5 parenting classes I discovered as a Montessori instructor
Teaching the little ones was a great honor and (mostly) so much fun.
I am so happy to have had the experience of being in the classroom before I have children of my own. Not only have I learned so much about children and how to interact with them, but I’ve also gained valuable insights into the kind of parents I want to be.
I’ve worked mostly with 3 to 6 year olds and occasionally with toddlers so – as a mother of a baby – I won’t have to use most of these ideas for a while. And if I do that, I can fail at all of them. These are just a few things I hope to keep in mind as my little guy grows based on what I saw working (and not working) in parent-child interaction while teaching.
1. Avoid labeling: “boring” or “shy” or “picky”
I want my little guy to learn as many words as possible in the next few years … But there are a few words like “shy” and “picky” and “boring” that I’m in no rush to learn .
Of course, children will learn these words on their own at some point, but why speed up the process? Why teach a child to be “bored” when nothing is going on? I promise you that if they tell you 1,000 times in an hour that they are bored, you will regret it.
If the ship has already sailed, try “Oh, are you bored? Boredom means there is nothing to do. I have something you can help me with. ”Keep them involved in folding laundry, sweeping the floor, whatever else to do … you’ll quickly learn not to tell you anymore they get bored and start to think of something that is fun.
Similarly, why should a child be taught to be “shy”? Feeling shy is perfectly fine, but labeling someone shy is another matter. It becomes part of their identity.
I think it’s important to help young children understand and name their feelings, but if little Johnny is hiding behind your leg, instead of saying, “Sorry, Johnny is shy, he wants to be with me stay ”, say“ Johnny it seems ”like you hesitate to go in today. I see your friend Bobby over there. “
The same goes for picky eaters – sure, some kids are picky eaters, but when they hear you call them “picky” it becomes part of their self and is much less likely to try new things.
2. No job interview because of pain
Children are empathetic. Children want your attention. They’ll quickly find out what gets the most attention from you and do more of it.
If you ask your child about their day and then focus on the one negative thing they mentioned and question them about it for the next half hour and comfort them (even if they weren’t upset about it at first …) they will learn quickly to address more negative things. Whether or not something bad happened. A little disagreement they had with a friend turns into a major drama in which they were the victim. This does not mean that your child will lie, but that the way they see what happened will change.
How you see the world affects how you see the world. Parents do this because they want to make sure that their children are safe and that they are being looked after. Of course, it is up to parents to be their child’s advocate and protector. But if you have a big reaction every time your child mentions something “bad,” they’ll likely focus on those interactions and get even more upset about them.
3. Don’t greet with criticism
Imagine this: little 3 year old Sally spent 20 minutes putting on her own shoes. She sat and concentrated and did it herself, even though it was so hard.
Mom comes to pick her up from school: “Oh, your shoes are on the wrong feet. Let’s fix it before we get in the car. ”Mom does it for little Sally because it’s faster. Message: You got it wrong and I don’t think you will be able to do this on your own.
If you are concerned that your child may be uncomfortable, you could say, “Are your shoes comfortable?” If they say yes, just leave them alone and maybe make a mental note to show them a trick to remember later which shoe fits which foot. Or not. You will find out at some point.
4. Leave it on the door
Imagine this scenario: a little girl with pigtails walks into school with a smile on her face and a lunch box in her hand.
Mom: “Poor little Jane had a terrible morning. She slept terribly, cried for putting on her shoes, and fell and scratched her knee on the way to the car. Good luck with her today. “
The little girl is no longer smiling. Clear…
Children usually move on quickly. While all of the events of a rough morning were likely still floating around in your head, the child has likely moved on. Even if she didn’t, why not give her a fresh start when she gets to school (or a friend’s home or wherever you go).
This could also be expanded to say that you should avoid talking about your child like they’re not there – they’re always listening.
If there is anything that you want to share with a teacher or any other adult that is happening to your child, leave a note! In this way the relevant information is passed on and the child does not hear the reminder that they are probably in a bad mood and that it can be painful to be here today. Yikes
5. Avoid saying “no”
It doesn’t sound like this: This does NOT mean that you let your child do what they want. It’s just that children – especially toddlers and very young children – are sensitive to being told “no” all the time.
There are ways to rephrase what has been said so as not to say no directly and trigger a power struggle. Examples:
Child: “Can I have a piece of candy?”
Parent: “Yes, tonight, after we have had dinner.” (Or: “Mmm, I like candy too, I wish we could eat them every day! Candy are a special treat. We’ll be on in a couple of weeks Halloween have some. “)
Child in the store: “Can I have this toy? And this toy? And this toy? “
Parent: “Ohh, that looks like a funny one! I’ll take a picture of it so I can remember when it’s your birthday. ”(Or write a note – kids love to see you write notes, it shows them that what they say is important to you .)
Child: “Can I go play outside?”
Parent: “Yes. As soon as we have cleaned up your room, you can play outside. “
Even though he’s only 8 months old, I try to practice this type of speaking with James because I think a big part of it is habit. When he tries to roll away while I change his diaper, I say, “You can roll over as soon as we’re done with your diaper.” It may not make a difference to him yet, but I think it helps me remember to practice that skill. I try to save “no” or “stop” for unsafe things so that the words have more impact.
I want to make it clear, I know that right now it’s about 1,000 times harder to be the parent you want to be than to think about it abstractly. But with goals and good intentions, I really believe these guidelines will be a good place to start.