With the New Year brings the promise of new things. Resolutions are made and we’re off and running into 2020. I would like to propose an addendum to the resolutions list: a plan to simply do better, specifically in this case, to do better by our children. I recently attended a seminar on parenting and was reminded of a quote from Maria Montessori:
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
Sit with that for a moment. Where do the children learn this hope for salvation? In our methodology we strive to bring forth the best in human existence. This is a big responsibility for us as teachers and parents, as we practice and teach civility and compassion and kindness (and the list goes on) to our children most of our waking moments.
In our Montessori approach to human development we work with respect knowing what we do and how we treat each other helps create a child’s innate goodness. With all the beautiful materials in the classroom, socialization is the number one lesson. This begins with a goal and a mindset. The goal is to help create a “good” human. The mindset is up to us. Let’s start with the easiest of the two, the goal.
The proposal is to make a list of the characteristics you want to develop in your child. It is up to you how many and what characteristics. Here are a few virtues to get you started: peace, responsibility, contentment, compassion, self-control, kindness, orderliness, uniqueness, gratitude, honesty, sincerity, courtesy, hope, conviction, forgiveness, love, patience, respect, individuality, determination, etc.
Now, when we approach a difficult situation, we keep in mind the list and determine if what we are doing in that moment helps us attain the characteristics we want to develop in our children. Hang the list on the wall and keep it in mind so we may check in from time to time. Share it with your children so they may help you with your goal.
It takes a village. Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs we will ever do, but it is also the most rewarding. It makes us better. Instead of giving a ‘time out’ to your child, give it to yourself. Take the time to remember what it is we want to develop in our children; go to the list. This takes stepping back and allowing the rocky waves to smooth out so the ship can sail again to calmer shores. Remember, it is not what we say but what we do that children see most.
One more thing, we are here to help. If you have questions on how to approach different situations, ask us. We will help or find you help. We want nothing more than to help your children. Have a Happy New Year and revel in all that your children bring to life, including the difficult situations, and let’s create conditions for them to become the best humans they can be in this world.