Regardless of what career you choose for yourself, being a parent will always be your full-time job. Things can get hectic pretty often, but I can tell you that it’s possible to get organised and enjoy your life to the fullest even when you have to balance many different aspects of your life. In essence, don’t be afraid to lean on your kids a bit more. In hope that my experience can help, I will share how using some simple Montessori methods and teachings, changed our family life for the better.
How it all started
I presume that you have heard of Montessori education style before. The principle behind it was very pleasing to me, which is why I enrolled my older girl in a Montessori Kindergarten. Since the kindergarten promoted a close relationship with parents, I got the opportunity to see the benefits of this educational style first hand. As my girl learned about the world around her, how to handle different situations and become a stronger, better self a lot faster than I could imagine, I decided to apply Montessori principles in our family home as well.
Definitely, the first thing I wanted to encourage is the strong sense of individuality in my kids and myself, too! Even if they spend time in kindergartens, children still see you as a role model that will influence their behaviour as well. So, how did this help me get more organised in everyday life? As I patiently encouraged my kids to pursue their own interests, stand behind their likes and dislikes fearlessly, and make up their mind about various things, they started feeling more confident in their own choices. As time went by, they didn’t need to come to me for every single problem or decision that they had to face. This doesn’t mean that there was a lack of communication – quite the contrary. The more we engaged in meaningful talks, the more ready my kids were to show their individuality to the world and take whatever they could get from it.
Keeping things real
As I saw how happy and confident children grow to be when exposed to everything their surrounding has to offer, I decided that it’s time to keep things real at home as well. There were no children-safe items in our home. My kids learned how to use regular glasses and cutlery and experience first-hand what can happen when they’re not careful. This approach made them more responsible. I took this opportunity to instil chore habits. Of course, all the tasks were age-appropriate. With their help, our daily schedules became a lot less stressful and visibly more organised.
Neat and happy
As we had to move at one point, it was very difficult for me to choose one of the best day care centres in Brisbane. In the end, I decided to enrol my younger child into a place that seemed to stand for all the right things in life. It offered a flexible and motivational environment for learning; the challenging nature of day care tasks was fun; lessons were integrated; and, most importantly, the day care staff encouraged creativity with provided materials. The move and change in daycare teaching principles worried me, but the whole process taught my kids the importance of being neat and organised. As they enjoyed organising their personal belongings in a new place, I used this opportunity to teach them more about neatness and order. What they were learning at school once again came in handy at home. Of course, this improved my organisational skills as well. It means a lot when you don’t have to worry about your kids misplacing their things or making a mess. They were more than willing to put their stuff back to their designated places.
Trust me on this – kids are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. There’s no reason to protect them from the world, chores and awkward situations because they can learn to cope with anything in a beautifully individual way a lot better than adults. In that respect, let the kids explore and face their own problems. Allow them to help at home. Encourage their uniqueness and creativity. You will be raising capable individuals who will love life, know kindness and have great strength of spirit.
Author: Gabriella Diesendorf