chance to explore, ponder and absorb the world around him.
- Listen to your child – acknowledge your child’s thoughts, feelings, needs and interests, and speak to your child as an equal rather than a superior.
- Guide your child – offer help and help as much as you’re needed but as little as possible.
- Follow your child – allow your child to explore his interests and create opportunities to enrich these interests.
- Include your child – children love to get involved and to feel like they’re helping you. Allow your child to participate in family tasks – washing the car, setting the table, folding the laundry etc.
- Hands on learning – rather than giving your child the answer, give him room to figure it out on his own.
- Pay attention – objectively observe how your child communicates (physically, intellectually and emotionally, at home and socially) in order avoid making assumptions about his behaviour.
- Solve problems together – in place of bribes, rewards and punishments, help your child calm down and then make amends together (make a safe space for feelings to come out).
- Be patient and self-reflexive – we need to look after ourselves in order to look after our children, and we need to understand our own triggers and calm ourselves down of we are to be of assistance.
- Notice your child’s efforts – and let him know that you’ve noticed.
These are small things but when practiced at school and at home, they will make a huge difference to the outlook and confidence of your child.
This list is inspired by thoughts from Themontessorinotebook.com