Teaching Manners to Your Preschooler – The Montessori Way!

Montessori manners play a critical role in shaping the personality of preschoolers, especially when it comes to learning good manners. According to Maria Montessori- the pioneer of the Montessori approach, every young child has an innate dignity and urge to do things in the right way.

She believed that parents could use various Montessori techniques and strategies to teach little ones preschool manners. The entire approach of Montessori to inculcate manners and discipline is simple. However, it becomes challenging for many parents to strike a perfect balance between respect and freedom when teaching Montessori manners to their kids.

Giving kids freedom may seem antithetical or contradictory to discipline, but it is essential to foster manners from within the kids instead of outside sources. Therefore, teaching manners along with education is the basic tenet of Montessori education. It helps develop self-discipline, Montessori grace, and courtesy in the little ones.

If you’re a parent, guardian, or teacher looking for tips and techniques to teach manners to your preschooler in the Montessori way, here is what you need to know.

Grace and Courtesy- Why it is Important

One of the popular ways to encourage self-directed learning, independence, and self-reliance in kids is by following the “Montessori method. If you have young children, you may have an idea that making them do what you SAY can be challenging. But, they do what you DO.

And this is the primary concept of Montessori pedagogy.  Montessori Method emphasizes modeling grace and courtesy as a critical aspect of early education, particularly to teach preschool manners. Note that Montessori grace and courtesy start with parents as “homeschoolers”.

You need to model the most fundamental steps to help kids learn to respect others. Your child will model your behavior and eventually self-govern agreeably, whether it is in terms of manners, accountability, or hygiene. By setting an excellent example of grace and manners, you teach your kids how to behave around others.

What Is Montessori Grace and Courtesy

Children should be taught how to behave appropriately in social circumstances and how to be respectful and polite civilians in society. As said above, grace and courtesy are one of the cornerstones of theMontessori Method, which can be used in both homeschooling and daily life.

You’ll notice that your children develop excellent social skills if you act in a socially and culturally appropriate manner yourself and then reward them when they imitate your behavior. Let’s examine how the Montessori Approach can support your kids in thriving in social interactions, becoming kind people, and acquiring good manners.

Remember that “You” as a parent are a “Guide” for your preschooler. And if you want your kid to behave and learn and practice Montessori manners, you need to understand how Montessori teaching works.

The purpose of Montessori education is to model appropriate behavior and recognize when students perform well, not to penalize (or laud). If your child uses the words “please” and “thank you” in a conversation with someone else, for instance, praise them by saying: “Great job!”

This way, your child will not look for external validation or seek it out. Instead, they master the manners you’re trying to teach them and become strong and independent.

Children are frequently treated as less than complete beings or have concepts simplified for them. Since children continually take in knowledge, even if they cannot wholly understand grace and courtesy at a young age, it creates the foundation for future learning.

Teacher’sBasic Principles to Teach Manners to Your Preschoolers in Montessori Way Role

Respect the Kid

Expecting children to respect others isn’t fair until you don’t respect them. One core principle of Montessori is that kids are complete human beings and need equal respect as adults. Giving children the same amount of respect and importance was an alien concept in 1907.

According to Maria Montessori, when you treat young people with disrespect, you’re doing them a disservice. Not listening to or respecting young individuals can include forbidding them from helping with chores and other disrespectful behaviors.

Your attitude toward your child will change if you start to see them as a person rather than just a “small kid.” This will also change how you act around them. A big part of teaching the Montessori Method is establishing an understanding that your children are not helpless. Instead, they are individuals who can be educated to become an independent individual even from a young age.

Your child will learn that being tidy, caring for your stuff, and polite in everyday conversation are just the right things to do when they observe you doing these things. Children are quite capable, and their abilities may surprise you. It will take direct coaching from you; for example, giving them instructions on greeting and welcoming others.

Model Good Behaviour and Manners

Maria Montessori promoted the idea that kids continually learn from their environment. The process starts at their birth. The proverb “mind what you say as a young individual is constantly listening” also reflects this idea.

During the first several years of life, a child’s senses constantly analyze their environment. They observe and mimic what you doand say. Even they try to say or do things in the same manners you use. That is whyit’s crucial to provide an example of good manners and behavior.

Let Children Practice the Manners

Give your child many opportunities to practice particular manners or behavior you want them to improve after you teach them.

You can begin by practicing polite words with your family at home, such as “please” and “thank you.” Begin by having a family circle and going round the circle with each member of the family role playing a situation where we use “please” and “thank you”.  Role playing is a great way to keep practicing. You can also have them practice with family, friends, or even strangers at the store or a restaurant as they start to get the feel of it.

You should begin anticipating it as soon as your little one can grasp the idea of following or mimicking the Montessori manners. This relates to the preceding idea of behavior modeling. For instance, if your child sees you maintaining a clean home and clearing up things after yourself, it comes naturally to them.

They’ll be more helpful and tidy when you’re anywhere else, like at a friend’s house, if they learn to take care of the things and their space at home.

Allow repetition to give kids many opportunities to perfect their manners without feeling pressured to do it “for real” in front of others. They’ll be more competent in practice if they feel confident in what they do.

Avoid Vague Praise and Strict Punishments

It’s crucial to avoid harsh punishment and general praise when guiding a child to make wise decisions—in manners and everything else. The Montessori Approach to education does not involve harsh punishment.

Moreover, you should avoid reprimanding, embarrassing, or calling out a preschooler who struggles with patience or manners, especially in front of others. According to experts, it isn’t a healthy practice as it can damage children’s confidence while hindering the development of positive conduct.

When you teach manners politely, your children will be able to comprehend the advantages of their behavior and how the reinforcement of their activities stems from the intrinsic worth of those actions. Even though kids like receiving praise from their parents and teachers, the Montessori Method emphasizes fostering independence and intrinsic motivation more than an extrinsic incentive.

Be Consistent, Patient and Practice Diverse Scenarios

Specific components of manners may seem foreign to children if they are not consistently used since children crave consistency and structure. For instance, your child unconsciously notices the number of times you knock on the door before the other person answers, the way you ask for help, or react to setbacks and challenges.

There’s more to Montessori manners than just saying “please” and “thank you.” It’s about handling social situations with grace, dealing with disappointments, and having patience constantly put to the test. When you consider how strongly young children feel and how they lack adults’ emotional and mental capacity to handle stress and frustration, inculcating preschool manners becomes even more significant.

Expect Obstacles

Last but not the least, children have a lower threshold for annoyance than adults, even though you treat them as individuals and value their sentiments.

Remember that you will witness everything from outbursts to tantrums while teaching manners to your preschooler.However, if you respect your child, make sure that you understand that they are still learning how to control their emotions and try to explain the reason behind a particular action.

For instance, waiting fifteen minutes for a meal is one thing for a young kid but doing so while they are starving is quite different. Thus, you need to know that your patience will be tested. It is important to be prepared to support your child in acting appropriately in situations like these.

Summing Up

Children are not perfect; don’t expect them to be. You cannot force manners on your kids. Instead, you need to model and help them practice Montessori manners, grace, and courtesy over the years until they internalize them in their personalities.

If you are a parent or educator seeking to place your child in a setting where manners are essential or learning more about how to teach grace and courtesy please contact the Montessori Learning Center at https://montessorilearning.ca/
Tel: 587 353 2888 or reach us at [email protected]

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