When a two-and-a-half-year-old child goes to his room on his own and walks over to his dresser, he pulls out a pair of shorts, socks, and a T-shirt himself. He places them gently on the bed and begins dressing up. This type of scenario is a great example of Montessori parenting.
Montessori embodies the idea that children should be treated like adults within their proper ages. It means giving them the freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions and handle their problems—the developmental research showing that early childhood is crucial for social and cognitive development.
The Montessori philosophy was originally put forward by the Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori. The Montessori method is based on the principle that children can learn best by working with their hands. It emphasizes communication, self-discipline, and responsibility. The Montessori method treats children as individuals who, from birth, can direct their learning process. It contrasts with traditional educational methods that treat children as passive recipients of knowledge.
As Montessori methods focus on the development of the whole child, it makes sense that many families are turning to the method and adopting it at their homes by becoming effective Montessori parents. And for many families, it goes beyond parenting. Thus, Montessori philosophy becomes a lifestyle.
What is Montessori Parenting?
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” by Dr. Maria Montessori. This quote summarizes the concept of Montessori parenting. It means that Montessori parents give their children the freedom to work on tasks that they can perform on their own.
Kids struggle as they come across new tasks, and adults do too. However, often adults are in a rush, and kids are slow, so a parent comes to the rescue by saying, “I’ll just do it,” or “Here, let me help.” It results in kids not learning to develop their abilities. Moreover, if you give children the answers, they do not learn to solve the problems independently.
With the Montessori parenting style, kids are allowed to develop the skills and practice them at their own pace, uninterrupted. Parents don’t interfere with kids’ desire to learn and grow. Instead, children are pushed to complete their tasks and learn how to do them on their own, even if it takes a little longer.
Allowing kids to do that doesn’t mean parents don’t teach their children. Just like in a Montessori classroom where teachers are considered as guides, a Montessori parent is always there to help their children by becoming their guide. They assist them, fostering their kid’s abilities and instilling a sense of self.
9 Ways to Montessori Parenting
1. Respect Your Kid
Respect is one of the pillars of Montessori philosophy. Respect for oneself, respect for others, and respect for the world they live in. When you respect your kid, you allow him to grow, change, and become independent. You don’t impose your values on him, but you also don’t violate his boundaries. The idea here is kids should be respected and should feel respected.
You can begin showing respect to your child by listening to their opinions and views. You can also try to answer his questions without striving to please him. A kid is not always right, but he is always honest. He speaks the truth. If he doesn’t like something, then let him feel that way instead of letting it go by saying, “Oh, you will grow into this.”
Also, respect the ideas of your kids. That includes their dreams and career choices. Even if they don’t know what they want to be when they grow up, your job as a parent is to support them in their decisions and help them get there. Don’t stress if your kid wants to be an astronaut when he grows up; still respect his interest in space.
2. Provide Enough Space and Loosen the Boundaries
Give your kids enough space so that their movements and actions are not restricted. The key here is not to hold your kids back. Offer time and space for kids to play, explore, discover, imagine, and create.
You can do this by:
- Placing books, toys, and other important materials on low shelves so kids can access them on their own.
- Give children the freedom to play the toys or games they prefer rather than being involved in your kids’ playtime. When you play with them, allow them to take the lead.
- When your child is playing alone, keep an eye on them since they tend to disrespect boundaries at all times. If neglected, it can go the wrong direction, either emotionally or physically.
By loosening up the boundaries, you allow your kids to be active, make their own decisions, and grow. It will help them learn impulse control, empathy, and the ability to connect with people.
3. Teach Kids About Cause and Effect
Teaching kids about cause and effect has never been easier. You can begin by introducing situations where kids can see how their actions have an effect on someone or something around them. As a parent, you can demonstrate this to your kids by doing this for them.
Allow your kids to learn about cause and effect naturally. By observing what they do, ask them how it makes sense. Let them explain why they think they have done things or why someone else has done things. You can set good examples by being kind to others and being generous when you have the chance.
4. Observe and Adapt
The Montessori way of raising a kid is by letting a kid be himself. It’s by allowing your kid to develop self-reliance and independence. By keeping an eye on your child, you can only achieve these two.
If you want to make them independent, then take time to observe how they do things and let them do things on their own. When you let your child do things on his own and watch him, there is a higher chance he’ll rely more on himself and become independent later in life. When you observe your child, you will see if they need help or not.
You can also learn of the things he most likes and encourage them to pursue those things. For instance, if you give him Legos blocks and find that he is more interested in playing guitar, you can encourage him to practice more. That way, you allow him to pursue something he likes, and he is stepping towards independence.
5. Adapt The Home to Accommodate Your Montessori Kids
To adopt the Montessori method at home, you don’t need to make any big changes. It’s crucial to make small changes at your home little by little. Every change you make serves as an example of what your kids can do on their own too.
You can start by making your home kid-friendly:
- Giving your kids more space
- Moving some of their toys up high
- Letting them pick out their activities.
You can also provide new furniture for them so they can play safely. Other furniture, appliances, clothes, and even food should be adapted too. If the cabinets do not have enough space to store kid-sized plates or cups, you can move them up to the top shelf. Don’t be afraid to change the placement of the furniture in your home.
6. Involve Other Members of Your Family
To make the Montessori method more effective in a child’s life, it is essential to involve other family members, especially with the grandparents. Keep them updated and provide them with any information that will help you raise your children.
They can help you take care of your kids when you are busy. They can also teach your kids anything they feel like teaching them. For instance, they can tell them to prepare the table for lunch. It helps your kids to learn responsibility and independence.
7. Be a Model of Good Behavior
Your kids will be more likely to become well-rounded individuals because of you. If you don’t have the right values, kids won’t have any motivation to perform well either.
Just as a kid learns from modeling, so do they learn from watching their parents and people around them. Therefore, setting good examples and showing your kids what you value and believe in will motivate them to follow your values and beliefs.
8. Don’t Intervene in Struggle or Conflict
While it seems like an obvious thing to do, many parents tend to intervene in their children’s struggles. Most of the time, parents intervene because they want to ensure that their kids succeed in something or just because they can’t stand seeing them struggle.
One of the Montessori method principles is that kids need to develop control over themselves instead of relying on others. Conflict and struggles help kids learn how to solve issues on their own.
Therefore, you should let your children struggle. It will help them learn self-control and limit their dependence on others. It will also help them develop good behaviors. As the parent, you can always say words of encouragement like “You don’t know yet” or “You can do it.” And try to stand back and let the kid solve the problem themselves.
9. Enroll Your Kid in a Montessori Preschool
If you are willing to make a few more changes at home, you can start your kids by enrolling them in a Montessori Preschool. They can learn all the Montessori Principles from thereon. Not only will they learn to be self-reliant and independent, but for pure learning too. Enrolling your child in Montessori preschool will help kids learn how to re-direct themselves and focus on what they want.
Montessori Academy is one leading preschool dedicated to providing a well-rounded education to kids ages 18 months – 6 years old. They provide a warm and friendly learning environment that will help your child prepare for their next steps in life. The Montessori method and materials for learning and exploring different concepts and materials are important for the Montessori program. They provide a developmental approach to education and allow children to learn at their rate.
When you plan to enroll your child in a Montessori school, make sure to tell the teachers about your parenting progress using the Montessori method so that the teachers can adapt their teaching methodologies to your kids’ learning level.
Montessori Academy provides everything you need for your little one to become successful in this busy world. Start your children’s journey on the right track by enrolling them in Montessori Academy. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for a tour here.