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A Montessori Approach to Discipline

There is a common misconception that Montessori children are allowed to do whatever they like. And another that Montessori is very strict.In reality, Montessori falls in the middle of these two extremes. The word discipline doesn’t mean to punish. It is actually based on the root word “disciple” which means “to teach” or “to learn.” So I like to say instead of getting angry and punishing a child if they do something like hitting or biting another child, we can see it as an opportunity for us to teach and the child to learn about caring for others.

Here are 8 tips for a Montessori approach to discipline:

1. Not using bribes and rewards or punishment

2. Respectful communication

3. Model / assist child to make amends

4. Find ways to solve problems together

5. Help child if they are having a hard time

6. Freedom within limits

7. Translate for them

8. Kind and clear limits

“To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom ... Real freedom, instead, is a consequence of development; it is the development of latent guides, aided by education.” —”The Absorbent Mind”, Dr. Maria Montessori


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