Letting-go in Montessori Pedagogy

Today I would like to come back to a more practical point, with which all mothers are confronted, and which is crucial in Montessori pedagogy: it is the famous “let go”.

What is letting go in Montessori pedagogy?

Contrary to some preconceived ideas and outdated methods today, educating a child does not mean formatting his mind, but helping him to train himself alone, to develop his autonomy. The “letting go” does not mean in any way that any parental or other authority (teachers) must be renounced. 

The child, for his good development, needs rules and limits. It is simply a question of being vigilant without being confronted with a frontal struggle and without surrendering.

The basis of “letting go” when raising a child is TRUST. Confidence in oneself, in certain values that one wishes to transmit, but also and above all TRUST in one’s CHILD. This will give him the vital energy to grow well. 

Be in a virtuous circle of respect, while making it safe, respect the child’s freedom as much as possible. You will see that very soon your child will give it back to you.

There is no model child

To do this, however, an essential behaviour is to try to abandon the idea of a model child. In general, we do not know everything about them and very often parents tend to idealize their child. Asking your child to do like such a person (sister, older brother, cousin, boyfriend, etc.) who is wise, will have no effect.

Copying our friends’ methods on their children is futile, focusing our attention on their models, and only on them, is neglecting the identity of one’s own child, one’s own needs, rhythm and development, which are ultimately the essential ones.

Being parents can be learned. Our children’s education is made up of ERRORS as well as SUCCESS. 

There is no perfect parent

My little advice is to start by accepting that the perfect parent doesn’t exist, to undramatize and stop making yourself sick with each slip-up. This builds confidence and creates a safe and reassuring atmosphere for your child, which is the most important thing he or she needs above all.

Stop doing things reluctantly with your children under the pretext that “good parents do it”. Doing something with your child by force is counterproductive, you risk making yourself impatient and unpleasant and the experience will not be rewarding for you or your child who will feel it. The child perceives all our emotions.

So let’s stop feeling guilty, let’s think about all the things we do or will do with pleasure in the company of our child. 

Cooking with him, taking him to an exhibition, spending time with him and sharing common interests … let’s not sacrifice ourselves, it’s useless. 

The child will certainly feel that you are happy to be with him/her, that you really enjoy sharing these common activities. This will strengthen your bonds and enhance your child’s confidence.

Important principle of education. 

* Education is first and foremost about TRUSTING to the child.

* There are no perfect parents, everyone experiments.

* Verbalize, explain everything to your child, you will be surprised at the effect you get.

Explain rather than impose

With young children, it is useless to fight or impose things.

He doesn’t want to put on his pants? Okay, distract him for a few moments, for example, show him through the window the big truck passing by, and resume the dressing session a minute later when the pressure is off.

When you disagree with your child, there is only one watchword: explain it to him/her. 

For example, if he takes his classmate’s or brother’s toy, explain why it should be returned to him: it is his toy, would you not like it if someone took your toy from you? Rather than tearing it out of his hands and returning the toy to the boyfriend without a ticket.

Another example for the older ones:

Explain how important it is to work well in school, to make this or that assignment. Not “because it is necessary”, which would be an obligation, but for his own good, for his own future. Your child is obviously worthy of understanding these explanations and will feel valued, full of confidence, his esteem will be felt and he will be appeased.

So much for today, I hope that this reading has served you well.

Have a great day.