Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fostering Independence

Mo adding yogurt to a Muffin Tin Monday meal.

Audrey is in a Montessori school because her father and I like the way children are guided toward learning how to teach themselves. Instead of being told how to solve a problem the children are helped to discover the solution themselves. Maurene will start in the fall but we have already started some basic principles at home.

Before the girls were born I studied Elementary Education and came across a discipline style called Love and Logic. The basic idea is teaching children that they have choices in life. Instead of telling them what they must do the parent (or educator) gives the child two choices and lets the child decide. Both choices are acceptable to the adult and the child learns that she is capable. 

Children learn at such an amazing speed.

I explain all of this so that you will understand why I went back to sleep when I discovered my two-year-old serving herself breakfast this morning.

Audrey stayed over at school last night for a sleepover. Maurene slept alone in her room and woke up scared at a little before 5am. I tried to get her to go back to sleep with me but she stayed awake. She got up and retrieved her pillow and brought in a book to read. Around 6:30 she decided she needed a clean diaper and brought one in for me. After that I heard her in the kitchen (our room is next to the kitchen) rummaging through the drawer with children's kitchen items. After a bit I had to get up to see what she was doing.

I found her trying her best to remove the lid from a plastic 32oz container. When I walked over she told me she wanted yogurt for breakfast. She had a bowl, spoon, and the container laid out on her little table. I noticed it was actually cottage cheese so I swapped it for the yogurt and removed the lid for her. I almost started to spoon it into the bowl but then decided to let her do that. I added a bag of assorted muffins from a muffin swap earlier in the week for her to add to the yogurt meal. A 5am wake up left me tired so I went back to bed. 

Fostering independence means that I will be able to sleep in on Saturday mornings very soon.

When I got out of bed 30 minutes later I had a child who had fed herself breakfast and was ready to get dressed. Now we just need to work on cleaning up after a meal.

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2 comments:

  1. That's awesome! I do love and logic with my kids (well, I try to, I'm not always perfect about it) and I love it. That's so great that she's confident serving herself. Nice that you got a bit more time to rest, too!

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  2. Every moment of rest is helpful with active children. I just love how she decided to take care of herself. And I let her.

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