When parents start discovering and exploring the Montessori approach for their family, sooner or later they run into the infamous Pinterest Trap. Online (or through parent meet ups), they find a maddening array of educational activities, hand-made materials, brilliant arts and crafts and more… that they just know they will not do, be it for lack of time, energy and resources, or even desire. After a while it may seem that to be a Montessori parent, you need to stay at home, have a workshop filled with power tools, spend every night preparing materials, and definitely have a membership (or shares!) in the local craft store… right?
Today, I am here to tell you as clearly and loudly as possibly: no, you don’t. Material trays and language cards and activity stations can all be lovely and beneficial, but they don’t define Montessori parenting.
There is more than one way to do anything, and there is no prescribed way that Montessori parenting must look like outwardly; after all, one of its strongest points is that it adapts to the lifestyles and cultures around the world, not the other way around. You can rigorously follow Montessori practices and principles (and your child can reap all of its benefits) even if you have two left hands, work full time, and never even touch a laminating machine.
For better or worse, there is no activity or item to purchase (or make) that will make your household Montessori. One could own the entire material curriculum without getting one step closer to the philosophy. Instead, the “secret” is all about how you live, interact and communicate with your child. In order to be a “Montessori Parent”, you must:
What does this all look like in practice, and how to overcome most common obstacles that arise in contemporary Montessori parenting? That will be the subject of next week’s article.