Montessori looks at discipline first as an internal goal. If you can help your child to find and enjoy the pursuit of self-discipline, the outward expression of discipline, whether in the classroom, at the store, or at home, will your reward.
Start with these basic steps and see what happens:
- Explain rather than punish by using a concrete example of the positive (e.g. tell your child to "hold the kitten in your lap so he is comfortable," instead of saying "don't hold the kitten like that!")
- Teach through example by using language that you would want to hear from your child. If you say "no!" frequently, this is sure to be what you will hear back.
- Provide clear cut and fair rules for the house and classroom that are easy to follow.
- Provide a physical setting that is conducive to a tidy and ordered environment.
- Adhere to a schedule that provides your child with appropriate outdoor and physical activity several times a day, nutritious meals and snacks, and stimulating educational material indoors. A child who has not had a nutritious breakfast and is twitchy due to lack of exercise is set for a disaster of a day!