Montessori has made parenting easier in many ways but it can also be a hard and lonely path. I feel like this side is not discussed enough and so I’m sharing my own feelings about it. I think the word that describes what makes it hard for me is fight. It sometimes seems like I’m in a constant fight.
- A fight against our default inclinations: Like most Montessori or positive parents, I am trying to parent differently from the way I was raised. I usually try to understand what drives my children’s behaviors and respond respectfully. However, during stressful times, I have to fight the desire to default to the way I was raised. Yelling, threatening or punishing feel like an easier path in those moments.
- A fight against guilt: Sometimes we don’t win the fight against our default inclination and then we have to fight guilt. In the middle of yelling or responding to a request with “No!” Or asking “what is wrong with you!” All my knowledge and understanding of the child and the ideal way to deal with the situation would flash through my mind and I would feel intense guilt. I would feel like I’m failing them and failing myself.
- A fight against other people’s opinions and advice: I sometimes feel judged even when nothing is said. Parenting differently does that to you… or maybe it’s just me. People make suggestions that go against my parenting choices and I feel like they are condemning, like I have to defend or justify my choices. Then I question myself… constantly. Am I doing this right? Maybe I’m failing them.
- A fight for my children: “Actually it’s normal behavior for this stage”, “they are usually not like this. I really don’t know what’s wrong with them.”… I find myself making excuses for them, explaining in advance when they don’t act “perfectly” or to the expectations of others.
- A fight against the urge to compare them to other children: This can range from comparing them to children who are being raised or educated traditionally to other Montessori children on social media. Some examples for me are meeting a child who is the same age as my child who maybe knows all the alphabet or obeys the first time their parent gives an instruction.
Those are some of the things I struggle with. Do you struggle with the same or maybe other things? I’d love to hear in the comments. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to share some of the things that help me deal with this side of Montessori Parenting.
Live a Good Life!
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