Today in America, the debate continues regarding how best to discipline children. We watch skeptically the parental styles of others, read articles and books, and talk with our friends about their opinions. But what if the best method of discipline is not to punish children at all?
This is a topic that often comes up on parent tours at our Montessori school. Parents see classrooms full of toddlers and 3-6 year olds all working diligently side by side on various tasks and they turn to me and ask, "What do you do when they misbehave or don't want to share?" The answer is that the children have learned that they are respected members of the class; They know that if there is a problem, we can work together to find a solution. Conflict resolution is modeled and children are taught how to respectfully speak up for themselves when they feel they have been wronged.
I recently came across the article, 10 Ways to Guide Children Without Punishment, which does a fantastic job outlining just how we create these peaceful Montessori environments.
For more information about Montessori education and The Westmont Montessori School, visit our website at www.westmontmontessori.org.