Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy and, under a scientific gaze, she dedicated her life to getting to know children. She developed a method where the little ones develop confidence in themselves.
María Montessori’s life is exciting in itself and her love for children exemplary. She is one of the few people whose educational model has been successfully experimented with in various countries, which is still in force and who is recognized for having influenced the initial formation of famous people such as the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, Ana Frank and today’s multi famous creators of Amazon, Google and Wikipedia.
María developed a teaching method where the child is the protagonist of their learning and whose highest goal is the achievement of personal happiness and peace in humanity, Montessori lived three wars therefore she understood the need for the development of a human being universal and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times for her contributions to humanity.
María Montessori synthesized her pedagogy in some principles and phrases that I present below and that you can easily apply in your home for the training of your children.
1. “Help me to do it myself”
This is one of the Montessorian pedagogical principles par excellence: Allow the child to do things for himself with minimal intervention or help from the adult. Our job as parents is for the child to achieve independence. The way is simple: You are shown how and then allowed to do it as many times as necessary until you achieve your purpose. The complication comes when adults lose patience and do not give them the time that the child requires or even worse: we do everything because finally we do it faster and better.
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2. “The hand is the instrument of your wishes”
The child knows and discovers the world through his senses and the hand is the instrument that puts the whole world at his fingertips. Never limit its use, especially from birth to six years. Allow your child to experiment with shapes, textures, flavors, wear comfortable clothes and let nothing limit their movement.
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3. “Any unnecessary help is an obstacle to development”
What do you feel when you try to do something, it doesn’t come out, and then someone else comes along and says: “I’ll do it for you, because you can’t”? It may even be very comfortable for you, but for a child the message is: “You are incapable,” or: “You need help,” or: “You can’t do it alone” and well, these ideas destroy self-esteem. Many parents do everything for their children, and then wonder why their children cannot do this or that and are unable to find a job, formalize a relationship, or get by on their own.
Remember: Do not do what the child can do for himself, show him how it is done and then give him the freedom to do it. That cry of “I did it alone” is a declaration of strength, intelligence and freedom. By the way, when you hear it, don’t indulge in superfluous or exaggerated compliments: acknowledge the work, enjoy the achievement, and move on.
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4. “When a child feels confident, he stops seeking approval in every step he takes”
There is nothing sadder and more dangerous than a child, a young person or even an adult who lives off the recognition and approval of others. When a little one constantly asks, is this mommy? So? I’m good? You like? It’s okay? He’s just talking about his fear, insecurity and constant fear of being rejected for being incapable. Can you imagine that in an adult? It allows the child to decide, choose, move, act, allow them to make mistakes, feel the consequences of their actions. Do not reward them with material things, that eliminates the personal joy of having achieved their goals and continuing to pursue their desires. Don’t overprotect them, on the contrary! Prepare them for life and exercise their freedom with intelligence.
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5. “The first task of education is to shake life up, but to leave it free to develop”
Giving birth to a little one is a miraculous act that is repeated in every mother in all parts of the world and our love and devotion to that child is so great that we often forget that it does not belong to us, that it is not our property, that nothing He owes us and that – even less – we can live his life as if it were our own.
Our duty is to give life, nurture it, and rejoice in its display of beauty. Our children must leave our side some day, they must make their own lives and follow their path so that then we can continue together and united.
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I invite you to read a little more about the life of María Montessori and her ideas about the teaching of the human being. I assure you that you will find many good contributions to the training of your children.