Friday, 19 November 2010


I'm taking a Montessori parenting class with Cynthia Dyer who writes the blogs A Montessori Musing Place and The Montessori Child at Home.  It is so enlightening and thought provoking and has really helped me to think about some of my actions and the way I deal with certain situations.

Last week we talked about observing your child in the home.  This is something I've done since day one with L(mostly because I'm obsessed!).  We talked about how you need to sit back and just watch.  Not intrude and also to let your child make mistakes.  This was a hard thing for me to learn but over the past couple of years I think I've mostly gotten the hang of it.

The other morning I had the opportunity to observe my daughter in her Montessori classroom for the first time.  I had some idea of what to expect by just watching her behavior when I drop her off.  Turns out it is the same while she's inside the classroom as well.  My daughter who at home is bright, focused, outgoing and social turned into this child who was well I guess the best word would be stunned.
I've always known L was an observer, a child who will sit back and process her environment and the situation before acting but in the classroom she seems to have taken it to an extreme.  I wrote on my observation sheet that L looks stunned and distracted, waiting for others to show her what to do and not taking her own initiative.  She did have a moment of intense concentration while doing the binomial cube which is a new work for her.
As I mentioned this did not come as a surprise to me.  I find it more curious I guess than anything else.  I know it will take her a lot of time to adapt to her new situation but it was almost like watching another child.

Speaking of another child.  It's seems that L has just  processed all of the different types of behaviors she observed from the other children in her class and is now trying out some of the more questionable ones at home.  This has been a real challenge this past week.  My sweet, mostly co-operative little girl has turned into Miss whiny contrary Mary.  She's been having tantrums, being rude and generally disagreeable with almost everything.  My husband and I seem to have two different approaches to her new behavior.  He's says we need to "discipline" her and I am trying to be patient yet firm and follow what I've learned in the parenting classes of being consistent and using natural and logical consequences.
Yesterday and this morning have been much better so I'm hoping she's starting to realise that we don't tolerate certain types of behavior in our house.

Ahh the joys of parenting!


Joyful Learner said...

Interesting how kids act differently in different environments. I noticed our JC acts differently depending on who is around. With some teachers/parents, she's great but others, her behavior is questionable. As for the whining, I used to tell her that I couldn't understand what she was saying and asked her to say it so I could listen to her. That seemed to work. Good luck. It can be frustrating at times.

Real Life Montessori said...

Oh gosh, I'm glad to read this post! I haven't had a chance to observe my daughter in the classroom yet, but from stories I hear and how she acts at drop off it's a total 180 between school and home! I think she seems to be confident that she can do things herself, but I gather that she needs a lot of direction. Probably no more than other 3 year olds, but it's shocking that my loud-mouth, know-it-all would need direction! She GIVES direction at home! It's hard to watch your child struggle with the adjustment even when you know it's good for them.

As for the behavior at home, if it's shocking to you how different she is at school imagine how frustrating it must be for her! I'm sure some of that frustration is coming out in different ways towards YOU, since you are a safe haven for bad feelings. It might help to role-play some school situations in a play setting so she can feel more confident in what is going on? I'm not sure, I keep meaning to write a blog post about this because we struggle with the same issues!

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