5 Helpful phrases parents can learn from Montessori teachers

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More than a method of education, the Montessori philosophy can provide parenting wisdom as well. Here are some phrases parents can borrow from Montessori teachers

The Montessori method of education is hinged upon the values of independence, hands-on learning, and creative, collaborative play. The Montessori classroom is immersive, an environment that allows children to discover, explore, and reach their full potential through a series of guided, age-appropriate activities.

But the Montessori philosophy can go beyond the classroom and even help parents in positive ways.

Here are some helpful phrases parents can borrow from Montessori teachers.

1. "It's good that you were working hard on this task."

Praising the effort and not just the results helps build your child's confidence. A key concept Montessori teachers follow is commending the process. For instance, tell your child how good it is that he took initiative to put his toys away and organizing them in his own way. You can also compliment their efforts in writing or drawing, instead of focusing on how beautiful the product is.

2. "What do you think/how do you feel about this?"

Foster independence by encouraging kids to voice out their thoughts and feelings. Not only does this build critical thinking, it hones their skills of communication and boosts their sense of self. Seipsum Facit Persona, or Man Makes Himself, is one of the tenets Montessori teachers instill in children.

3. "How can I help you achieve this task?"

Though kids in Montessori schools are taught independence and are giving responsibilities, they are also encouraged to reach out for help when a task gets too overwhelming.

By asking how you can help, you are still allowing a child to think independently and to learn how to collaborate with others.

photo: dreamstime

4. "In our home, we...."

A way to establish rules and good behavior is to follow the Montessori teacher's way of establishing them. A Montessori teacher would usually precede a desired attitude with "In our classroom, we..." For instance "...say please and thank you" or "...show respect to our classmates."

In this way, you not only help kids recall rules, you also allow them a sense of belongingness and community, which is an important need at their age.

5. "I know you're concentrating, so I won't disturb you."

Allowing children to work without interruption is an important part of the Montessori method. Much importance is placed on developing the ability to concentrate deeply. Instead of interfering with a child drawing or playing make-believe, you can try observing them, taking note of things you would like to compliment them on after the activity.

Lastly, "following the child" is an important concept Montessori teachers adopt. They are respectful of each child's learning pace and timeline. They value the uniqueness of each child. Parents can learn much from teachers, regardless of what educational method or philosophy they use. What matters is that parents and teachers collaborate and learn from one another to make sure the child grows up into a well-adjusted and compassionate adult.

sources: Motherly, Montessori Northwest

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