Montessori

Happier, calmer, more joyous children.

Perhaps you are often frustrated because your children, who have so much, are still so discontent

The children are discontent because very often they have everything except what they most need.

Children thrive on the reliability of consistency, without it they become fractious and discontent.

Physical order and reliable routines create the security which is necessary for the child's well-being.

A calm home nurtures the child as it meets the developing child's need for order and simple reliability.

Simplify your life and enjoy the results, your child certainly will.

Simple isn't always easy, to make the transition contact Paulene Richardson here.

How to give your child what they really crave, calm simplicity.

What does your child really need?  

More experiences, more educational toys, more outings, more play dates, more, more...., more?

Perhaps what they really need, what would really make them happier and more satisfied is not more but less. 

Many adults are attracted to the philosophy of de-cluttering, and find that simplifying their life brings a sense of peace, the same applies to the young child.  

Less for most children would very definitely be more.

A simple Montessori-inspired approach to parenting has a lot to offer busy parents.

It offers practical, easy to understand strategies to simplify home life and most importantly it helps parents understand and focus on the needs of young children.

How to start?

Step 1. Press the blue button

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Marie Kondo and Maria Montessori have a lot in common

The day I read this Domain article I was immediately struck by the similarities between the KonMari method and 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.

The best environment for our children:

With that information in mind how can we provide the best possible environment for our children in the important early 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! 

Supporting the development of independence:

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 huge difference

Creating order in your child's play-area/bedroom and developing 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 the 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 to create calm beautiful order in your home contact me here, I'd love to help you.

The results will be truly remarkable.

What does it mean when Montessori talks about the work of the child?

"Play Is The Work of the Child” Maria Montessori

Research shows that 75% of brain development occurs after birth, most of it in the early preschool years.

Early experiences and relationships are vital as they stimulate and influence the development of your child's brain. These experiences influence the development of motor skills, language, socialisation, emotional well-being, creativity, problem-solving and learning ability.

To be positive the activities available to the child must meet the developmental needs of the child. If the activity is too hard or if it is too easy the child becomes either bored or frustrated.

It's important to regularly review your child's toys and activities to see that they are still appropriate, do they still provide enough challenge? If they don't then and they’re too easy, remove them.

Likewise, at times like birthdays and Christmas children often get lots of toys some of which will be too difficult. Put the too difficult ones away and use them later to replace those that have been outgrown.

If you take your lead from the child, especially with things they are desperate to 'help' with or to do by themselves you will see where they (and you) need to go.

Clothing is a good example. You can select some pieces of clothing which are easy to get on and off and put them in a practise basket so the child can choose to practise putting them on and off as often as they wish.

Giving your child a low stool to sit on when putting on clothing, slippers, shoes and such like makes it much more likely the child will be successful. 

Washing dishes may be a chore to we adults, to the young child, it is a deeply satisfying achievement. If a child is given the choice between pretend play and real tasks, real wins every time.

Find as many opportunities as you can for your child to participate in the real everyday activities of the family, if you can do this you'll all be much happier.  Things like: helping unpack or stack the dishwasher, sorting cutlery into the drawer, helping hang out the washing (on their own lower line) pairing socks, folding facewashers, wiping their own little table or chair, getting ingredients from the cupboard or fridge, and dozens more.

Also, by looking objectively at the toys your child uses and the ones they don't, and which activities they most enjoy and which they don't even when encouraged, you can begin to understand which are the elements of each. This valuable knowledge will help you to plan positive, meaningful activities and life will be more fun for everyone!

Enjoy these wonderful early years where each day the miracle of developing life unfolds before you. 

Your child is hard at work every day, working to construct the adult they will become.

Holidays - your golden opportunity to evaluate family life

If you dread school holidays, thinking there will be more pain than pleasure, then it's time to have a long hard look at your family life.

If things in your family are not as you'd like them to be, what's going wrong?

If you could transform your family dynamics into what you'd like them to be, what would they look like?

It's likely you know how you'd like your family to function but not why it doesn't, or how to change it.

If you are ready to make some changes I would love to guide and support you through a process of evaluation. 

Neutral eyes see more clearly.

Together we can work through the available options and choose the path that's right for your family.  

Contact me for a free chat about what you'd like to change and I'll explain the ways I can help you to reach more of your parenting goals. 

A beginners guide to a gentle, more holistic approach to child rearing

The choices we make for our young children lay the foundation for all that is to follow. Such choices deserve our deepest consideration.

Like any good foundation the foundation on which you base your parenting should be strong and supported by good, credible information.

Guiding principles, agreed by both parents which underpin daily decisions, provide security through consistency.

There is a maze of parenting information to be navigated and lots of people offer any number of quick fixes.

Instead of quick fixes I advocate a thoughtful, practical approach to parenting inspired by the philosophy of Maria Montessori. 

Montessori parenting seeks to take a gentle, respectful, holistic approach based on understanding the developmental needs of the child.

As well as a unifying theory having a Montessori-inspired approach is wonderfully practical, it builds resilience and when the principles are followed, results in greater harmony for parents and children alike.

Understanding your child's ever-changing needs and creating a home which supports parents and children alike is a constant work-in-progress. 

A set of guiding principles act as a compass to guide you on your journey.