WATCHING TV HAS NO LOGIC…

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.

TIPS ON HOW TO FOLLOW UP THE SENSITIVE PERIODS OF YOUR CHILD.

You must have observed that your child gets very much involved in whatever he does. He is literally possessed by doing same thing again and again and then you proudly tell everyone how your son is going to be pianist, famous painter, architect… And here we go,after 1 month you already forgot he was that awesome artist to be and he will for sure be cook now.. Oh yes, he is going to be very famous chef. 

Everyone around us think how caring son we have. He gives food to people, he gives money to people, he gives everything to everyone. So generous 16 month old toddler 😛

But no, this is Sensitive Period for giving. He loves the process of giving – grabbing – stretching the arm – reaching and contacting the other person who gets happy. This process makes him satisfied and he will just give and give till this period is lasting. 

Dear mum, Montessori named these ‘what-I-love-today-activities’ as Sensitive Periods.
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What is Sensitive Period?
Sensitive Period is the block of time in child’s life. Child under the age of six goes through very specific periods of interest and becomes completely absorbed with some one particular activity or characteristic of the environment.
He just doesn’t bother about washing his hands even though yesterday he was complete freak for water based activities and in last one month you have surely seen more bathrooms in the world then in whole your life.
Sensitive periods have their meanings and it’s waste of time and energy to go against them and mold the child according to your convenience.
They disappear just as they arose. Once the Sensitive Period is over it will never come back in the same way. It can repeat again but with very less urge and interest as before. Child’s capacity was (or was not) filled up. He can still learn new skills but with much bigger difficulties. His brain doesn’t absorb the information, it has to learn and memorize it.
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What is the child experiencing?
Just a pure joy. He is driven by internal motivation to learn and develop. Nature is the one who takes care of that and child can not fight it. His energy and dedication are extraordinary but terminate just abruptly as they began.
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But I can’t hold him at the sink while washing the hands hundreds times a day…
Yes, often we can’t follow up with child. We either don’t have time, or can’t because of physical difficulties. But it’s easy. Just find some way how to allow him to do what his heart cries for. You can’t hold him? Put a small stool next to sink. You can’t cook with baby in one hand? Make your learning tower and keep it next to your work table. You can’t hold him while playing with switches? Find some lower positioned ones or make extensions with the switch in his height… It’s so easy we just have to find time to think about it.
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How to understand my child is going through Sensitive Period?
* child completely melts into activity he is doing
* he is repeating the task over and over without tiring because of his own will
* he is focused
* child possesses tremendous effort towards the task
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What extra to do as a mother to support the Sensitive Period?
All we have to do is to follow nature’s plan for the child’s self-formation. We can not determine at what age a particular challenge is best dealt with – such as toilet learning, for example. There are optimal moments for mastering each skill and we have to cooperate with the energies of childhood.
You can also introduce other activities that support the emergence of the skill.
Here are only few examples of the Sensitive Periods.

What NOT TO DO when my child is playing?

Imagine…

You just came to your new office. Full of excitement you are walking to your table. Wearing your favorite skirt and aaah those new shoes you were saving for this moment. You smile at every new colleague on the way. You feel so confident and so happy. All is new and you love new challenges. Then you move your chair and sit. Look all over your table and proudly turn on the computer…

“Wooooow, awesomeeeee!” You turn and people standing around you watching you so closely you can’t even breath are nodding their heads for you. “Oh, you must be the most clever woman living on this planet! Look at her! Isn’t she the most clever woman? Let’s clap for her. Yaaaayyyy”… You just don’t understand what has just happened. “Heeey, my friend didn’t see how awesomely you pressed that button..Come on, show her! Show, show!” You really don’t feel like to do it again so you are just looking at all these people till the woman behind you takes your hand and presses the button again and again so you can listen to another yaaaaayyyyy chores for few more minutes. Feeling all that overexcited attention you just lost your interest in new job…And so much excitement it was at the beginning…

Now let’s try it little bit differently.

Imagine…

You just came to your new grandmas’ house. Full of excitement you are walking to your new play corner. Wearing your favorite skirt and aaah those shoes you were saving for this moment. You smile at everyone around you. You feel so confident and so happy. Every day brings some new challenges and you love it. Since you heard your grandparents have new house with awesome corner for you, you find yourself imagining how you will play and what toys they must kept for you…You sit and look all over your space, take that awesome colorful pencil and start to draw…

“Wooooow, awesomeeeee!” You turn as you got distracted and people standing around you watching you so closely you can’t even breath are nodding their heads for you. “Oh, you must be the most clever girl living on this planet! Look at her! Isn’t she the most clever girl? Let’s clap for her. Yaaaayyyy”… You just don’t understand what has just happened. “Heeey, your daddy didn’t see how awesomely you draw..Come on, show him! Show, show! Don’t feel shy. Why are you shy?” You really don’t feel like to do it again so you are just looking at all these people till your grandma behind you takes your hand and draws some lines again and again so you can listen to another yaaaaayyyyy chores for few more minutes. Feeling all that overexcited attention you just lost your interest in new play space…And so much excitement it was at the beginning…

Do you feel comfortable in any of the situations? Then why kids should? There are millions of situation daily when we just kill the excitement and curiosity of our children. Incurious child = disaster. Not now, not tomorrow but later in his life. He will just not have the sparkle in his eye, no questions in his head, no answers to the difficulties that arise in front of him, he will not have opportunity to discover “light bulb” or “radio” as we-adults took that chance from him in his childhood. 

What NOT TO DO when my child is playing:

  • Never distract the child that is deep in play. His brain works 100% when in the state of flow. Play is work of your child. After new information is obtained he can move on to other activity. If we talk about distraction, we talk about both negative and positive one. Means, “wow you did it so well” is causing same disturbance as “oh god,let me show you”.
  • Do not choose the activity for child. Yes, you can offer him some options but let him choose what is best for him at that moment. Tomorrow it can be something completely different. These urges to some activities we call Sensitive Periods. It is important to follow his lead as he is master of his brain and he is being led by the strong power of nature. It’s nature because of which our kids are walking, running, talking, singing, memorizing…It’s not us-parents. Every child can master all the possible abilities because he has that predispositions but if they are not honored and developed in proper way he will just stay illiterate. Living with a wolves will make him like a wolf.
  • Do not interfere in your child’s play till he doesn’t ask for it. As adults we really don’t understand about the awesomeness of the world how our children can see it. Then why to show him how to do some things faster, easier, better if he doesn’t want it? Child is playing because of the pleasure he gets during the process of play. He is not rushing to get the result. He is not stepping on the escalator because he wants to reach second floor…He just loves the escalator. So do not come up with suggestions that will stop your child from exploring and being happy in the process of playing.
  • Do not force your child to finish any activity, if he doesn’t want means he is done. He absorbed whatever was possible and now he can move on.
  • Do not switch the TV or radio on. Do not add anything extra to the space where child is playing. His senses and brain are developing best while isolated. When visual play is going on do not add on auditory experiences. The brain will get disturbed and sight will not develop to its best.
  • Do not rush! We always have soooo much of work around the house, outside the house, everywhere…Do you feel that you give your child whole day’s time and he is still demanding more and more? Just stop yourself! Give your child and yourself one hour of a day where you are 200% his play mate. No cook, no charwoman, no wife, only mother. WHEN OUR CHILD WAS BORN WE BECAME MOTHERS NOT HOUSEWIVES! 
  • Do not check your mobile. That’s so disrespectful to your child. Imagine you are small baby and while you are having your daily dose of breast milk you mamma is browsing facebook behind your head…I must admit, I am still fighting with this one :/

What other DO NOTS would you suggest?

When to crown yourself ‘MONTESSORI MOTHER’?

“Hi, I am montessori mother!” … Sounds cool, isn’t it? But what does it really mean? When are you enough mature, enough clever, enough suitable, enough skilled, enough, enough, enough… to fit into the definition of the term ‘MONTESSORI MOTHER’? You really do not need to know all the dates from the history books, sizes of biggest sea mammals or the speed of the fastest animal. All this and more you can find in books and on internet… To be Montessori mother means to work on yourself, on your inner qualities and to let the old models of education vanish. Understanding the wisdom and capability of child is the most important.

Points to be met to win the title ‘MONTESSORI MOTHER’ are not so far away and are more easily obtainable than one could think. It is just so natural that once you break that wall which was built around you by the old system of school and parenting you will know everything and you won’t need any books or blogs to guide you.

  1. Never forget, your child is the genius. He was borne as genius and will remain like that if you let him. That is the real meaning of ‘parenting’. To let…Offer child safe space to discover the world. DO NOT SAY ‘NO’ INSTEAD SHOW HIM HOW TO DO IT RIGHT. Let him develop his own will and do not pass on him your fears and worries. Those are only yours.
  2. Be present. Nothing less nothing more. Let your child know you are there for him anytime he needs but do not interfere.
  3. Be passive at the moment of discovery. Let the child unfold the truth with his own intelligence. Only then he is learning. Stay active in the moment of true need.
  4. Be the positive model. Do only what you want to child to do. They are one big absorbent mind sucking all the information in like a sponge picking up the behaviors and qualities that an adult models for them. You set the foundation for living in social environment and it must be met with the respect for child’s well being.
  5. Slow down. Our everyday activities are very complex for the brain of small person who just came to our world and really doesn’t know anything. Show the process in slow motion divided into phases.
  6. Do not repair the mistakes of the child. For you it might look like mistake but for someone else not. Everyone has different way. And so does your child. If you feel it is mistake and you really need those shoes standing in one perfect line just put them there once the child do not see. Always remember it is the best he can do that time and by repairing his ‘mistakes’ he can loose interest to do it again..and child without interest equals adult.
  7. PRESENT the activity. Do not just SHOW. Think about it as giving a gift to child. Wrap it in nice colors, natural materials and offer on beautiful tray.
  8. Present the activity once or twice but with full concentration on how you do it. Slowly, steadily, easily.
  9. Do not talk abstractly about the things your child doesn’t know yet. How can he know that real drums have different color membrane than his small ones when he never saw it? Always follow the pattern REAL – ABSTRACT.
  10. Stay in the present. Do not run away into the past nor future. Be consistent and stable entity in child’s life.
  11. Simplify the environment of the child so his mind is not distracted.
  12. Study more about: Absorbent mind, Sensitive periods, Natural tendencies and Four planes of Development. We can not give what we don’t have. We can not teach them to love animals if WE don’t love them. So learn about everything in this world to keep your child genius.
  13. BE A GUIDE NOT A TEACHER!

HAPPY MONTESSORI MOTHERING TO ALL AWESOME MAMMAS.

10 NOTES FOR MONTESSORI PARENT

Imagine…

You are 4 years old. You have small body, small shoes, small clothes…The minute hand on the clock finally points to that sweet white puppy. For a while you imagine how would you play with it, how would you train it. It’s time to go home and you are waiting for your mum to unlock your wardrobe. Before that you ask the teacher to take you to toilet. It was very exhausting day. Even before you entered the building this morning you understood it was playtime. You could hear loud banging, shouting, laughing and … cry… As you entered the room you got overwhelmed by all those bright colors, toys and confusion. You played with some doll, built a house for her from plastic blocks, run here and there… Then your mum comes, ties your shoe laces, makes you wear the coat, and as you rush back home you imagine what your mum must have cooked today.

You are 4 years old. You have small body, small shoes, small clothes…The minute hand on the clock finally points to 1pm, oh that sweet white puppy. For a while you imagine how would you play with it, how would you train it. It’s time to go home and you are waiting for your mum. You rush to unlock your wardrobe. Before that you use the toilet. It was very peaceful day. When you entered the room this morning you understood it was welcome time. You could hear your friends talking and laughing. The teacher warmly greeted you and invited you to sit in the circle and the day started by singing the song. You just love that peaceful and organized space and smell of wood. You worked on your water pouring skills, built a pink tower, learnt about the frog life cycle and measured the size of the biggest bird in the world…. Then your mum comes, you are tying the shoe laces, wearing the coat, and as you walk back home full of peace and feeling of achievement you imagine what will you and your mum cook today.

Can you see the difference in two approaches? Which one do you like more?

Montessori education is different from conventional ways of teaching and proves to be more perfect and efficient. The curriculum was developed by Dr.Maria Montessori, who believed that children are not “empty vases” waiting for us-adults to pour the information in them. The children have the potential which is there waiting to be unleashed.

Montessori mistress (the word teacher is not used) is treating children with respect which enables them to realize their self-worth and abilities which is crucial for effective learning. Acknowledging them as individuals helps them to grow their potential to a greater degree then otherwise.

Education is a natural process carried out by children themselves, not by teachers. Teachers can only help the great work that is being done by offering prepared environment, materials and presentations.

Children learn in the process. Children learn while working with hands not while listening to lectures.

NOTES TO STICK ON FRIDGE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montessori works for us and will for you. We will get through all the points in next posts. Stay tuned 🙂