Parenting has been a constantly evolving process. Every subsequent generation has different ideas about parenting which, generally almost always, is frowned upon by the previous generation. Especially in India, where parents play an important role as advisors to their children about parenting, it is hard not to be influenced. But things are changing and young parents are finding their own methods and techniques.
Your child manages to complete a particularly difficult task and you applaud her with “Good Job”!
Your toddler shares her snack with her friends and you want to positively reinforce this good behavior so you toss out a “Good Job”!
We read plenty of books that warn us against using punishments and spankings to model behavior so we instantly rely on a “Good Job” for positively reinforcing any example of good behavior or accomplishing a worthy task. Seems easy enough, right?
In the 1900’s when Maria Montessori began teaching children with special needs, she noticed something spectacular. Her specially curated methods of teaching were showing extraordinary results in these children with special needs. So much was the difference that her children outperformed other children educated in schools for regular children!
After this she was convinced that if regular children were allowed play independently and choose the activities that they were interested in, they fared much better.
Much has been written about the Montessori method of teaching and its benefits. But today we bring you an account by a former Montessori teacher and a new mother to a 4 year old girl, Shalaka Mahadik.
I have learnt a lot from my Montessori teaching days. I do believe that I am a better mother to my daughter than I would have been otherwise. I was able to recognize when my daughter was going through a developmental phase and needed my support. When she started crawling, her best game was to climb up on things. Whatever came in her way was like an obstacle that had to be conquered! I remember my friends telling me what a little adventurer she was, but I needed to protect her from falling as well. So here was a typical dilemma that many mothers face.
The child has not yet acquired a sense of danger and obviously needed to be protected against a potential fall without hindering her explorations. She was also learning a new skill at that time and quashing her attempts at any perilous climbs was going to hinder her development if stopped repeatedly.
We were living in a apartment where there weren’t any stairs so I made a makeshift climbing base for her with cushions on each side for a soft landing. Well my daughter went up and down through the day for an entire week!
Not surprisingly, Shalaka enrolled her daughter in a Montessori Playschool. She also emphasizes the importance of mixed peers groups in a balanced development of a child.
The mixed age group creates an environment where I have seen children become more patient, helpful and able to interact freely. Not only do they learn a lot from each other but it also allows them to have a sense of community inside the class. The world is not full of people who are the same age, so why should children be kept in a learning environment that doesn’t expose them to a varied age group?
Is there a downside to Montessori? We asked Shalaka.
Well apart from the fact that it is harder for teachers to teach a varied age group instead of one, I personally haven’t seen any downside to Montessori Method of teaching!
It is always great to know what you think! Please share your stories with us below.
Ever heard stories about women who worked till the last day of their pregnancy? Then highly likely you have heard of women who couldn’t even manage to get out of bed most days, leave alone, get ready and work through the day.
Most women, who do not suffer from sickness and nausea can and do work through their pregnancy. If you plan on working through your pregnancy, we have a list that will help you along the way! [Read more…]
It’s probably no secret that children who have involved parents are more happy, healthy, and well-adjusted and excel at their educational and extracurricular pursuits. It can increase their cognitive development, keeps them motivated, strengthens the parent-child relationship, and has a direct positive influence on their overall academic achievement. In turn, it can also help parents achieve a positive outlook on their parenting, increase their own self confidence and self esteem, and will most likely feel more satisfied with their child’s educational experience at school.
But where do you get involved? With today’s busy schedules between home, work, and school, it may feel that the average family has very little quality time to offer. However, different options and levels of commitment are available to fit every parent’s availability, and with some careful planning and dedication, you can make it a positive experience for both yourself and your child.
First of all, discover what your child is most passionate about. Maybe you’ve thought about volunteering for the school bake sale to raise money, but your child is actually more actively involved in her local Girl Scouts troop. If that’s the case, then get together with the other Girl Scout parents and see what you can contribute to help the troop. Maybe you could organize a bake sale to benefit their next summer outing.
It’s also important to consider what skills, talents and abilities you can bring to the table. Maybe your child’s school is in desperate need of your help organizing a fundraiser, but your skills in sewing and designing might better serve the school if you were to help in making the costumes for the school play. Remember, you want this to be a positive experience for both of you, and if your child senses that you’re not happy with what you’ve chosen to become involved in, then they likely will not be happy as well.
But the bottom line is get involved and stay involved. Children of involved parents are less likely to get into mischief, have emotional problems, or have problems in school. You benefit by connecting with and staying connected to your child. It’s a win-win situation for you both.