Discipline the Montessori Way

Discipline is one of the topics I get the most questions about, which is why I made it a large part of my Montessori Parenting E-Course and Workshops.  You can get a full, more detailed version of how to discipline the Montessori way over there, but here’s a cheat sheet for you:

The first step to disciplining the Montessori way is actually counterintuitive — it’s to provide more freedom!  Of course, those freedoms must be limited in some way, and this forms the bones of your disciplining structure in the home.  These are your family rules as well as just some natural limits to freedom to ensure the safety of everyone in the home.

When your child tests those limits to the freedom, as she surely will, you can provide positive redirection.  This involves telling your child what she “may do” rather than what she “may not do.”

At times, this involves offering choices — each of which you as the parent must be ok with your child choosing.

If your child refuses to choose, that means you as the parent get to make the choice, and that often involves enforcing natural consequences.  This isn’t a random punishment like grounding your child or taking something away from her, but it is simply the natural result of whatever bad choice she made.  The consequence must make sense for the offense.

Once the natural consequence to your child’s actions has been enforced, the limit to the freedom has been adjusted — possibly temporarily [only until your child is capable of making a good choice], but maybe permanently [if your child is consistently unable to make the right choice].

Employing the Montessori way of discipline means that you no longer need to employ traditional methods such as using punishments or physical redirection, charting behavior or offering external rewards — because none of those methods actually result in any positive change in behavior.

If you would like a more in-depth explanation with concrete examples of how to discipline the Montessori way, you can enroll in my Montessori Parenting E-Course HERE.

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