Musings on Montessori and life from a teacher/guide/directress
Monday, December 14, 2009
Breaking the Code
We spent much of our time at book club listening to real life behavior issues from our parents and brainstorming possible ways to help. Most of our scenarios fit into the table in Chapter 4 of Positive Discipline. Dreikurs found that children kept ending up in four categories when they were discouraged: looking for undue attention, using misguided power, seeking revenge, and/or assuming inadequacy. Nelson states that misbehaving children are speaking to us in code, saying, "I just want to belong." It is up to us to break the code and help the child resolve the behavior in ways that result in positive life skills, and a feeling of belonging and significance. Punishment may stop the behavior, but it will not solve the problem. Nelson acknowledges that it is difficult to encourage a child when: we do not feel positive about the misbehavior, we do not understand our own contribution to the misbehavior, and because, even when we remain positive, the child may not be receptive because he needs a time to "cool-off." Nelson states that once children get to age 11 or 12, it becomes more difficult to use some of her techniques, because teens are so much more governed by peer pressure.So, it is even more important to use encouragement over excessively-controlling methods with our young children, because it becomes almost impossible to control a teen. Everyone, adults, teens, and children, want mutual respect and a standard of equality when it comes to problem solving. The table developed by Dreikurs is an invaluable tool found in Chapter 4.
I am a Montessori teacher who just completed my 10th year. I feel lucky to have found a calling that incorporates so many of my interests: music, theater, art, literature, and sports. I adore singing, tennis, and gardening. I have three fabulous children ranging in age from 14-21 (all Montessori-educated). Montessori opened up the world for me. I found out I love practical life and making beautiful things, which I have dubbed "Jane Austen Time."