What makes an activity, montessori?

The easiest way to start montessori practices at home, is to start with structured activities. Although, not the earliest. Montessori, like I keep reiterating is a lifestyle, and you can read more about incorporating it, here. But what makes an activity, montessori? How does one sieve through the million ideas available on Pinterest and choose activities for the child? I hope to answer that in this post, and the ones that follow. For now, here is a checklist that would help you set up an activity for the child.

1. Child- directed

First off, montessori activities are child- directed. The child is free to choose the activity, work on it at their own pace for as long and as many times as they would like.

2. Hands-on

Activities that involve doing actively, do a lot more for the child than passive activities. This also follows the principle of concrete to abstract.… Click to read the rest

Helping children recognize feelings and handle emotions

Over the last few months, I have received hundreds of queries from worried parents on how to help their child manage their feelings or how to improve a child’s emotional intelligence. I finally penned my thoughts into a step wise post. Here is a step by step guide as to what helps me and what could help you, with tweaking, to your own family’s philosophies.
This older post may help one handle tantrums specifically and gently, whereas the following steps is a general long term agenda to help a child’s emotional quotient. This goes for the everyday grind, and traumatic incidents or children with special needs may need streamlined strategies.

1. Setting realistic expectations

Let’s be honest. How many times do we lose our temper or get carried away by a feeling, everyday? It isn’t fair to expect children to be in control of their emotions all the time. Despite V telling us clearly if she is upset or cranky, there have been days the corresponding behaviour is hard to handle.… Click to read the rest

Peaceful parenting- Handling tantrums gently

The post yesterday spoke about why raising hands or threatening a child does not work. But then, how does one deal with difficult behaviour, especially tantrums? Let us talk about handling difficult situations in a gentle manner. Here are a few strategies that work wonders for me.

Step 1: Understand the limit

I ask myself why I say no. Sometimes, the limit comes from a place of safety, but sometimes, it could be my anxiety or a bad day making me grouchy. I use the simple 3Rs rule. The behavior must be respectful towards self, towards others and towards the environment. If not, it is a strict no. If yes, I ask myself again why I am saying a no.
For example, saying no to playing with the knife vs saying no to the child wanting to help roll chapatis simply because I’m tired. (Again, this does not mean I have to say yes if I am tired.… Click to read the rest