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The Entitlement Myth

A few weeks into his first-grade year, my formerly sweet and relatively cooperative son began acting sassy, cocky, and entitled. Requests for help were met with groans and eye-rolls. Limits were countered with sighs and "whatever"s.

We gave him the benefit of a doubt: Surely he was just imitating his older classmates' rude behaviors. Or maybe this was a misguided attempt at being more independent. All my friends' children were acting the same way, so it was probably a developmental phase....

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The Good Struggle

This morning, let's talk about compassion (identifying our common struggles) and empathy (letting others know they're not alone).

Raise your hand if you want your child to show compassion and empathy for others. OK, that's pretty much everyone in the audience. Put your hands down.

Now, raise your hand if you want your child to suffer. Anyone? Anyone? *crickets*

Most of us agree that it's painful to watch our child get hurt (physically or emotionally). So painful, in fact, that it triggers the...

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Entitlement: Been There, Done That

Few things trigger me more than interacting with a child who has an entitled attitude. rich-kidWhy? Because I was one of them. I grew up in a traditional Mexican upper-middle-class family, with a stay-at-home mom and two maids who did all the housework so we didn't have to. I never did my laundry, tidied my room, or set a table. Those things just happened!

When I was 18, my mom went back to school and decided that I needed to learn how to run a home. One night, my dad was coming home a bit later than...

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Full Bloom

When you're pregnant, it's as if you're handed a seed of unknown origin. You put it in the soil, water it, and give it light. The first seed leaves emerge, and you feel so proud! As the first set of true leaves unfurl, you begin to imagine the possibilities. You're sure your plant will be a hydrangea, because those are your favorite plants and surely nobody would give you a seed of a plant you don't like!

But then, much to your surprise, your hydrangea begins to look more and more like a...

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Prepare to be Amazed

prep-bananaMany parents like to help feed or dress their children, even when the children become capable of doing it on their own, because they feel it’s a way of showing love. While parents who follow the Montessori philosophy understand that it’s important to support their child’s budding independence, they sometimes don’t know how to channel their affection in a way that’s helpful to their child’s development!

You’ll be happy to know that in the Montessori philosophy, you – the parent – play a very...

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Your Child Has a Secret

nut-boltIf you’ve been following the Voila Montessori video series, you’ve probably had the opportunity to give several presentations to your child by now. She might have shown interest in some activities, and completely ignored others. Do you feel frustrated when that happens? All that hard work to put together the material, and your child isn’t interested in it!

Find out why this happens and what you can do about it by clicking here!

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10 Quick Tips for Baking with Your Toddler

Note: You'll find our fabulous, healthy, and toddler-approved recipe at the end of this post! Try it out and let us know if you like it!

I love to cook, and I'd love to include Zach every time I'm in the kitchen. But as a working mom, I rarely get more than 15 minutes to cobble together a semi-healthy meal during the week. Instead of pressuring myself to involve my toddler in weeknight dinner preparation, Zach and I bake muffins on the weekends, and we've been making the same recipe for the...

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Playing Catch Up

There's one thing that sets children ages 0-3 apart from children in all other Montessori age groups, and it's been throwing me for a loop recently:

THEIR NEEDS AND ABILITIES CHANGE SO DARN FAST!!! AAARRGGGHHH!!!

I spent almost two hours observing through a one-way window in my son's Toddler Community. What I saw was amazing. And disconcerting.

Because the environment I worked so hard to set up for my one-year old just a few months back? Yeah, completely useless now.

My baby, the one who was...

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How to Montessori Your Home

Welcome! Come on in... I'm Zach and this is my home. I was born in my parents' bedroom upstairs and have spent my entire life - a whopping 16 months - living here. I love what my parents have done with the place and I want to share my favorite spots with you.

Let's begin in the kitchen. When I started being strong enough to open the drawers on my own, my mom had to do some re-arranging. She moved all the chemicals to the bathroom (the only cabinet in the house with a child-proof lock). She put...

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Supporting Independence

"I wish they would stay at this age forever," commented the father of one-year-old twins.

"My little boy is growing up too fast," lamented a friend on Facebook.

"If I wean my baby, I feel like I'm losing my connection with her," a fellow mom admitted.

We can't deny that from the moment of birth, our babies demonstrate an unstoppable drive towards functional and intellectual independence. A few moments after leaving the womb, if given the right environmental conditions, babies start working hard...

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