Category Archive:
Understanding Montessori

Alternatives To Punishment

alternatives to punishment

Six-year old Bobby walks into the kitchen from playing soccer. Bobby’s dad, Tom, had asked Bobby to take off his muddy shoes before entering the house. Red Georgia mud dotted the new hallway and den carpet. When Tom sees the footprints, he is furious about the mess and that Bobby had disobeyed him. ”Bobby,” Tom […]


Three Ways To Change Behavior

three ways to change behavior

“Lisa is so different from Grace. Grace never broke anything when she was this age. Lisa breaks something every day,” Meg told me at our playgroup with our one-year olds. Meg, a long-time friend, was over 30 when she had her first child. Five-year-old Grace lived up to her name. Grace was gentle and content […]


The Prepared Environment

prepared environment

“Pretend that you just found out that you’ll have to be in a wheelchair for a year, possibly longer. What adjustment would you have to make to your home to accommodate this change? This week crawl around your house, through every room, and make a list of changes that you would make. That’s your homework. […]


Three Levels Of Obedience

three levels of obedience

Sometimes when I am working on the computer I feel like a three-year-old. At least, I think I feel like a three-year-old. I try to do some function that I haven’t done in a while, and I look at the computer screen wondering how I did it. When I am utterly confused, I’ll phone one […]


Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

helping your child learn to listen

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three, as she visited with a father at a parent get-together. Afraid of breaking a child’s spirit, we are sometimes reluctant to “make” a child […]


Letters Of Encouragement

letters of encouragement

As young parents, my husband and I took a video-based parenting course called “Active Parenting” developed by Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. Impressed with all the valuable information I was able to put to immediate use, I became an Active Parenting instructor for several years. One of the many “gems” from the course was writing “letters […]


Be Friendly With Error

be friendly with error

Nicholas, a cheerful three-year-old, had cried every day at snack time for a week. Because he had spilt a pitcher of water on the snack table, Nicholas refused to try to pour himself a drink of water. Efforts to encourage Nicholas to pour an eight-ounce pitcher were met with tears. “I can’t. I’ll spill and […]


Freedom Within Limits Of Responsibility

freedom within limits of responsibility

Freedom and responsibility are linked together. We are free to act when we have the right and also take responsibility. For example, in our society, we have the right to drive a car. We exercise this privilege to drive by taking the responsibility to learn how to drive, get a license, have a car and […]


Avoid Discouragement, Apologize

avoid discouragement apologize

“My dad never apologized for anything. He never admitted he was wrong, made a mistake or said he was sorry for anything. I think that caused so much friction and anger in our relationship. Now, I find I’m starting to do the same thing with my boys,” Stewart said during a parenting class. “How can […]


Help Me Help Myself

help me help myself

Children from about age three are asking us to help them learn independence. Children want to learn how to do things on their own without adult supervision or permission. Even though at times we feel we have to help children constantly, in reality, children are asking us to help them help themselves. Much of what […]