Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Discipline and Montessori: A Tiny Step Forward

Discipline means different things to different people. Teachers and parents tend to think of discipline as the maintenance of a scream- and biting-free area that makes possible peace of mind, enjoyment of quiet, and a generally decent atmosphere for all.

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:
  1. 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!")
  2. 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.
  3. Provide clear cut and fair rules for the house and classroom that are easy to follow.
  4. Provide a physical setting that is conducive to a tidy and ordered environment.
  5. 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!

1 comment:

Pecos Blue said...

I do all these things but what do you suggest when he is disrespectful like spitting is a new thing he learned? Currently I tell him I do not like this behavior and that it is not nice. I also say that this is not what we do.