The Montessori Approach to Discipline: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

The Montessori approach to discipline is a unique and effective way of teaching children how to behave. It is based on the Positive Discipline approach created by Jane Nelsen, Ed, D, which assumes the best in children and empowers them to develop self-discipline and problem-solving skills. This approach requires patience and repetition on the part of the teacher, as well as a paradigm shift away from traditional methods of discipline. Positive Discipline is not based on punishments such as threats, isolation or random consequences.

Instead, it focuses on encouragement and redirection. It is possible to be firm while still being kind and gentle. Over time, this approach can be more effective than punishment-based philosophies. Montessori classrooms also recognize that socialization is part of the nature of the child.

Therefore, teachers should create productive opportunities for children to discuss and talk. Jane Nelsen explains that all behavior is “goal-oriented”, meaning that the child acts with a purpose, whether that purpose is conscious or unconscious. Therefore, in clear opposition to traditional discipline, neither the child nor his behavior is the real problem. Children who behave badly are often called “bad children who “don't fit”.

In reality, they want to fit in more than anything else; they just don't understand how. Montessori schools take a different approach to discipline. In a Montessori program, children receive discipline, but they are also given freedom. Key principles of positive discipline overlap with Montessori theory.

For example, the approach is based on mutual respect, desires self-reliance and focuses on enabling children to appropriate their behaviour. When disciplining your child, it's important to stay calm and get up to their level. Remind them what appropriate behavior looks like and talk to them about what might happen if they make certain decisions. The Montessori method tells us that there is a fine line between freedom and discipline; it is cultivated together with inner growth and awareness.To help your child learn how to behave appropriately, you should limit their toy selection to two or three items instead of an entire treasure.

If you know your child can't make an informed decision about something, avoid coming to the rescue. Instead, talk to your child about what might happen to the decision and comfort them if they are upset about it.The Montessori approach to discipline requires patience and repetition on our part. It is based on mutual respect and desires self-reliance in children. It also focuses on enabling children to appropriate their behaviour in a positive way.

When disciplining your child, it's important to stay calm and get up to their level.