- Childproofing: We usually do a good job with outlet covers, drawer stops, and so on, for babies, but what about older children? Call it “preparing the environment”: Place and keep televisions, computers, tablets, and phones in public living spaces and set reasonable limits on their use; balance technology with exercise and indoor/outdoor play; and make time for reading aloud and silently in the presence of other family members doing the same.
- Share meals together, especially dinner and its preparation, as often as possible, five nights a week at least. Share with each other your day as well as thoughts and feelings, and resist the temptation to teach: We learn more through discussion and modeling than through lecture.
- Allow children to speak for themselves: Respect their feelings and their intellect, even if they are mistaken in their thoughts or behaviors.
- Show rather than tell. It is the Montessori way.
- Avoid comparison and competition between children, always and everywhere. Each child is entitled to his/her individuality.
- Set up home environments and family interactions that allow choices and freedom to choose.Meals, weekend plans, vacations, and gifts for family members are reasonable areas of choice.
- Understand that mistakes are opportunities for learning. All humans make mistakes; it is what we do with our mistakes that makes a difference.
- Demonstrate active respect in thought, word, and deed for all life. Be the best model you can be. You are being watched. Children who feel loved and respected will develop their singular potential.
Visit the American Montessori Society for more family support materials.