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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I’M OKAY, YOU’RE OKAY
This phrase is out of the 1960’s and transactional analysis. It became very much a buzzword then. Today it can be a model for understanding our children. Our parents fret that “he doesn’t have any friends”, “all she wants to do is paint”, “he doesn’t talk”, or “my child doesn’t listen to me”. If we begin with “I’m okay, you’re okay”, it puts a very different spin on the picture.

By and large, children absorb their culture. If the culture is to walk on two feet, speak English, read a book, and eat with a fork, children will do these things. The Montessori approach is to create an environment where the child can do these things for himself; e.g., allow the child to walk, don’t strap her into a stroller or confine him to a playpen; speak clearly enunciated words, not blaring radio or TV; use gracious manners at a dinner table, not fast food in the car. Then the adult performs as a role model. If you want your child to read, you have to read with obvious enjoyment. If you want your child to talk quietly, you have to talk quietly. If you want your child to put things away, there must be a place to put them and time to put them. This prepared environment is a powerful instructor, full of natural consequences and remarkably minimal in the need for discipline. If your child is not listening to you, consider the environment: Do you listen to your child? Is your child listening and choosing not to do what you want?

Perhaps you’re allowing wrong choices. “Are you coming or not?” is usually not a good question. It implies that the child can choose to not come. “Can you walk by yourself or do you want me to help you?” might be a more correct question.

In the community of our family, our school, and our neighborhood, we all want an atmosphere that is an “aid to life”. Our children want to be able to act competently in and on their environment. It’s a part of their spiritual development. When we say what we mean and mean what we say, the child can begin to respond to that orderliness as a true member of the community. We underestimate our children’s abilities to an embarrassing degree. If the environment is properly prepared, our children love to work and they love order. We have to be willing to include our children in our community, recognizing and respecting their differences. To quote from Aline Wolf in her book Nurturing the Spirit: “Community are those who communicate honestly, who are committed to rejoice together, mourn together, delight in each other, and make each other’s conditions their own. It comes as a by-product of commitment and struggle. Then we discover each other as allies in resisting the diminishments of life.”

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