DVMS Toddler Community Weekly Update: Oct. 26, 2015

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Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Mini Montessori parent event last Wednesday and our Parent Dinner on Saturday. We all thoroughly enjoyed both events. It is always wonderful to see you all outside of drop off and pick up time.
As you can see from the pictures this week, interest continues with our food preparation activities. The children are especially enjoying peeling, slicing, and sharing boiled eggs. On a particularly beautiful day we had our first picnic outside. The children loved this and asked for it for all lunches after. We have had several visits from deer and the children now say, when we are outside, “let’s go hunt the deers!”
We celebrated another birthday on Friday and the birthday girl’s family donated a board book to our Toddler Community library. Should you feel so inclined when your child’s birthday comes up we would very much appreciate the gift. Our Toddler library is small and we would love to expand it with great books that your family loves.
I have added several videos to our Toddler Community video folder. There is an especially nice one of our snacktime together.
Finally, one of our parents asked for some advice regarding discipline. As our children start to exert their growing wills, helping them develop discipline becomes an important parental role. Below please find some information regarding discipline from the Montessori perspective and three great book suggestions. Should you need support as you work with your child please feel free to talk to us. Also, if you have other parenting questions we can address in our Weekly Updates please email them to us and we will respond as best we are able.

The Development of Inner Discipline

“What kind of discipline is used in a Montessori classroom to make the children do their work?” This is a common question that parents and other educators have when investigating Montessori pedagogy. First it is important to understand that Montessori’s end goal with regards to discipline is that the children are self disciplined – that they follow an inner commander and regulate their own conduct. This development takes time and only comes about through careful preparations and guidance from the adults around the children.

Children need boundaries and guidelines about appropriate behaviour. Remember that they are in the process of creating themselves in accordance to what they are receiving from the world around them. To understand their world there must be order and rules. The most important tool for any adult working with a child is to ensure that the boundaries you make for your child are consistent and you are able to uphold them. All rules, if broken, should have natural consequences that are directly related to the rule.

We encourage the use of natural consequences rather than rewards and punishments. Montessori opposes these outside initiatives as they directly work against a child’s inner discipline and do much more harm than good. 

If you are working on your home boundaries please feel free to discuss them with us if you need guidance.

Three great books regarding parenting and discipline in particular:

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – by Alphie Kohn

Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children – by Dr. Thomas Gordon

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way – by Tim Seldin (in my opinion the best book for parents re: Montessori at home)

“Let us always remember that inner discipline is something to come, and not something already present. Our task is to show the way to discipline” (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind).

All the best this week,
K, K and L

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