We all know that children like to test rules. This is a normal part of a child’s process of growing up. So here are some Montessori recommendations to help your child on their way to becoming a responsible adult.
At this young age children are like sponges, who want to learn and to understand their world around them, including emotions and feelings. By testing the limits, they come to understand that we, adults, really care about certain rules in our relationships, while the adults are starting to understand that they cannot control the child completely. Children are taking their first steps toward independence.
- Behave the way you want your child to behave (tone, body language, words). Be calm.
- State your expectations clearly and explain why they are so important for your child.
- Share your expectations with other family members and with anyone who cares for your child.
- Clearly explain the purpose of correct behaviour.
- Encourage the child’s own motivation and self-discipline.
- Do not try to buy / reward the child with food, items or money.
- Would my child do what I asked him to do without my promising him to …
- Set appropriate household chores.
- Establish a routine (e.g. free time, dinner, reading, sleep).
- Allow your child to be responsible for his or her bedroom.
- Help your child understand why a certain behaviour is not correct and take the time to discuss instead of giving a hasty answer.
- Avoid saying ‘It is because I say it is’, or ‘How many times have I told you’. Instead try ‘This is what I want from you’, or ‘I wish that …’ Be firm.
- Do not be personally offended by what your child does.
- Be careful and learn from your mistakes; don’t be afraid to apologise for overreacting.
- Focus on what is working well and try again the next day.
- Remember that helping a child to be self-disciplined is a journey: don’t expect to see changes or a sudden miracle; it takes time and consistency. This journey is all the more enjoyable when teachers and parents work together. These are long term goals.
- Our goal is to have a holistic approach that allows the child:
- To live in harmony with those around them.
- To be happy, sociable and full of life.
- To love to work.
- To be able to concentrate.
- To be able to grow up and become an independent child.