The truth is that doing this is very difficult. It necessitates the suspension of judgment, the quieting of any urge to intervene, and the cultivation of a detached, scientific perspective. Only through such observation can we uncover the child’s innermost expressions, discern their genuine needs and interests, and then provide an environment that aligns with their development.
Too often, adults approach interactions with children convinced they possess all the answers, guided by preconceived notions and hearsay. To establish a fruitful relationship with our children, we must abandon this mindset and adopt a more genuine perspective: we do not shape the child; rather, the child, driven by his own efforts and interests, constructs himself.
As explained by Maria Montessori, every child possesses an inner teacher, directing them toward activities and experiences that foster growth. We do not teach the child to walk, talk, or think; the child, step by step, builds his own mind and abilities.
Therefore, we are not builders but assistants in this profound process—providing a strong yet unobtrusive support, responsible for furnishing the child with a suitable, secure, and stimulating environment along with opportunities for exploration. The essential work that adults must undertake begins with humility—a release of the desire to shape and the preconceptions that urge us to constantly intervene, potentially obstructing the child’s development irreparably.