Excerpts from The Montessori Toddler
by Simone Davies
When they don’t want to get dressed
Be prepared for times when they won’t want to do it by themselves. It can be frustrating for the parent to see our child refuse to put their own shoe on when it seemed just yesterday they were so pleased to have accomplished this on their own. Remember, we don’t want to cook dinner everyday either. Be prepared to help, offering, “Would you like some help with your shoe today?”
Remember that toddlers are in the process of becoming independent from us- some days they will want to help and sometimes they will want to do it themselves. What I like to call “the crisis of independence.”
Some ideas that would be useful in getting dressed could be:
• waiting until they finish their activity
• allowing them time to process our requests
• offering them choices of clothing
• using humor
• keeping our expectations age appropriate
When it’s time to leave....
Even though we can allow them to go slow, we don’t have to be saints and allow unlimited amount of time. If we run out of time, we can say something like, “You really want to get dressed by yourself and it is time to leave. I’m going to help you put the last things on.” Set the limit, know our boundaries.
Using our gentle hands and sportscast to help acknowledge any resistance they are giving. “I’m putting on your t-shirt. Yes, you are pulling away. Are you telling me you don’t like it when it goes over your head? Now I’m going to help you with your left arm...”
You can also go stand by the front door. Instead of saying, “I’m leaving without you,” we could say calmly and clearly, “I’m not leaving without you. I’m putting on my shoes now and I”ll be by the front door.”
We received this book at the start of the year from Kristan. It has been a valuable resource for us in the classroom. You can visit Simone’s blog spot at www.montessorinotebook.com for more information from Simone or to order a copy of her invaluable book, The Montessori Toddler.