Guide to Being a Montessori Parent
Most parents understand basic Montessori philosophy but may be unsure how to implement those ideas into their own household. Fortunately, Montessori parenting is easy to incorporate and practice regularly.
1. Respect Your Child
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” So said Maria Montessori. Just as we are taught to respect the elderly or our superiors, we should respect everyone else around us—children included. When children feel seen, heard, loved, and listened to, they will also learn how to be respectful.
For instance, if your child is asking for you while you are busy doing something, tell them to wait a moment and that you will be with them soon. Once you finish up your chore, be sure to give them that time you promised. Say, “Thank you for being patient. Now, how can I help?” This shows that you respect their time and their needs.
2. Talk to Them Like an Adult
Encourage language development in your child by speaking with them as you would speak with any adult. Feed your child’s mind. Don’t be afraid to use descriptive language about objects or when you are answering a question. If a child doesn’t know what something means, they will ask. Over time, they will learn more vocabulary and will be able to express themselves more readily.
3. Make a Learning Environment
As you may already know, a Montessori School has a carefully crafted environment in which children can use provided materials and develop their own interests and skills. To have such a result, the classroom must be clean, peaceful, and organized. Students can then concentrate rather than looking for a particular item.
Montessori parenting will require you to do the same thing—making a prepared environment. While it may not be to the exact degree of a school, you can set up your home to give them a sense of orderliness and peacefulness. For example, you might set up a section of the kitchen for your child to prepare their own meals or snacks. You could install hooks on doors at their height so they can hang their own coats.
4. Observe and Guide
Maria Montessori once said, “Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”
Montessori parents are guides, just as Montessori teachers are. You do things with intention around your child, modeling ideal behavior as you go. Also, observe. Watch them play, how they talk, what they choose to eat, and so on. Look for what interests your child, what calms or motivates or excites. Allow them to be independent and to have all the time required needed to explore the world of their own volition. If you feel the need to, you can intervene and guide them towards safety.
Whether your children are attending a Montessori school or you are looking to incorporate some principles into your home, there are ways to walk the Montessori journey alongside your child. The end result will be a more connected relationship in which both of you flourish. You can start implementing ways to be a Montessori parent today.
Interested in finding a “Montessori school near me” but don’t know where to begin? Why not contact us at Fishtown Montessori? Our team will happily answer any questions you have about Montessori schools in Philadelphia, Montessori philosophy, school programming, and much more. Give us a call at 215-821-1455 or fill out the contact form.