How to Get Parenting Partners on Board with Montessori

It’s natural that when you first discover something that you think is amazing (like Montessori!), you immediately want to convert everyone around you to do things exactly the same way. But sometimes couples (or other important caregivers in your child’s life) can have very different ideas of how to raise children. Is it the end of the world if your parenting partner or caregiver doesn’t do everything “the Montessori way?” No. Children are resilient and can adjust the way they respond to different adults. But if there are certain aspects that you feel VERY strongly about or have seen great success with, sharing that with your partner/other caregivers is great!

Share your own personal experience

Share a time when you were in the middle of a tough situation, but then you made a small change and that changed the way your child responded. For example, “Nora kept yelling at me about the plate color I got for her, so I moved her plates to the lower cupboard and asked her to pick one out. She was so happy to do it for herself!” Share what you’re excited about or a recent win you just had. Enthusiasm is contagious!

Model it

Just like we place more of an emphasis on our actions than on our words when teaching a new concept to a child, you can model Montessori concepts through the way you speak to your child or the amount of independence you allow your child to have in front of your parenting partner/other caregivers. You don’t always have to explicitly say, “We talk to young children like this!” Modeling it in action can be way more powerful.

Ask questions

Talk with your parenting partner about their own ideas about parenting:

  • “What is the most important thing about parenting for you?”
  • “What are your family values?”
  • “What do you want your relationship with the kids to look like?”
  • “What are some things you want to do differently than YOUR parents?”

Your partner’s parenting philosophy might already align with Montessori principles, and then you can kind of discuss it through that lens. And sometimes just sharing your own answers can provide food for thought.

Don’t expect it to be a one-time conversation

So many parenting situations change as your children grow! You can’t plan ahead for all of it, but staying in communication about how you want to handle things can make it easier to adjust together.

Share info you find online

If you attend a parenting webinar or take one of my e-courses, invite your parenting partner/other caregivers to join you. If you see something amazing on social media that you want to try, send it to your partner and see what they think.

Sometimes you will do everything you can to try to get your parenting partner, your kids’ grandparents, or other caregivers to take an active role in parenting a certain way, but they’re still not interested or can’t make the change. Ultimately, you can’t FORCE your partner to parent a certain way, just like you wouldn’t want your partner to force YOU to do something you just don’t believe in. Believe in the impact you can have on your child even if nobody else truly gets on board. You’re an important person in your child’s life, and what you do DOES matter — even if you’re the only person doing it.