Six Montessori-Inspired Positive Parenting Tips

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about positive parenting and what it actually means. Do we want to reward our children for anything and everything that they do? Do we want to spoil our children and turn them into reward junkies or bribe them to do what we want? Do we want free spirits that embrace a rule-free lifestyle? 

Six Montessori-Inspired Positive Parenting Tips,  Parenting Tips, Montessori-Inspired, Parenting, Lifestyle
Six Montessori-Inspired Positive Parenting Tips
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In truth, none of these are good methods for raising good and well-adjusted children, and in truth, no one has the answer to exactly what type of parenting approach will help every child because every child is different.  

There are, however, are enough similarities in children, in general, to mean an overarching approach can be adopted and then adapted to make that approach work for all kinds of children.

What is Montessori? 

The ‘Montessori Philosophy’ is a concept on child-raising and child development first written about by Italian child educator Maria Montessori, penned after many years of working and observing how children grow and develop. 

Montessori’s main belief was that children should be assisted only where necessary and that a child’s natural instinct for learning and for exploring should be exploited in the way they grow up, leading to a great deal of independence.

‘Play Is The Work Of the Child’ 

Maria Montessori’s main philosophy was that when children play, they are doing their own form of ‘work,’ and that their work was in learning how to be helpful and good citizens. A big part of the philosophy and approach is that teachers (and, by extension, parents) are ‘guides’ and should guide children rather than force them. 

The Montessori philosophy has been hugely successful in private education systems for many years, and many of the world’s greatest achievers credit their early Montessori learning environment with their ability to think and be independent. 

Here are six ways you can embrace Montessori philosophies into your child-rearing.

Encourage Independence 

The number one thing that all Montessori raised children have in common is a love for independence and independent learning. 

In all Montessori nurseries and pre-schools, you will find laid out tasks that children are able to enjoy, most of which focus on practical life skills like pouring, measuring, fine motor skills, and food preparation. 

Never do anything for the child that the child can do for himself was a mantra that Maria Montessori was very strict about.

Limit Screen Time 

There is no advice from Maria Montessori herself on screen-time. Maria Montessori passed away in 1952, well before screens made their debut into the everyday lives of people, and far before screens encroached onto the lives of children at ever-younger ages. 

There has been a link between stress and video games noted in the psychological literature for many years now. Click here to learn more. In addition, social media is also a contributing factor in childhood stress. 

For that fact, many parents who are embracing a Montessori philosophy when it comes to raising their children will opt for either no screen time at all or very limited screen time dependending on their age.

Take A Step Back

Taking a step back comes in many forms, but with a Montessori child, this means taking a full step back and letting the child figure things out. 

This is perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of Montessori teaching for parents. Watching your child try to put on their shoes for a full twenty minutes only to end up with them on the wrong feet can be infuriating, but it is vital that the child learns and practices these skills without the interference of parents. 

This needs to be done in moderation, and it’s fine to model how to do things with a child and to help when they ask for help, but for the most part, parents need to button up and be patient!

Practice Positive Discipline 

Positive discipline in a Montessori sense is about respecting the child and the child as an individual. Make no mistake, even Montessori children will throw tantrums and have meltdowns for seemingly any reason, but the difference is in how you handle it. 

For example, at the store, if your child throws a complete tantrum, get down to their level, and tell them the behavior is unacceptable. If they carry on, it might be wise to take them back to the car and let them work out their tantrum away from the eyes of other shoppers. This is about respect for both you and your child. 

In Montessori philosophy, punishments like the naughty step aren’t often used, but letting the child work out their anger and upset by talking and being calm are the most effective methods of positive discipline.

Model Good Behaviour 

Perhaps one of the most important parts of a Montessori environment for parents to remember is that children learn by imitation, and for this reason, you need to model good behavior. 

If you don’t want your child to hit, you must not hit them. If you don’t want your child to use cuss words, you must ensure your language is clean around them. If you want your child to care for the environment, don’t let them see you littering. 

These are all simple things, but taking it further, modeling good behavior, kindness, and politeness is part of the Montessori learning that parents do when they adopt this beautiful way of raising children. Independence, kindness, and, most importantly, good citizenship are all parts of the Montessori philosophy that parents also need to adopt in order to raise well-rounded children.

Limit Rewards 

In today’s world, rewards have become like currency to children, and this can have a serious negative impact on their future lives. Adrenaline junkies are actually dopamine junkies, and dopamine is released when children (and adults) are pleased with something. 

This is not to say that you cannot reward your children for doing good work or for being good, but a limit must be in place. Do not ever-reward your children for doing simple things, like going to the potty, with a song and dance, stickers, treats, etc. A simple “well done” or “good job!” will suffice.

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