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In mentoring parents, Maria, Amanda, and I are often asked about Montessori parenting. What is it? How do I do it? Is this some kind of weird New Age thing? (It’s not.) What do I need to know to get started? What is Montessori parenting?

Montessori parenting is about embracing the principles of the Montessori philosophy in your approach to raising your child. It focuses on fostering independence, respect for the child’s developmental pace, creating an environment that supports their growth and learning, and guiding your child to maximize their potential. Here are nine key principles and practices of Montessori parenting and book recommendations, if you would like to learn more.

1. respect and independence

  • Avoid shaming or blaming your child.
    Treat your child with respect; acknowledge their individuality and autonomy.
  • Encourage your child to do things for themselves.
  • Offer age-appropriate choices and responsibilities, starting when your child is an infant.

2. prepared environment

  • Avoid battery-powered toys and screens.
  • Create a prepared environment at home that is organized, child-friendly, and conducive to learning and exploration.
  • Provide child-sized furniture, low shelves, and accessible materials that your child can use independently.

3. observe and follow the child

  • Observe your child closely to understand their interests, strengths, and areas for growth.
  • Adapt your parenting approach based on their needs.
  • Allow your child to take the lead in their learning and activities; follow their interests and provide resources accordingly.

4. hands-on learning

  • Offer hands-on learning experiences that engage the senses and promote exploration.
  • Surround your child with books, art materials, and opportunities for creative expression.
  • Encourage your child to learn through direct interaction with their environment.
  • While your child is focused and engaged, avoid interrupting an activity; they will let you know when it is time to move on to something else.

5. limit choices

  • Limit the number of toy and book choices available to your child.
  • Rotate out items when you notice a sustained wane in interest.
  • Offer a limited number of choices to help your child make decisions without feeling overwhelmed. For example, present two options for a snack or activity.

6. practical life skills

  • Involve your child in daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for their environment. These activities develop fine motor skills, responsibility, and a sense of contribution.
  • This is an area where you can mostly use what you have, without having to invest in specialized Montessori materials

7. encourage focus and concentration

  • Create a calm and focused atmosphere that allows your child to concentrate on tasks.
  • Avoid the temptation to over-decorate your child’s play or learning space.
  • Minimize distractions and interruptions during their activities.

8. respectful discipline

  • Set clear and consistent boundaries while avoiding punitive measures. Encourage your child to understand the consequences of their actions.
  • Use natural consequences and logical reasoning to guide behavior.
  • Engage in open-ended conversations with your child that encourage critical thinking and self-expression.
  • Listen actively to their thoughts and feelings, valuing their perspective.

9. foster a connection with nature

  • Try to ensure your child outdoor time EVERY day. It is a rare that weather is truly a hazard for a child.
  • Spend time in nature and engage in outdoor exploration with your child.
  • Foster a sense of wonder and connection to the natural world.
  • Introduce your child to nature journaling!

My bookshelf devoted to Montessori and parenting books runneth over. Here are a few selections that I have enjoyed and recommend to parents. 

1. Montessori for Every Family: A Practical Parenting Guide by Tim Seldin and Lorna McGrath (Author)

2. Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard 

3. The Montessori Home: Create a Space for Your Child to Thrive by Ashley Yeh

4. The Montessori Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Nurturing Your Baby with Love, Respect, and Understanding by Simone Davies

5. The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being by Simone Davies

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Finally, remember that Montessori parenting is not a strict set of rules. There is not one right way to incorporate Montessori into your parenting. It is a mindful approach that aligns with your family’s values and your child’s unique needs. It’s about creating a nurturing environment that encourages curiosity, exploration, and a lifelong love of learning. 

Adjust your parenting strategies as your child grows and changes. And most of all, model the behaviors, values, and attitudes you want to instill in your child. Your actions speak louder than words.

What are your burning Montessori parenting questions? Drop them in the comments below. 

You can find more Montessori tips on my author page.



This page contains affiliate links for some of the things that I love. Shopping through these links earns 3 Moms Blog a small percentage of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

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