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positive discipline

How to Encourage Skills Practice

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The school year is coming to a close. Some of us have children who are not quite on par with society's academic standards, and this can be a cause for concern. On the one hand, we want them to relax during the summer. On the other hand, we know the value of consistent practice to master skills that don't come naturally.  

I live this struggle with my son, so I decided to set an expectation of summer writing practice to ensure he continues making progress. I had a conversation with...

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Raising Creative Problem-Solvers

Do you constantly referee children's disagreements? Do you tend to side with one child, frustrating the other? Or do you offer solutions, only to be ignored? If you're nodding in response to any of these questions, this will help...

The scenario:

My 4.5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son share a room. It's the only place in the house where they're allowed to play LEGOs, so the plastic pieces don't take over ourBLW_Two_Bacchic_Putti_Fighting living room/homeschool area. Both kids love LEGOs, but my older son likes to...

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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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Safe Haven

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A recent visitor from Russia gifted our classroom with a truly exquisite set of nesting dolls, the smallest of which was no larger than the fingernail on mypinky. All the children were curious about the dolls, but Annie, a nine-year-old who was new toour classroom, was truly enamored by the set. Between academic activities, she would spend time lining up the dolls and then nesting them again.

I was absent for a few hours on Tuesday morning, and by Wednesday three boysmade the discovery that...

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Manic Brain

When I decided that screen time would no longer be a part of my 4-year-old's life, I knew I would have to deal with screen detox. The first day of Spring Break was also the first day of the "No More Screens" rule. Almost immediately after waking up, Zach asked to watch videos. I said no and reminded him of the new rule. He got very angry and cried. I acknowledged his feelings and stood my ground firmly and with love. When he calmed down, we had breakfast and played trains while the baby...

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Try This At Home

At a recent parent education meeting at the school where I work, we asked parents to share their parenting challenges and provided some Montessori-based tools that can help bridge the gap between school and home. It can be confusing for a child to move between two sets of expectations: punishment at home vs. consequences at school; praise at home vs. acknowledgment at school; one set of limits at home and another at school... When the expectations at school and at home are similar, the child...

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Say It and Mean It

Do you know someone who makes promises (be they good or bad) and never delivers? How do you feel about that person? When we use empty promises or threats to get our children to comply, in their eyes we become that person.

Sure, manipulation works really well. But only for a while. And it comes at a terrible cost: your child's willingness to trust and believe you.

What would happen if we were forced to follow through on every single promise and threat we made to our children? We'd pay a lot more...

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Show & Tell

It might seem like Montessori parents like to show off what their children can do: "Look, my baby can drink from a glass! My toddler can slice a cucumber!" But honestly, our excitement has nothing to do with bragging. At least for me, sharing my son's accomplishments is about telling other people: "Look what YOUR child is capable of, and imagine the sense of competence YOUR child can develop!"

Parents who are new to Montessori often observe a classroom and think: "My child would never fit in....

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Ca-ching!

Fellow Montessori mom and friend Amy, over at Positively Montessori, shares her experiences with the Positive Discipline approach to parenting. Every week she addresses a new topic and discusses how it's been working at her household with her 6-yr. old daughter and 15-month old son.

Here's a post on helping children understand the value of money. It offers some great ideas that take the power struggle out of buying toys, teach through natural consequences, and highlight the joy of giving.

Do...

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