The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and Consistency

The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and ConsistencyWelcome to the January 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Stay the Same

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the continuity and constancy in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Montessori principles were an important part of the way my husband and I helped our children become self-disciplined. We used the principles of freedom within limits, of consistency and order.

Starting the Cycle of Self-Discipline

I have a number of posts about gentle discipline. I also have a post on “A Montessori Approach to Discipline.” They all emphasize respect for the child and the importance of consistency. As a preschool teacher, I was taught to give children the security of consistency … of knowing they could count on me to do what I said I would do.

As a Montessori teacher, consistency was expanded to include an orderly environment and an orderly sequence of steps to follow in many activities. I learned the importance of meeting the child’s sensitive period for order, which is typically ages 2-4, with its peak at age 3. (See “Encourage Your Child’s Sensitive Periods.”)

I found both as a teacher and as a parent that the right combination of freedom and order led to self-discipline. Our children’s feeling that they could trust their father and me led to their own trustworthiness.

The Cycle Continues

Our children are happy with the idea of my husband and me using the same principles when caring for our grandchildren. Our new granddaughter will grow up experiencing a sense of order at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and knowing that she will be able to trust us to keep our word. (Note: The order at Grandma and Grandpa’s house won’t be perfect, but Montessori principles don’t need perfection to be effective.)

Montessori Baby Floor Mat and MirrorEven though our granddaughter is too young for traditional Montessori lessons, we work to maintain a sense of order between her home and ours, respecting her schedule and observing her needs for order in her day.

I still believe in allowing babies and young children the freedom to explore, to choose their work, to follow their inner urgings. And I still believe that freedom without consistency is chaos. I believe that if we find just the right balance of freedom within limits, of consistency and order, then our granddaughter and future grandchildren can reach the same level of self-discipline our children have.

Deb - Siganture

Photo Credit: Pink Tower Photo by Scott Robinson on Flickr Creative Commons.

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • Always an Artist — Some kids take longer than others to come into themselves, so you have to stick with them, as a parent, long after everyone else has given up, writes Douglas at Friendly Encounters.
  • Not Losing Yourself as a First Time Mom — Katie at All Natural Katie continues to stay true to herself after becoming a new mom.
  • Using Continuity to Help Change {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs from A New Day talks about how she is using continuity in certain areas of her life to help promote change and growth in others.
  • Staying the Same : Security — Life changes all the time with growing children but Mother Goutte realised that there are other ways to ‘stay the same’ and feel secure, maybe a bit too much so!
  • Harmony is What I’m AfterTribal Mama gushes about how constant change is really staying the same and staying the same brings powerful change.
  • A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos.
  • Breastfeeding Before and After — Breastfeeding has come and gone, but Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow finds that her relationship with her son is still just the same and just as good.
  • A Real Job — Back in high school That Mama Gretchen had a simple, but worthwhile career aspiration and today she is living her dream … is it what you think?
  • Comfortingsustainablemum never thought she would want things always being the same, but she explains why it is exactly what her family wants and needs.
  • ‘The Other Mums’ and The Great IllusionMarija Smits reflects on the ‘great big magic show of life’ and wonders if it will continue to remain a constant in our lives.
  • Unschooling: Learning doesn’t change when a child turns four — Charlotte at Winegums & Watermelons talks about the pressure of home education when everyone else’s children are starting school.
  • Finding Priorities in Changing Environments — Moving from Maine to a rural Alaskan island for her husband’s military service, Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work found that keeping consistent with her priorities in changing environments can take some work, but is vital to continuous health and happiness.
  • Keeping it “Normal” — Kellie at Our Mindful Life has moved several times in the last two years, while doing her best to keep things stable for her kids.
  • The Evolution Of Our Homeschool Journey — Angela at Earth Mama’s World reflects on her homeschooling journey. Homeschooling is a constant in the life of her family but the way in which they learn has been an evolution.
  • Sneaking in Snuggles: Using Nurturing Touch with Older Children — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s son was a toddler and preschooler, he was the most loving, affectionate kiddo ever. But during the course of his 5th year, he drastically reduced how often he showed affection. Dionna shares how she is mindfully nurturing moments of affection with her son.
  • Steady State — Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes a letter to her partner about his constancy through the rough sailing of parenting.
  • A Love You Can Depend On — Over at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, Jennifer has a sweet little poem reminding us where unconditional love really lies, so it can remain a constant for us and our children.
  • Same S#!*, Different Day — Struggling against the medical current can certainly get exhausting, especially as the hunt for answers drags on like it has for Jorje of Momma Jorje.
  • New Year, Still Me — Mommy Bee at Little Green Giraffe writes about how a year of change helped her rediscover something inside herself that had been the same all along.
  • One Little Word for 2014 — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs has decided to focus on making things this year, which is what she is loves, as long as she doesn’t kill herself in the process.
  • The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and Consistency — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the continuity of her teaching, parenting, and grandparenting philosophy using a combination of freedom and consistency.
  • My Husband’s MiniCrunchy Con Mom shares which of her sons looks more like her husband’s baby pictures — and the answer might surprise you!
  • Growth Happens When You Aren’t Looking — Lori at TEACH through Love is treasuring these fleeting moments of her daughter’s early adolescence by embracing the NOW.
  • A New Reality Now – Poem — As Luschka from Diary of a First Child struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother, she shares a simple poem, at a loss for more words to say.
  • Making a family bedroom — Lauren at Hobo Mama has decided to be intentional about her family’s default cosleeping arrangements and find a way to keep everyone comfortable.
  • New Year, Same Constants — Ana at Panda & Ananaso takes a look at some of the things that will stay the same this year as a myriad of other changes come.
  • I Support You: Breastfeeding and Society — Despite how many strides we’ve taken to promote “breast is best,” Amy at Natural Parents Network talks about how far we still have to go to normalize breastfeeding in our society.


If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards), Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information), and Google+ (post updates and Montessori Community). You can find me on bloglovin’ now, too. I’m also a Parenting Expert on Sulia. Thank you for following me there. And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter in the right sidebar. You’ll get two awesome freebies in the process!

May be linked to Afterschool Express, Thoughtful Spot, Tuesday Tots, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co., Mom’s Library, It’s Playtime, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Homeschool Link-up, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, Learn & Link, TGIF Linky Party, Preschool Corner, Ultimate Homeschool Pinterest Party, Sharing Saturday, Saturday Show & Tell, Share It Saturday, Show-and-Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase,

Latest Comments
  1. Lauren from Hobo Mama
    Twitter:
  2. Dionna from Code Name: Mama
    Twitter:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 2 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)