No matter who we are or what is going on in our lives, we all have something to be grateful for. By showing-- which is identical to teaching-- gratitude to your young children, you can teach them the path to a gratitude mindset that will serve them for the rest of their lives. We encourage this mindset in the Montessori elementary school, and encourage parents to do the same at home.
An Attitude of Gratitude
An attitude of gratitude is a vital element of the Montessori preschool, providing a sense of well being for the giver as well as the receiver. When you thank your child for a job well done, it pleases you to say so and gives your child an incentive to please you more often. It is much too easy to take the care and kindness of others in stride while taking a moment to acknowledge the efforts of others is never a waste of effort.
Life as a Series of Lessons
Even in the worst of times, there will be many reasons to express gratitude. Think of the bad things which happen as an opportunity to learn and be grateful for the knowledge that a lesson learned may not be repeated. Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, we can all be grateful for the meals we eat, the time we spend with friends and family, and the blessing of experiencing another day. Adversity is not there to defeat us, it is there to make us stronger.
Give a Little Bit
Gratitude is contagious. When a child discovers that being grateful is a path to gaining someone’s smile and attention, they will take advantage of the opportunity. As your child’s primary role model in life, you can nurture this desire to please by praising her when it is appropriate and displaying an attitude of gratitude to the people you interact with.
When you display the gratitude mindset, you encourage your children to adopt it as well. As with so much of a young child’s education, the easiest and most successful way to teach them is to be the example they can learn from
Your Montessori elementary school is a holistic environment, putting an emphasis on developing the total child. This means that emotional and social education takes place alongside more traditional studies such as math and reading. The underlying goal is to help your child become an integral part of the classroom and community, using respect and conflict resolution to reduce confrontations and disagreements.
Courtesy and Grace
Good manners are important aspects of the Montessori elementary school. By treating others courteously and exhibiting graceful acceptance of praise, children are encouraged to think about the feelings and needs of others as part of their own behavior. Instead of making selfish demands for their own gratification, children learn to make thoughtful allowances for their classmates, looking for peaceful solutions to social problems.
Respect and Acceptance
When young children are given the fundamentals of respect in the classroom, they easily adapt to the concept of accepting alternative points of view which are not their own. Academically, the same respect allows children to look at a wider variety of materials and examples, recognizing that all conflict is settled through negotiation and communication. The underlying concept is that we can make better choices for our class or community by recognizing the differences and desires of those around us.
In the classroom, children are introduced to various forms of social and emotional conflict and then guided toward finding solutions to the conflict. This helps children gain empathy, or the ability to put oneself into the position of someone else. Instead of disagreement leading to conflict, it presents an opportunity for cooperation and negotiation.
Finding solutions to conflicts in the classroom forms a circle of respecting the views of others, recognizing that a different viewpoint is acceptable, and looking for choices that will allow both sides of the conflict to be satisfied with the outcome. It fosters the idea that more can be accomplished by working together than working against one another, and that is a concept that works as well in the home or workplace as it does in a Montessori elementary school.
Your child’s Montessori preschool is interested in more than memorizing facts. It provides a complete approach to becoming active members of first the classroom and the community they live in. Teaching the social skills your preschooler needs to learn is more a matter of guidance than education, and it begins at home rather than in the classroom.
Grace and Courtesy
Grace and courtesy are traits that are central to managing personal behavior. Your Montessori preschool will help children acquire the grace to accept compliments and praise while instilling in them the politeness to show gratitude and appreciation.
As with other aspects of your child’s education, the precedents you set through your own behavior are the fundamentals that will be put into action. Let him see you displaying grace and courtesy, offering thanks for services and graciously accepting positive feedback as a matter of course.
The ability to convey concepts and emotions is vital in the development of social skills. Language and vocabulary are how people-- including young children-- are able to share their point of view, show interest, and let others know about the things which we would like to change. Including your kids in conversation and treating them with respect gives them the courage to speak up and helps them find the right words to make their position understood.
When you treat your kids with tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion you give them the opportunity to exhibit positive social skills. Keep in mind that children begin with a blank slate that is slowly filled with information. The opportunity to experience and influence is a necessary ingredient in learning how to interact with others in a positive and mutually acceptable manner.
Ask your child questions and show an active interest in her responses. Show her that her input is important to you by discussing her comments and enlisting her opinions. The more you allow her to join in your daily social interactions, the better she will be able to manage her own responsibilities and obligations.