Throughout my time as a Montessori teacher, I would often receive questions on what is the “right way” to do things and “how can I be more Montessori at home?” Parents were always asking how they could better educate themselves on the philosophy and become more of a Montessori parent.
As I became a blogger and started to engage in Montessori Facebook groups, and with more and more Montessori parents, I realized just how much parents beat themselves up about the right and wrong way to do things. It’s clear that parents are highly critical of themselves when they really shouldn’t be. Take it from a certified Montessori teacher that what you are doing is okay. We are not perfect human beings, nor are trained and certified Montessori teachers perfect. As a Montessori parent, you are your child’s best advocate for education and we believe that you are doing what you know is best for your child. Stay positive on your journey.
How do you use the materials? What type of language do you use with your child? Do you avoid rewards? We all share our successes only to be critiqued by doing things incorrectly, buying the least expensive or not perfect materials, allowing our children to use them their way and not always the right way, not setting something up right, or not watching our words closely. The fact is, we are mothers who care for our children and want the very best for them. We may not be perfect at execution but we have to start somewhere and for most of us, it starts in the home.
We know some things are true across the board with parents and we know we can fix them with patience, diligence and consistency. We hope that our six truths will help you, the parent, to be more forgiving of yourself and work to foster your confidence and feel successful in your Montessori practices.
We want the very best for them.
Regardless of what others believe the “best” is. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. “Best” is what we can give to them personally, maybe it’s working two jobs and saving for them to attend a private Montessori, or maybe it’s preparing a Montessori homeschool. The fact of the matter is “best” can’t be defined. It is about what we can personally give our children and as a parent, we should be content with that.
We take things personally but shouldn’t.
We are all human. We aren’t perfect. We make mistakes and when they are pointed out to us regardless of how presented to us, it ticks us off! We don’t like being judged or feeling like a failure. The reality is, it’s not really about us, it’s about them. Some people thrive on telling other people how they should do things or how they could improve their choice of words with their child but the reality is, those same people are making the same mistakes. Forgive yourself. Move on.
We are afraid to ask for help, but it’s what we need the most.
What will my friends think? Everyone will know I’m clueless. It’s time to stop worrying and create a safe haven. Start a Facebook group or a parent forum where you and like individuals can bounce ideas off one another. Learn and grow together. Share your ideas with others. You could be helping the person who is too afraid to ask. If we tell our children to ask questions, we ourselves must also not be afraid of doing it. Start now. Continue daily. With each day you will be amazed at how easy it truly is.
We are more critical of ourselves than others ever will be.
Fact check. You answer to yourself and no one else? True! If not, it should be true. You are an individual who is capable of your own feelings, thoughts and desires. Only you hold the destiny of your life. You can choose to beat yourself up about screaming at your child or bribing them with the T.V. for a little peace and quiet or you can choose to learn from it and move the heck on. Remember, you are the perfect version of YOU.
We want to be perfect, but no one is perfect.
We want to believe If Mrs. Brady can do it, so can we! Six kids, a clean house, they all behave, the American dream right? Well television isn’t reality nor will it ever be, even the Bachelor ladies… It’s all entertainment, pure entertainment. (It’s okay to admit that we still like it once in a while too!) Although our life may sometimes have glimpses of the perfect sitcom family, it’s just not reality. We need to accept that and live our life the way it plays out and was intended to be. I like to call it ” my perfect reality.” So, go live it!
We focus on the negative.
Society has done a great job of molding us on this topic. For example, when asked to deliver strengths and weaknesses on a topic, why does our brain shoot to the negative? It’s how we are wired. Scientific fact. Work on bringing out the positive more often and spending less time thinking about the negative things that get us so worked up.
It’s time to stop now! Forgive yourself.
Life is about creating, not critiquing.
Ask your friends advice, do the research, and at the end of the day, know that you gave it your all. Parents help to grow children, they aren’t perfect at it and that is okay. Live each day to its fullest, try your best and love on those children of yours!
What truth is the hardest for you to accept? Please share it with us and we can help each other overcome our parenting demons. We would love to hear from you!
Amanda Witulski has been dedicated to Montessori education for the past six years. She received a bachelor’s in Education from Wayne State University and holds an elementary credential through the American Montessori Society. Currently, she is working on the completion of her master’s in Educational Leadership. Both in and out of the classroom, Amanda has spread the love of Montessori with teachers, students, parents and the community. She has a love for differentiated instruction and a true passion for meeting the interests of her students. She is extremely excited to be a part of the Montessori Rocks blogging team to share her knowledge with you and the entire Montessori community.