Updated: Nov 1
Do you consider yourself a gentle parent, but don’t follow “Montessori at Home”? Is your home setup to resemble a Montessori space but you are new to the idea of gentle parenting? Whichever way you identify, Montessori philosophy and the Gentle Parenting approach share similar values. Montessori philosophy and the Gentle Parenting approach share similar values.
Montessori philosophy is an educational system founded in encouraging the growth and development of: independence, coordination, concentration, and order, and respecting the child as a fully capable individual from birth.
Gentle Parenting is a parenting style that embodies empathy, respect, and understanding toward children in regard to them as people and their overall development.
Although these two styles share many similarities, they are not exactly the same.
So, what are the similarities?
A foundation of respect for the child, treating the child as equal to the adult.
Both methods use a positive approach to discipline, meaning a child is not punished or put in “time out”, but rather guided to make safe and respectful choices and experience natural consequences.
Children are given the opportunity to make choices and decisions and their opinions are valued.
There is a focus on intrinsic motivation.
And how are they different?
One primary difference is that Montessori philosophy focuses on the child’s ability to teach themselves through the freedom of choice in activities, whereas, Gentle Parenting typically has more parent involvement.
A Montessori at Home environment often shares similarities to a Montessori classroom with child sized furniture, activities in baskets or on trays with open shelving, and items that foster care of the environment and self. Gentle parents often have a wide range of activities and toys available depending on their personal style.
Montessori at Home places more emphasis on learning and participating in daily life tasks. Gentle Parenting places more emphasis on positive discipline.
In both Montessori at Home and the Gentle Parenting approach, it is essential that the parents are present in their children’s lives by responding to their child’s needs, spending time with them, and acting as guides. These styles can be combined to foster a nurturing, peaceful, child centered environment.