What do Marie Kondo and Maria Montessori have in common?
I started the day by reading this Domain article and was immediately struck by the similarities between the key components of the KonMari method and those enshrined in Montessori principles and practises.
Montessori advocated for children to be surrounded by beauty, the beauty of good, simple design in an attractive, ordered environment. She believed such an environment necessary if the young child is to fully experience (inner) peace and engagement.
We also know through an increasing body of research that children do better with fewer rather than more toys.
So with that knowledge how can we provide the best possible environment for our children in the important foundational years?
A favourite Montessori slogan is "Help me to do it myself" and as adults that's precisely our job, to help the child in their quest for independence. We do this through the creation of an environment which supports rather than hinders those needs.
It's not always easy, the toddler years can be very testing as your child is driven, by their strong desire for independence, to do things by themselves at their own pace, a pace which is not always practical or convenient!
What we can do is support the development of independence though an ordered play-area and through organised age-appropriate tools and toys.
If the child is (for example) driven to do some cutting and knows where to find the scissors and the cutting paper, and they have a place to work, they are freed from dependence on the adult and can do this even when adults are busy with other tasks.
When a child is overwhelmed by clutter and frustrated in their quest is it any wonder they can become cranky?
It's so important that the adults surrounding the child are partners, rather than obstacles on on the child's journey to independence.
Physical changes really will make a difference.
De-cluttering your child's play-area/bedroom and creating a streamlined, practical storage system is a great place to start, as an investment it will pay dividends.
I can only agree with the final paragraph in today's Domain article:
- "There’s a real sense of calm in an ordered home and it transmits to everyone living there (sounds woo-woo, but it’s true.)
- Getting a professional in is always worth it!"
I'm a professional, an early childhood specialist, with decades of experience creating beautiful, practical spaces for pre-school children.
If you'd like any help to make the transformation to calm, contact me here, I'd love to help you.