Today’s topic is Part 4 of our series on interacting with your child in a Montessori way, and it’s a foundational principle of building a great relationship – Mutual Respect.
The most important part of discipline is respecting each other and each other’s opinions. As your child grows older, respect his decision-making ability. Children who feel respected are less likely to rebel.
So, here is your wonderful five-year-old little girl who has decided that she wants to wear a fireman’s hat with her favorite dress and cowboy boots out to dinner. Your first instinct may be to say, “You look ridiculous. Go change your clothes.” Your child then either refuses and melts down or does as you ask with a sense of sadness. Fast forward 12 years later and your daughter announces that she is going to her friend’s house, and they are going to the mall. Unbeknownst to you, she arrives at her friend’s house and changes into an outfit that is completely inappropriate. Her outfit receives unwanted attention, and she is not equipped to handle the situation. This example my seem extreme, but it does happen.
Set up the framework for trust. Discuss with your child the “why” behind their choices and pick your battles. Children are their own individuals who will make their own choices. You want to be their guides in life, and want them to respect and share with you. Respect who they are and the choices they make will create a fantastic relationship.
Join us next Monday as we explore our next opportunity to interact with your child in a Montessori way, through Logical Consequences.