Montessori Monday~ Parenting Expirments

It is about time for some parenting posts! As I have been cleaning my house, I have also been not spending as much time with my little sweeties. And as any other little sweeties out there, they tend to become a little less sweet when I have less time for them. None of this is new news, but it is something that I need to do. So I found a parenting book by Amy McCready. She is the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions. Deb at Living Montessori Now offered one of her webinare a while back to her readers and it was really good! However, the program is a bit pricey and I didnt want to spend that kind of money. So when an email from her company showed up in my inbox talking about her book, I jumped at it! When I found out my library had it, I was over the moon! If you have been a long time reader you will know that I have used the standard time-out method for years! It was pretty successful and easy to keep up with. But as Bunny has gotten older, I have found that it is not working at all. So it was off to find a new solution. I tried all sorts of things and nothing worked or seemed to be a good fit. So when the webinare came up, I jumped at the chance to get a new idea. I loved everything that Amy had to say and it fit in SO well with all the Montessori methods. So I have been reading all about this positive parenting and I like it. However it is really hard! It is all about what you do. The basis of this is that each child need to have significance (to feel needed and that he can contribute to the family for real) and power (some control over their life). It is also based on the idea that the only person you can control is yourself. We cannot make our kids do anything that they dont want to ( we could I guess, but that seems rather mean to force food down a kids throat or something like that). So that leaves us to change ourselves and to interact with respect for the feeling of our kids in the moment. It all about preparing the home for them to be independent and to empower them to be their best. We do it with words, training, and love. The book has a million wonderful stories and awesome ideas. It seems easy, but then I get the kids involved!
All of this sounds like a beautiful ideal, but in real life it get rather tricky! When your three year old punches your six year old because the six year old yelled at her. Urgh!!!! What do you do? I would usually put both in time out~ one for yelling, one for punching. But I’m not sure how this is supposed to play out. What do I say? How do we resolve this without me screaming at both of them to stop (since they can hear my normal voice)? What about when your six year old runs to her room screaming “I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU!!!!!!” Sigh. I talked to them. I talked about the power of words and how we say them. I talked about how to hitting is not kind and we never do it. I gave consequences “If you scream at someone or use a mean tone of voice, I will not talk to you at all until you are talking kindly.” It worked, or at least it made an impression! Bunny really was not happy with the idea that I would not listen if she screamed. Maybe it will help her find a way to express herself better in the moment! But what do you do for hitting? Or other behavior where there is no good natural consequence? I will keep reading and hopefully find the answers!
This method of parenting is not just about rules and consequences. It is also about how to build a great relationship with your kids as you go. That is what is appealing to me. I want my girls to feel that I am there to listen to all their ideas, thoughts, and problems. The very first step of this program was to spend 10 minutes of time with each child personally. Time for them, doing what they want to, and making sure that it is just you and them. This gives them that sense of significance and also gives them the knowledge that they will have time with you everyday just for them! Right now, we are doing it at bedtime. They pick a story and we talk about their day. They love this time so much!!!! Bunny even started telling me the little secretes in her heart. I realized that this exactly what I need to do for them. When they are teenagers, having time that they know will be just for them with mom will be so important. It will help me make sure that I am a present person for them later too.
All of this is going to help my plan this year for schooling. My goal is to provide a very freedom based, low stress school experience for the girls this year. I got all the materials, I have my plans almost done, but now I need to make sure that my kids have the maturity and peace to do just that! I can plan till every moment in my day is mapped out, but if the kids are not listening, or I start yelling because things aren’t going the way I think that they should, it will all be a waste of time. My school year depends on our ability to work together in love and kindness! Without it, learning becomes a chore and we are all going to be rather miserable!
So those are my rather scattered thought about positive parenting. Do you use positive parenting in your home? What are your thoughts on it? Do you have tips or “trick of the trade” that work in your family? I love to hear your thoughts on this important subject! Be sure to comment with your thoughts! I am linking this up to Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now so we can get a conversation going! Oh, and let me know what you think of the new blog layout! I would love to hear what my awesome readers think! Happy Parenting!!!!
If you are looking for what we have been up to with Montessori, you can check out these posts!
Our New Materials are Here!
Bunny’s Big Kid Montessori Bedroom