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Raising children with Montessori principles can be an incredibly rewarding journey, but it's not always easy to get your partner and extended family on the same page.
If you've been eager to embrace Montessori education and parenting methods for your child, but you're facing some resistance from those around you, fear not!
In this blog post, we'll explore some friendly and effective ways to help your partner and family understand and embrace Montessori principles.
Start by having open and honest conversations with your partner and family members. Explain what Montessori principles are, why you're interested in them, and the potential benefits for your child's development.
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Share articles, books, and videos about Montessori education and parenting with your loved ones. The more they understand the philosophy and its positive impact, the more likely they'll be to support your choices. Take into account how your partner likes to learn. A quick Youtube video might be more interesting than asking him to read "The absorbent Mind" by Maria Montessori! My favourite book for beginner is "How to raise an amazing child" by Tim Seldin. It is written for parents and full of easy tips.
If possible, arrange a visit to a local Montessori school. Seeing the principles in action can be a powerful way to convince others of their effectiveness. Even if sending your child to a Montessori school is not an option, your relatives might see why it's so different and so beneficial by seeing the children in action.
Explain how Montessori principles can make daily life easier. For instance, having an organized, child-friendly space allows children to be more self-sufficient, reducing the workload on parents.
Emphasize how Montessori promotes a sense of responsibility, as children are actively involved in caring for their environment and themselves. Point out how these qualities can benefit not only your child but the entire family.
Incorporating Montessori at Home:
Start making small changes in your home to align with Montessori principles. Arrange your child's room with accessible toys and materials, and declutter common spaces to encourage exploration and independence. I also found that applying those principles helped me to be more orderly and organised which was seen as a huge benefit by my husband!
Involve Your Partner:
Make collaborative decisions regarding Montessori principles as a team. Engage in discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of specific approaches and materials together. When I work with parents, I encourage them to reflect on their own childhood experiences. One activity is to jot down what aspects you enjoyed from your upbringing and what you found lacking or disagreeable. Often, upon revisiting our upbringing, we come to appreciate how Montessori principles can address the deficits we may have encountered.
For instance, if you recall wanting to pursue your own interests, but your parents had different plans and pushed you toward a subject or activity you didn't enjoy, Montessori's emphasis on individual interests and self-directed learning can be incredibly beneficial for your children. Similarly, if you found yourself lacking essential life skills like cooking, sewing, or budgeting once you left home, implementing Montessori principles, especially those related to practical life skills, can empower your children to become more self-sufficient than you were.
When you introduce the Montessori method to your parents or family-in-law, begin the conversation with a sense of gratitude. Express your appreciation for their involvement in raising your children and for the support you received during your own childhood, even if they didn't follow Montessori principles like you do. Depending on your closeness to them, you can initiate the conversation with something along these lines: "I'm thankful for your presence in our children's lives, and I'm also grateful for the support and upbringing I received from you. However, we now have access to a wealth of knowledge about child development that allows us to consider new approaches to parenting. Would you be open to exploring this journey with us?"
Offer Hands-On Experiences:
Encourage your partner to take an active role in setting up the Montessori environment. Explain how it can make parenting easier and more enjoyable.
Arrange opportunities for your partner and family to participate in Montessori activities with your child. Let them see firsthand the joy and independence it can bring to your child's life.
Suggest activities like gardening, cooking, or simple DIY projects that align with Montessori principles and can be enjoyed together.
Demonstrate the Approach: Show your partner and family how you engage with your child using Montessori techniques. For example, involve them in activities like setting up a snack station that your child can access independently.
Listen Actively: Be receptive to your partner and family's concerns or doubts. Listen to their perspective and acknowledge their feelings.
Acknowledge common misconceptions about Montessori, such as the belief that it's overly rigid or that children won't learn traditional academic subjects. Clarify these misconceptions with evidence and real-life examples.
Share success stories of other families who have embraced Montessori principles and the positive changes they've seen in their children.
Be Patient: Understand that change takes time. Encourage your loved ones to take small steps and gradually incorporate Montessori principles into their interactions with your child.
In conclusion, raising children with Montessori principles is a wonderful way to foster independence, curiosity, and a love of learning in your child. By using open communication, sharing resources, and involving your partner and family in the process, you can help them understand the benefits of Montessori education and parenting. Remember, the journey to Montessori parenting is a shared one, and with patience and empathy, you can get your partner and family on board for this exciting adventure in child-rearing.
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