I am so excited to talk to you guys about shifting into a Montessori mindset today!
We are going to focus on 2 main ways to get the ball rolling with this. And I KNOW you are going to have some HUGE takeaways from this.
During this session of Montessori Mondays with Holly, we talked about shifting into a Montessori mindset. Watch the show above and click here to join the Facebook group.
I don’t want to leave any details out so I’ve decided to do this in 2 parts. This week we will focus on how to change the way we think about our unique child and next week we will focus on what it means to fully love your child unconditionally.
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Let’s first acknowledge that Montessori is not the easy way out. Montessori is not an easy way to parent our children. We as parents are making a conscious decision to do better for our children. Do better than what we had as children and do better for the world we leave them.
Montessori takes some work on our part and I want to applaud every single one of you here today. You have made a positive change in your parenting to bring Montessori into your home. Your child and you will be better off for it!
The first is that every child is unique.
If you have been practicing Montessori for a while then you have likely heard this term used before and for good reason, it is at the very core of the Montessori education system. It can be so hard for us parents to step away from judgment when it comes to comparing our children to others. And that is just not fair to anyone.
Each child is on their own unique path comparable to no one else’s. What this means is that we can not form or mold our children. Would you say this is something you have been doing? Trying to form or mold your child?
You might be thinking, “No I would never do that!” But let’s dig a bit deeper.
What does this mean we can not form or mold our children?
Well, think about the things you envision for your child’s future. Do you have dreams of your child becoming a professional athlete? Or maybe becoming a successful lawyer? Or maybe your dreams are that they get good grades in high school and stay away from the bad crowd?
Whatever those visions are, they all have one thing in common.
They are YOUR visions, not your child’s.
One thing I can think of with my own experience as a mom is that when I had a daughter I made it my mission to not make any impression on her, or as little as possible, as far as gender stereotypes go. I dislike that commercialism pushes pink for girls and blue for boys. I purposely bought non-pink items all the time.
Once my child got to the age of 2ish she started leaning toward being a very girly girl. I resisted with all my might. I bought her dinosaurs, blue shirts not pink, and even got her a toolset. But no matter what I got her she was not interested.
It was then that I took a step back and realized I was not following my unique child. I was pushing my agenda on her. I wanted her to be free from gender stereotypes but she had so clearly chosen what she was interested in I just wasn’t listening. Now I fully embrace the girly girl side of my daughter, I let her paint her nails, wear jewelry and dresses and she loves it!
It’s exactly what she wants, it suits her personal interests, and personality, how dare I take that from her.
It is so important to remember that what we want for our children and what they want for themselves are probably going to be two different things.
And now that you know this, you are consciously thinking about it, it is now your job to stop forming and molding your child and start following their lead! And how do we do that?
If your vision is for your child to become a successful lawyer you may subconsciously be pushing them to succeed in other areas in life. Later on, when our children are in grade school this might come down to a certain GPA or college acceptance but for this young age in toddlerhood, it will look different.
Perhaps it’s in the way you reward your child for successes like finishing a puzzle. Let’s say your child does not show any interest in puzzles but you feel smart kids do puzzles so you really want your child to start doing puzzles. So you start to praise her anytime she even looks at the puzzle in hopes that she will start to become interested.
From there as she begins to realize she can get positive attention from doing this puzzle she will start to do the puzzle not for her own satisfaction but for your yours. And this is a very slippery slope.
Essentially you are teaching your child that it is more important to do things to make others happy rather than what makes themselves happy.
This can work the same way with negative attention. Children will form or mold to the way that best suits everyone else because they are in this absorbent mind.
If they like playing their musical instruments but you are constantly telling them it’s too loud and “not right now” etc they will start to move away from their own desire for music because of the reaction you are giving them.
These types of things will form and mold your child and as I’ve said earlier since these are the more absorbent years of your child’s life they are really downloading everything and keeping it with them forever.
Meaning that now they are more interested in pleasing others to suit the situation rather than their own needs. Which is 100% NOT supporting the unique child.
So I know I went a bit deep there today. But, I want to show you how even though you may not think you are forming and molding your child into the vision you have for them, you may indeed be doing it subconsciously.
Now it is your job to notice when these thoughts come across your mind and ask yourself is this something my child wants or is it what I want? Do you think you can try to make a more conscious effort by noticing some of the ways you are trying to mold your child?
I hope you will try because it will be a relief for your child to start doing what interests them and not others. You will start to become a part of a bigger movement, the Montessori movement.
As Maria Montessori said: “Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
How do you plan to shift your current mindset to a Montessori mindset? Let me know in the comments!
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