Coming Up In Week 3: Freedom and Discipline
We will re-visit the conventional definitions of “freedom” and “discipline,” discuss natural and logical consequences, and think outside the paradigm of reward and punishment to guide children into a liberated adulthood.
PLEASE COME PREPARED HAVING READ:
Week 2 Recap:
We introduced the child in the First Plane of development and discussed some ways in which we meet that child’s needs as custodians of the environment.
Some of you asked for notes around First Plane theory:
“I have found that in his development, the child passes through certain phases, each of which has its own particular needs. The characteristics of each are so different that the passages from one phase to another have been described by certain psychologists as ‘rebirths.’” (Four Planes, p.1)
Three Conditions for Optimal Development in Each Plane:
- Environment is adapted to needs and tasks of that plane
- Liberty to act within the environment (toward self-construction)
- Adult who links child to environment, understands development of the child, and guides and facilitates activity within the environment
The ability and skill to care for oneself and environment without external assistance.
ENVIRONMENTAL NEEDS during the First Plane:
- Consistent environment & care giver
- Safety / security / order
- Opportunity for sensorial exploration
- Opportunity for communication
- Opportunity for developing functional independence
CREATIONS during the First Plane:
- Cultural adaptation
- Social cohesion
- These creations lead to: Self Regulation, Will, Obedience, structure of the mind
If you found Maria Montessori’s theory of human development related to Four Planes interesting, we recommend her article “The Four Planes of Development,” which can be purchased through the AMI website.
Preparing the Environment:
- The First Plane child takes in the totality of her surroundings like snapping an image with a camera, without being able to sift through those that are helpful or those that are harmful to her development.
- The young child creates herself with what she finds in her environment. This process happens with or without our support. As the “custodians” of the built environment, we ask: “why not help?”
As we discussed, the guidelines for choosing books can be applied to just about anything we choose for a child: real, beautiful, and enjoyable for child and adult.
We trust that a child appreciates beautiful aesthetics as much as we do, and we trust that she can take care of things.
Underpinning the choices we make for our children is a deep respect for them as human beings.
- Guidelines for choosing children’s books
- Why We Choose Natural Materials Over Plastic
- A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys
- Some thoughts on screen time
Questions From This Week:
My child continually asks for me to “help” with tasks I know she can do herself. It seems like she just wants time to connect. How should I respond? Is helping a time for connection, or an opportunity for empowerment and allowing feelings? We always keep in mind the unspoken messages we are sending to children by unnecessarily helping.
How can I best support independence in an older child who has not had autonomy until now?
We support this child the same way we support any other: as calm, confident, consistent leaders. This child may have missed his sensitive period for wanting to “do it himself,” and learned some habits around depending on adults. He may even need more practice with developing the fine motor skills it takes to dress himself or prepare food. We can set firm limits that are respectful to everyone, allow feelings, and trust the child.
Thank you everyone, and we will see you next week!
Maggie and Jane