Mothers, fathers, grandparents, parent figures, and close family and friends play vital roles in a child’s life and development. When we are involved, interested, affectionate, and communicative, children develop self-confidence and self-esteem which, studies show, contribute significantly to a child’s success.
In the Montessori classroom, we emphasize the importance of modeling, in words and in deed, because it resonates so well with children. Over time, they adopt our sense of calm; they learn how to effectively interact with others; they practice appropriate behaviors; and they build fluency in grace and courtesy – all by watching, listening, and then imitating what we do and say. As I often caution parents: “Children are always watching what we do;” whether our words and actions are intentional or not, children follow our example.
Parents play a forever-vital role in the development of their children. To this end, here are some ideas to make the most of your influential role:
- Have meals together as a family, focusing on the social aspects (conversation) as much as the transactional aspects (consuming food); not only does this count as “quality time,” but it builds conversation skills in children.
- Go on adventures together – take trips to the beach or park; visit with friends; or simply have them help with grocery shopping. Ask them to help make plans; give them some decision-making authority; and narrate your activities so they can develop their critical thinking skills and expand their vocabulary.
- Practice traditions – children look forward to rituals and they make powerful impressions! Plan a day or evening for baking, visiting the library, having a special dinner, watching a movie, or taking up a new activity as a family.
With Mother’s Day approaching and Father’s Day not too far behind, thank those who show up for your child by being part of their life. And don’t forget to give yourself a big pat on the back – parenting isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always come out perfectly; but by showing up every day, you are giving your children the most valuable gift of all.
About Hala Kahiki
Designed for children 18 months – 6 years, Hala Kahiki is the first and only authentic Montessori school on Lāna’i. Under the guiding influence of specially trained teachers, children work with multi-sensorial materials to help them learn to think critically and become well-rounded global citizens. We would love to partner with you to give your children the best-possible early childhood education; please let us know how we can help you achieve your goals for your child.