Posts Categorized: Toddler
Dr. Montessori devoted an entire chapter of her book, The Secret of Childhood, to walking with a young child. She says with importance that a child who can walk must never be carried. What a difference from our usual way, isn’t it! She explains further that young children walk for completely different reasons than adults walk. Adults walk to get to a specific place. Children walk to walk. If you’ve ever walked with a child, I’m sure you can relate to the idea that the child is not simply trying to get from point A to point B. She strongly encourages the adult to adjust his/her walking pace to accommodate the child. She says, “the line of conduct to be followed by an adult is that of renouncing his own advantages so that he can accommodate himself to the needs of the growing child,” (Montessori, 1936).
What does this look like on a daily basis in modern times? First and foremost, it means allotting extra time. When we are rushed, we become forced to do the quickest thing possible. And the quickest thing possible is not letting your 18-month old set the walking pace for walking into school. However, this is the ideal. I want to focus on the word ideal because sometimes things do not go as planned or sometimes the child is having more difficulty adjusting and would never actually make it to the door of the classroom if the pace was hers alone. On a daily basis, letting your child walk on her own and setting the pace may look a lot different from someone else’s walking in on her own. That’s okay! We are all different. But, we can remember that the focus is on the ideal of your child walking in on her own at a comfortable pace for your child.
But doesn’t carrying the child convey care? Sometimes, yes. But sometimes it simply becomes a crutch for the child’s independence. You as the parent are the only one who will know the best course of action. Sometimes, our children can begin to think that an adult doing things for a child is the only way to receive caring feelings. This is what we want to avoid. Jane Nelsen, of the popular Positive Discipline series suggests that a child who feels that she only matters when others are doing things for her suffers from the mistaken goal of “undue attention,” (Nelsen, 2015). Both of my children have fallen into this pattern from time to time, so I have experience on all sides of this issue. Nelsen offers several suggestions for overcoming this pattern: redirect the child to a useful task and give useful attention, e.g. have the child wash a table and thank her for the work; use touch without words, verbally reassure the child but set healthy boundaries, e.g. “I love you, and we will spend time together after school, but right now it’s time for you to go to school and for mommy to go to work”; or perhaps plan special time together. To see Jane Nelsen’s full mistaken goals chart (a wonderful tool for any parent), click here to see the full Mistaken Goals Chart or pick up any of Jane Nelsen’s wonderful books.
Montessori, M. (1936). The secret of childhood. London, New York Longmans, Green and Co.
Nelsen, J. (2015). Mistaken Goals Chart. retrieved from: http://www.newhorizonirvine.org/wp-content/
Welcome to a new school year. We are in the third week of the new school year. The children are getting adjusted with their new routine. This is the first school year for many of them. As their guide, I try to prepare the environment as much as possible, home away from home. My returning ones are really good role models to their new friends. It is amazing to watch how helpful they are toward the new members. Also the new members are learning things, watching their friends independently, never hesitating to experience new work. I always try to incorporate real life work with real life materials. They were very happy to see a real working sewing machine.
“To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.” – Maria Montessori.
I truly believe in the above statement. Montessori method of education is an aid for the life.
A toddler is a fluid being. Between the ages of eighteen to thirty-six months there are many changes that take place in a child. He is moving toward his independence, but the reassurance of his parent, or caregiver is still something he relies on greatly. The toddler’s capabilities and desires to do for himself physically, emotionally, and socially are moving full steam ahead.
Toddlers unconsciously absorb everything in the world around them. Their minds are sponges, and their fingers are the means of soaking information into the sponges. They love to touch and do things to explore what will happen. “What will happen if I put the ball into this hole?” Physically a toddler cannot wait to try out a new activity or test a new-found piece of independence. They are hungry for information about the world around them.
Moving away from a parent or caregiver and into the emotional realm of learning who he is as an individual is how a toddler begins to find his identity. Comfort and encouragement from the adult in his life will still be necessary, but perhaps not as often as it was when he was younger. He begins to find his own voice as a result of his transition toward independence. “No” is often a favorite word in a toddler’s vocabulary. It is important to not always see this word as having a negative connotation. This word is the child forming his own opinions, and as difficult as it may seem, it should be treated gently, but with limits.
When toddlers move into a community with other children their age, they begin to expand their social circle. They are suddenly seeing that other little people their same age exist. When parallel play with the same material takes place, parents and caregivers often urge toddlers to share or not to touch one another’s work. Before offering an intervention, the adult should watch the children who are engaged in the activity. The adult may ask himself, “Is there truly a need for my mediation?” The answer to that question may be surprising. Of course, there is a need for guidance in the toddler community, but the guidance often comes most effectively through the caregivers’ modeling of appropriate behaviors in the classroom.
Helping toddlers smoothly adjust to the transition of moving away from their dependence and toward their independence is a charge given to parents and caregivers. It is a charge which should not be taken lightly. An environment that provides safety, security, and above all the ability to move about freely within limits should be the ultimate goal of the parents and caregivers. Toddlers are going to transition toward independence; how successful they are at obtaining this freedom in a positive manner is up to the adults in their lives.
May 21 is our water day.
May 22 is our graduation day and MSH family picnic. Our Toddler-II graduation is scheduled at 9:15 a.m.
It is a bitter sweet for me. I have to say goodbye to my nine students. I am surely going to miss them so much.
Spring is finally here. We had a nice experience today doing yoga in the playground. Last week we started to plant herb seeds. We are going to start our garden this week. April 4, 2015 Saturday is our Multicultural Festival day. This year we are presenting North America. We have already started to work on different projects.
My sincere acknowledgement goes to:
~ Kelly and Chris (Roman’s parents, for donating money for classroom materials).