Who has ever witnessed murder? Who has ever been standing next to killed person? If you or your parents are not from police, most probably you haven’t.
Most of the people didn’t, only very very less people need to have this experience in their life and make themselves appear in such situations in which someone is loosing their life. But when we switch on TV we are witnessing more than just one murder per day.
It’s just a TV, isn’t it, you tell to yourself, but your brain doesn’t know it. Brain can not decide what is real experience and what the story from TV. Whatever you see becomes the physical reality. Whether you are crying, laughing, or you are scared it becomes reality for you. Your feelings make it real. And this brings lot of stress into your life.
You didn’t decide before coming to Earth that you need this experience in your life, you did not create this experience and still you are putting yourself through these experiences every day when watching TV. Your brain becomes confused. Things have no logic which causes disorder – the main reason for stress.
On other side the order is the base for everything good and right. Order in the universe is the foundation for all. The infant’s exploration of the real world through his senses brings him the world of abstract thought. Mental order has to be developed to achieve organizing skills and communicate thoughts in language. And therefore the first and most important assistance we can give to our child is the order within our own lives. Order, so important in the education of Maria Montessori.
Let’s switch off the TV for now and let’s bring the order to our lives, because only when we are living orderly life we can offer the same safe place for our children because only then such actions are natural to us.
It’s 10 pm and my full powered 2 year old is still jumping between the pillows. I just can’t stand it anymore and blast, almost like every day. I feel bad, I say ‘sorry’, I caress him…and I do it again next day – just like some magic circle that I can’t step out of.
It’s 10 pm and my full powered 2 year old is still jumping between the pillows. I just can’t stand it anymore and I almost blast…but I suddenly remember to breath. I am working on being mindful parent.
Getting through the day with your little one can become challenging and lot of times difficult task. Never ending questions, needs, cleaning and after you think you are done, just doing it all over again… Being mother should be bliss and joy, isn’t it? Don’t we feel guilty thinking the opposite? Being mother is the most difficult job in the world and we have right to think whatever we want, without anyone judging us. Being mother is hell of work and stress.
I believe children are sent to us for a purpose. It’s not only them who are coming to learn something from us, but we as mothers are getting the opportunity to work on ourselves. Children are our shadows, children are our mirrors. Only through them we see who we really are and we can change our lives to better and happier ones.
Many adults go through their day not mentally or emotionally present as they interact with their children. “The smile is there on my face but I don’t know why I smile…” Thinking about all the chores, work or anything else makes us dull, takes the life out of our soul and then it is easy for the brain to get stuck feeling stressed. And yes, stress doesn’t help us to be the best parent we can be.
We have a chance to work on ourselves, to improve the quality of our lives. The simple answer is mindfulness – which gives us the power to stop any type of stress response, which gives us the strength to fight our worst shadows.
“Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.”
There is only one thing to remember: “I want to be conscious and aware of how I am parenting.” Calm parent equals calm child. Stressed parent equals lots of tantrums.
Once you catch yourself becoming angry, STOP and TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Do not do anything, do not say anything. Just breath and be. The more you calm yourself down the more you will come to state of mindfulness and the more you will be able to stay present and mentally and emotionally calm. Controlled breathing through nose prevents our brain from keeping us in state of stress, leaving us mentally present, logical, creative and kind. Only when we take time to pause,we can follow the child.
“Follow the child, they will show you what they need to do, what they need to develop in themselves and what area they need to be challenged in. The aim of the children who persevere in their work with an object is certainly not to “learn”; they are drawn to it by the needs of their inner life, which must be recognized and developed by its means.” – Maria Montessori
To be as mindful with children as one could possibly be helps to enjoy the time spent with children. Take a deep breath and seek to be mindful observer of your child, stay present and then only you will treasure the time you give to your family.
Few days ago I got into conversation about Montessori toys…As I think about it deeper, the term ‘Montessori’ became just fashion and label for all educational and cool stuff out there but Maria Montessori’s philosophy and her material is about something else.
What is Montessori material?
Montessori material was designed by Maria Montessori herself. As she first worked with mentally handicapped children the apparatus was primarily made for their use. Some of materials were taken from Itard and Sequin and adjusted by Montessori according to the needs of the children in her House of Children. When she made her own apparatus for the normal children she had let the children work with them and she observed the frequency of use and the advantages derived from them. Through the trial and error method she modified her apparatus that allows to detect the defects at an early stage and correct them. For example the sound boxes can detect deafness and the color boxes can detect color blindness.
Maria Montessori is not talking about the toys. According to her, child in process of play works and that’s why she is talking about materials. Materials which have to be presented to child in such a beautiful and organized way that it feels like getting the gift. Only beautiful things attract our senses, allow the brain to work and create millions of new neural connections.
Characteristics of Montessori material:
* Natural materials
* Beautiful – all of the material is aesthetically pleasing.
* Neat and clean
* Complete – all of the material must be complete. This allows the child to finish through the entire piece of work without having to stop and find a missing piece.
* It has control of error – this calls to the child to make the corrections himself.
* Each material isolates one quality – this allows the child to focus on that one quality.
* Limited -there is only one of each material in the environment (building of patience in other children present) and only few qualities are presented to the child. The child is not given every color in the world, but only a selected few. This gives the child the key to the information so it peaks his curiosity.
“The technique of my method as it follows the guidance of the natural physiological and psychical development of the child, may be divided into three parts:
Motor education. Sensory education. Language.
The care and management of the environment itself afford the principal means of motor education, while sensory education and the education of language are provided for by my didactic material.” M.Montessori
Montessori categorized the Sensory Exercises into eight different groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic. The material she developed has either never been seen or never been used by the child in his everyday life. With this said however, the child will receive no new experiences through the use of the material. This was purposefully thought through in order to give the child what he knows, but might not yet realize, and to then refine his knowledge. In order to do this, the material is presented in a specific way or in a specific pattern.
“The didactic material for the education of the senses consists of:
(a) Three sets of solid insets.
(b) Three sets of solids in graduated sizes, comprising: (1) Pink cubes. (2)
Brown prisms. (3) Rods: (a) colored green; (b) colored alternately red and blue.
(c) Various geometric solids (prism, pyramid, sphere, cylinder, cone, etc.).
(d) Rectangular tablets with rough and smooth surfaces.
(e) A collection of various stuffs.
(f) Small wooden tablets of different weights.
(g) Two boxes, each containing sixty-four colored tablets.
(h) A chest of drawers containing plane insets.
(i) Three series of cards on which are pasted geometrical forms in paper.
(k) A collection of cylindrical closed boxes (sounds).
(l) A double series of musical bells, wooden boards on which are painted the lines used in music, small wooden discs for the notes.
Didactic Material for the Preparation for Writing and Arithmetic:
(m) Two sloping desks and various iron insets.
(n) Cards on which are pasted sandpaper letters.
(o) Two alphabets of colored cardboard and of different sizes.
(p) A series of cards on which are pasted sandpaper figures (1, 2, 3, etc.).
(q) A series of large cards bearing the same figures in smooth paper for the enumeration
of numbers above ten.
(r) Two boxes with small sticks for counting.
(s) The volume of drawings belonging specially to the method, and colored pencils.
(t) The frames for lacing, buttoning, etc., which are used for the education of the movements of the hand.
(u) Beads material.
(v) Binomial cube. ” M.Montessori
Most importantly, all of the material could be called “materialized abstractions”.This means that in Montessori materials, abstract concepts are made into concrete materials.
If above written is Montessori material then remaining toys can be called Montessori inspired or educational materials.