Did you happen to see the Sunday Review section of the New York Times this past Sunday? There was a great article, “Building Self-Control, the American Way”. The authors, Aamodt and Wang give examples of the ways parents help build children’s self-control. They mention the “Tiger Mom’s Way” and the “French Mom’s Way”. Along the way, they give props to the Montessori Way.
In our Montessori classrooms at Twin Parks, we foster independence which allows children to make choices. After carefully observing the classroom, teachers offer an abundance of excellent activity choices on the shelves. Children can plan their day while working alone, with a partner or in a small group.
Delayed gratification is built into the Montessori environment. If one desired activity is already in use, there are more to choose from. We do not force sharing. Children are taught to respectfully ask if they may join another and what to do if the answer is, “no, I want to work by myself now.” We encourage respect for the classroom, learning materials, peers and adults.