According to Dr. Maria Montessori, "(The children) will imitate us in any case. Let us treat them, therefore, with all the kindness which we would wish to help develop in them.”
In honor of "Great Kindness Week," we have collected five Montessori inspired ways to express kindness year-round!
Be the first example. Model kindness in small ways everyday. Children are very impressionable; they watch and observe everything that we do. Simple acts such as holding the door open for someone or offering to help them with a bulky object can go a long way because children tend to imitate what they observe.
Encourage kindness to the planet. The core of Montessori’s philosophy is not only the emphasis of teaching children how to take care of themselves and their peers, but also their environment. Teaching the child the significance of protecting our planet through simple acts such as turning the faucet off when brushing their teeth or recycling benefits everyone.
Practice cultural awareness and empathy. Teach children to look beyond themselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race and our religion. Montessori cultural studies expose children to different people and their cultures. Through continent and cultural studies, children learn about the interconnectedness of all humans on earth.
Encourage kind treatment of all living things, especially animals. Dr. Montessori believed that children "have an anxious concern for living beings, and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight. It is therefore easy to interest them in taking care of plants and especially of animals." Caring relationships with both people and animals are important factors in childhood development.
Respect your child's individuality and uniqueness. This is perhaps the most Montessori way of showing kindness and love to your own child, by accepting their uniqueness. Being able to observe your child’s needs and provide for them without hindering their freedom of movement, expression, and thought, is the ultimate demonstration and example of kindness and love.