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The Road to Discipline

Recently, Pine Grove hosted Chip DeLorenzo, parent, director of the Damariscotta Montessori School and Positive Discipline trainer, at Pine Grove to lead a 2-hour parent workshop on Positive Discipline. The feedback from parents was tremendously positive, possibly due to the resonance of the simple concepts he presented to the group. It is not always rocket science but often simple concepts, applied consistently, that are the key to success. The attached article not only shares a few more simple disciplinary techniques for you to try with your children but a little bit about Maria Montessori’s view of how discipline develops in the young child.

The Road to Discipline

By: Usha Mangrulkar

From: Tomorrow’s Child magazine, April 2104

Traditionally, discipline, when referred to children, meant the imposition of the adult will on that of the child, because, supposedly, the adult loved and cared for the child or simply because he/she knew better.

The Montessori concept of “inner discipline” comes from the following ideas:

  • that a child will only be obedient/disciplined when what is asked of her corresponds to her inner urges and takes into account her interests and capabilities;

  • that a state of discipline is a destination arrived at only after the establishment of inner order and security, built on small successes and accomplishments;

  • that true discipline can only be achieved when no monitoring is required and the child senses that it is the right thing to do.

In Montessori classrooms, we instill inner discipline by “individualizing” our program based on observation of each child and by not imposing a pre-planned and uniform curriculum for everyone. How and what a child chooses for work, how long he/she persists at it, how and when he/she completes it are all signposts to the child’s future progress. We give the children an enriched, orderly classroom and uninterrupted time to build up their concentration to pursue their work to completion. We remove obstacles from their path (e.g. disruptions and interruptions) and guide/help the child only as and when necessary.

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