Speak to your child the way you would like them to speak to you... respectfully, lovingly and with dignity.

Maria Montessori has shown us that modeling appropriate behavior is particularly critical during a child's first six year of life, because children enter the Absorbent Mind developmental phase. A child's mind acts like a sponge, integrating everything accurately, nonjudmentally, uncritically and effortlessly. Therefore, is it particularly important to model appropriate behavior for your child, especially in the way you speak to others. They will LEARN FROM YOU!

Speak to your child as if he were a dear friend.

When you speak, stoop down, make eye and physical contact, speak slowly. Get down to their level. Developmentally, toddlers do not think they are accountable if you are not at arms length.

Per Maria Montessori, children from the approximate ages of three months to 5 ½ years, enter the Sensitive Period for Language developmental phase. Children need clear articulation, proper usage of language and creative usage of language. This sensitivity to language makes it particularly important to speak clearly and slowly, as well as to show and teach a love of reading.

Use healthy, direct speech:

Use AND instead of BUT: "I feel sad that the vase broke AND I still love you."

Use I FEEL instead of I AM or YOU ARE when speaking about yourself:
" I feel irate." (Takes responsibility and it will pass.)
"I am irate." (Says that’s how I am and will stay.)

Avoid feelings that end in "ED" These are usually blaming statements.
"I feel irritated." (Blames someone else for how I feel.)

Ask, Tell, Respond, Act:

• Ask first: "Please put your activity away." Back off and wait. If needed:

• Tell once: "This goes right here." Hand her the toy and pat the shelf.

• Respond: "OK Mama, I'm putting it away!." (Say if for her.) If needed:

• Act: "Let's do it together!" Do it with joy! (Even if she doesn't help.)

• Teach and model that mistakes are great opportunities to learn:

Most of important... Listen!!!!! Do Not Fix or Try to Change Feelings!

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Delivered by Tulum Dothee, Credentialed and certified educator and counselor.

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