The Montessori approach to respectful parenting is a great guide to raising bright and independent children. Before you get started, it’s essential that you equip yourself with the basic and underlying principles of this approach. Check out the following tips for a beginner’s guide to respectful parenting:
Talk to your child with respect.
Always be attentive to their opinion and most importantly, value their voice. You are a role model for your child, so instead of shushing them, provide an environment conducive for them to express their views freely.
Let your child know clearly what is expected of them.
Establish and maintain consistent limits and expectations. Changing these limits frequently may lead to confusion and disappointment.
Give them the gift of their choice.
Allow your child to choose between a set of options at home. For example, would you like to wear red or blue today? This will stimulate their critical thinking and also show that you respect their input.
Know their strengths and weaknesses.
When you perceive your child’s interest in a particular activity, initiate meaningful actions or experiences that will nurture and help them develop their interest further.
Encourage your child to problem-solve by asking prompting questions.
Minimise giving them ready-made solutions to every problem posed by your child. Instead, you can ask prodding questions and let them learn to arrive at a solution by themselves.
Invite stability, freedom of choice, learning, and play through an organised play area.
Some characteristics of a Montessori prepared environment or play space include low, open display shelves and child-sized furniture.
Encourage independence and self-sufficiency wherever possible.
Invite your child to complete age-appropriate tasks by themselves. This will nurture their overall self-competence and confidence.
Give your child the required space.
Take things at your child’s pace and give them the time needed to think. This might mean setting aside extra time for your child to enable them to do their tasks without your intervention.