|Emma Wong Singh, our Montessori in the Home trainer, explains why the attitude you bring and how you conduct yourself is at the heart of a Montessori approach to parenting.
From knowing when to step back to encourage independence, to being a role model for the behaviour you’d like to see, as Montessori said the first step is to “prepare” yourself. Here are some key ways in which we can moderate our behaviour and take a Montessori approach to parenting:
- We are mindful about first standing back to observe before diving in to offer help. There will be times when help is needed, but there will also be situations when our child, given a little more time or a tiny nudge in the right direction, is able to overcome the challenge by themselves. What this fraction of space may give them, is a feeling of agency: “I can do this by myself!”
- We support our child though guidance and collaboration, instead of through ‘teaching’. In this way, we are starting to nurture a feeling within, that signals confidence in their own abilities, preserves their sense of dignity and deeply respects their ability to direct their own development.
- We constantly ask ourselves if we are the role models we would like to be for our child. Remaining curious and thoughtful about our actions and the words we choose to express our thoughts will help to reveal the very best version of ourselves.
- We give our child choices from an early age. From two choices at first (would you like to wear the red or yellow hat?) then slowly expanding the choices offered, so that they are able to build up the capacity to make decisions. This nurtures a decision-making mind-set when faced by a dilemma later in life; do I blindly follow the others, or do I decide for myself the best course of action to take?
- We support our child to become independent in daily activities such as dressing, eating, toileting and sleeping, giving them the freedom they need to develop by themselves, for themselves. This encourages the full development of their personality. To look after one’s own needs from a young age gives so much more to our child psychologically than the necessary physical skill.
These are just some of the approaches we look at in our Montessori in the Home courses suitable for parents, childminders/nannies and anyone interested in Montessori in the home environment. These short online courses focus on key development stages – antenatal and the first year, from birth to three years and from three to six years. Students on the course also interact with each other and raise issues encountered in their own parenting or work.
Find out more or register for a Montessori in the Home course