Montessori is a chilled parenting approach in that the toddler has ample freedom to play, work, study, and learn. In this form of parenting, the child is not punished but is respected for being themselves.
Dr Maria Montessori developed the program in the early 1900s. It is supposed to be a child-centered method of education that include child-led activities, classrooms with children of different ages, and teachers who encourage independence among the children.
The Montessori way is focused on the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social development of a child. It is mainly focused on creating a child-centered environment, where the child has an opportunity to choose work based on their development needs and interests.
The Montessori program comes in a three-year cycle. You can start at the beginning of the cycle, which is 2.5 or 3 years old. Occasionally, some Montessori programs are geared towards infants and younger toddlers, meaning you can start it at home from birth.
One major idea behind the Montessori system is that education develops your child’s positive potential so that they become happy and useful members of society. Dr Montessori believes that the best way to achieve this is ensuring that education suits the child’s nature and inclinations.
To practice the Montessori parenting strategy, you need to follow these guidelines.
Follow the Child
Children know what they want. Montessori parenting advocates that you only prepare and provide a guideline for your amazing child and then let them make their own decision on what they want to do. When you do this, you instill a sense of self-worth in your child at a younger age.
Parent and Child Time
Young toddlers want to spend most of their time with their parents. Therefore, the Montessori approach proposes that you make an effort to spend time with your children, whether indoors or outdoors. You should observe them play and experience the world around them.
When necessary, you should play, walk, and eat with your children, and in doing so, you get to learn more about your child’s needs and desires.
Contrary to popular belief that good toys and good playrooms are all your child needs, Montessori parenting believes that your child needs to feel included and involved in your schedule more. You should not focus so much on what your child should do or what they can’t do.
Instead, you need to include them in all your activities, such as reading, cleaning, and playing. By doing this, your child develops a sense of belonging and makes them feel wanted and cared for.
According to Montessori parenting, you need to have safe playtime for your child. You need to avail a safe play space where your child can go in and out without getting hurt. It helps in boosting their confidence and allows them to make up their own decisions.
Freedom and Discipline
A child is like an empty box waiting to be filled with positive things and positive thinking. When you constantly punish your child, they tend to withdraw, whereas too much discipline may make a home feel like a prison.
Montessori parenting suggests that you create boundaries and consistently focus on your child until they naturally choose positive and desirable behavior.
Montessori parenting has certain principles that include;
Freedom With Limits
The main idea of Montessori is freedom (i.e., to explore and gain independence). However, this freedom does not mean letting your child do whatever they want, whenever they want to.
For your child to experience the world, they need to feel free and respected. It is your duty as a parent to provide safe opportunities.
You have to be a role model and create limits within a safe environment. You can expand your environment once your child can respect their surroundings, belongings, and how to control their impulses. The younger the child, the more the limits to impose to guard against injuries.
Another aspect of Montessori in the classroom while at home is the idea of a prepared environment. In such an environment, your child learns how to care for the space you have provided. You must organize the space effectively so that your child can explore at their own pace while following their curiosity.
These prepared environments offer both independence and freedom with limits. The Montessori method is all about encouraging children to be active in their learning.
You can organize a space so that your children get the option of playing or exploring.
The Montessori design was developed by observing children at play. As a parent, you can also observe your children and see how they develop. Through observation, you will notice your child’s special interests, skills they are trying to learn, and more.
To be effective in your observation, you need to be on your child’s level and see the world from their perspective. You will discover the reasons behind your child’s behavior and interests.
Your child’s mind is not capable of abstract thinking. The Montessori method recommends introducing fantasy after your child has gained education based on reality. Avoiding fantasy may be difficult, but households can focus on modeling everyday life- cooking, cleaning, and reading about the natural world. You can also encourage your children to play outside.
The Montessori system focuses on the real-world, stress management, and how to manage conflict resolution. The Montessori education talks about social injustice, discussing positive and negative emotions, tolerance, empathy, and respect.
Less Is More
Parents want to idolize their children. But it is not necessary. The fewer toys your child has, the more time they have to figure out their world and find order. Too many toys can overwhelm your child, and they may struggle to make a choice, leading to less time spent exploring the actual world.
Another disadvantage of too many toys is the fact that your child will lose respect for them and
Break them or even get bored and demand more.
No Punishments or Rewards
Maria, the developer of Montessori, found out that neither punishment nor rewards can be an effective means of disciplining your child. What is effective is an inner discipline resulting from your child’s sense of responsibility.
All Montessori principles emphasize mutual respect. Your child must feel respected. When your child feels connected to you and knows they are contributing, they will work diligently, leading to fewer behavioral outbursts. As a parent, you still need to point out the natural repercussion of undesirable behavior. Your children naturally learn what happens when they act violently or intentionally ruin belonging.
It is not advisable to praise your child whenever they do something. Most children are already interested in learning and don’t require rewards or treats to continue learning. If you continuously praise your child, you might make them grow up to be entitled adults.
Refine Natural Senses
As soon as a child takes their first breath, they utilize all their senses. Some of the senses improve with time. A child between the age of 0 and 6 years is more accustomed to touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Your baby will identify you by scent alone. These babies explore the world by putting things in their mouths. It is why Montessori principles recommended the use of natural items.
Throughout your child’s development, there will be periods where their ability to gather and retain information or master skills will increase considerably. During this period, you might discover that your child is interested in language and trying to replicate your speech pattern to develop their own. You need to recognize these sensitive periods and try to assist your child accordingly.
Montessori parenting has several benefits that make it a wonderful option for any parent and is highly recommended. These advantages include:
- It promotes parent and child time. Through Montessori parenting, you get to spend more time with your child. You get to observe your child develop before you and explore the world.
- It ensures you raise an independent child. Through the Montessori parenting method, you let your child develop on their own and explore the world at their own pace without interference. All you need to do is avail a secure environment for your child to explore.
- Montessori parenting guarantees child safety. This is because it is a requirement for Montessori parenting for you to avail a safe play space where your child can go in and out without being worried about your child’s safety.
- Your child grows into a conscious adult. Montessori parenting focuses on real-world, stress management, and how to manage conflict resolution. It also talks about social injustice, tolerance, empathy, and respect, making your child a valuable member of society.
- It is less expensive to put into practice since Montessori parenting recommends fewer toys for your child. Instead, it is suggested that your child explore the actual world and prevents your child from being materialistic.
- It cultivates a love for learning. Your child is more interested in learning since they can make their own decisions and what they learn sticks with them for future use. Your children also gain the ability to connect with different people and ideas in various situations.
- Montessori parenting helps your child develop a sense of belonging. As a parent, you involve your child in your activities, so they feel wanted and cared for.
- Montessori parenting helps you respect your child. This is done by listening to the views and opinions of your child. However, it does not mean that you agree with all their demands, but you acknowledge their wants and needs even when they can’t or should not be accommodated.
- It also offers ample space and loosens boundaries. Montessori parenting ensures that your child is allowed to explore the world because they have enough space, and their movements and actions are not restricted.
- You can easily adapt your home to accommodate Montessori children. Montessori parenting is all about giving autonomy to your child. It means that they are free to imitate you, which they normally do. Doing this, you help your child develop cognitive skills and develop a sense of confidence in them. You achieve this by letting them perform small chores by themselves. If you make your home environment conducive for your children to participate in daily activities, they will adapt to newer habits and enjoy greater freedoms with time.
- It involves other family members. The Montessori approach is more effective when involving other family members in your activities. The approach fosters greater interaction between your child and the rest of the family and creates a conducive environment for your child.
Using the Montessori system at home is important because it offers the following benefits.
As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Understanding child development and knowing how to fulfill their needs is important in unlocking your child’s full potential through positive parenting.
You need to understand that children have sensitive periods in which they learn easily and eagerly. As a parent, you need to identify such periods and maximize them.
Your child’s self-esteem develops faster when they are allowed to self-correct instead of having their errors pointed out all the time.
A child will flourish academically and physically when their needs are met. Using the Montessori system enables you to fulfill the different needs of your child.
The Montessori system fosters the love of learning in your child, which they stay with for the rest of their lives. Internally motivated children are more likely to be successful in life. The Montessori method recognizes that your young child will seek information of their own volition that is meaningful to them and use it for their development when the right environment is provided.
Developing your child’s practical life skills as a Monetssori parent early in life boosts their self-esteem and independence, providing a foundation for learning more advanced courses such as writing and mathematics.