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

Experiences that are rich- pillars of montessori parenting

Maria Montessori stresses the importance of a rich environment that provides the necessary sensorial experiences to a child.
What is a rich experience? Something that provides sensory stimuli, introduces something new or helps practice and helps form neuronal connections with older knowledge.

Why rich experiences?

Everything children see, hear, feel, touch, or even smell impacts their brain and thus influences the way they view and interact with their world—including their family, neighbors, strangers, friends, classmates, and even themselves.

Daniel J. Siegel

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is one of my many favourites. While he observed that infants actually seek environmental stimulation that promotes their intellectual development, he thought that their initial representations of objects, space, time, causality, and self are constructed only gradually during the first 2 years. He concluded that the world of young infants is an egocentric fusion of the internal and external worlds and that the development of an accurate representation of physical reality depends on the gradual coordination of schemes of looking, listening, and touching.… Click to read the rest

Freedom within limits- Montessori parenting pillars

Remember the days your house is filled with clutter or you visit an overbearing relative, or the time your parents restricted you from doing something? How did you feel then?
The point I’m trying to make is, one cannot flourish, work with purpose or think effectively in an environment we don’t feel completely comfortable of free in. Now that we have established that the child flourishes in a rich environment that she explores and learns from, herself, we realise that the child, a lot like adults needs freedom. Guided freedom or freedom within a framework of limits.Freedom and discipline are two sides of the same coin, and scientific freedom invariably leads to discipline.

“To let the child do as he likes, when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom.”

Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

We do a great disservice to the developing child if we do’t provide her, some clear boundaries within which she can explore freedom.… Click to read the rest