Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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It’s the “get more stuff” season. Some time ago one of our directresses asked me to address the issue of “stuff”. It seems she had been counseling parents to declutter their child’s life by removing most toys and organizing play space. Little children are overwhelmed by so many distractions. As I considered responding to her request, I came upon these quotes:

Maria Montessori: “In those countries where the toy-making industry is less advanced, you will find children with quite different tastes. They are also calmer, more sensitive, and happy. Their one idea is to take part in the activities going on about them.”

Catherine McTamaney in The Tao of Montessori: “Stuff, stuff, stuff. Paper, paper, paper. When did our Montessori process become about product? When did the photocopier become the most useful tool in our schools?. . . . We often think of paper as proof. It is evidence of what we are teaching or of how well the children learn. . . . We can teach the children to fill their time copying and mimicking our products or we can teach them to pursue their own processes. When we force the child to create extrinsic products, we distance him from his intrinsic motivation.”

Richard Seldin on obesity in The Baltimore Sun: “Rather, it seems that the ubiquity of food provides a readily available anodyne for coping with widespread and profound emotional hunger. Problems with family stability, a harshly competitive society and an overly fast-paced life have often been blamed for creating a kind of hunger that medical, religious, and civic institutions cannot seem to abet. These stress-related problems have led to a rampant consumerism that demands ‘more’ of everything - and ‘more’ now rather than later.

Because of food’s connection to our survival and the people we were mostly dependent upon as young children, eating becomes a vehicle for satisfying a hunger that has little to do with survival or even with eating enough to live well.”

So the concern is everywhere. It seems to me that we need to build personal competence in meaningful skills, to invest in emotional and intellectual assets. Our goals should be to perfect ourselves in athletics, arts, social connections, intellectual pursuits, craftsmanship, or whatever talent calls to us. Our little children will follow.