Monkey Business/Fotolia

8 Things You Can Learn From A Montessori Mom

Ad failed to load

I am in no way an expert in the Montessori method. I actually never really intended to send my kids to Montessori school. So when I did my kid gave me a crash course in what it means to be a Montessori kid, and I had to change the way I parent to keep up with him. I have to admit, though, that I fell hard-core for the philosophy and the resulting changes I saw in my kid, and I think there are so many things you can learn from Montessori moms. In my case, Montessori moms taught me how to be a better parent, and I'm never going back.

So what is Montessori, anyway? According to the American Montessori Society, Montessori is an educational philosophy that focuses on and is led by kids. Montessori teachers — and Montessori moms — create a child-friendly space, and let kids make choices within specified limits to reach goals. Children are given more independence than is typically allowed in a class room, and are respected as human beings, capable of autonomy, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Sounds great, right? So, while I can tell you that it's not always easier to let your child learn on in their own in order to figure things out, I definitely think Montessori is a good fit for our family, and I've learned so much from Montessori moms that I think you should try.

Ad failed to load

To Give Your Kids Choices

When I was a kid I got used to being told what to do and to not question authority. Early on I realized that I didn't want to raise my kids that way. So I try to give my kids choices about things like clothes, food, and play time. Kids don't get to control a lot of what goes on in their lives, so whenever possible I try to let my kids make choices, as long as they stay safe and eventually make it to the end goal.

To Bring Things Down To Your Kid's Level


So no one really thrives when they have to try to learn in a way that doesn't work for them. Montessori meets kids wherever they are in their learning. As a mom with a special needs kid, I've learned that I need to help my daughter find ways to do her best, and that might look differently every day and require flexibility on my part, as her mother. I try not to require my child to do the heavy lifting in that regard.

To Respect Your Kid

Everyone says that kids should respect their elders, but respect is best achieved when it goes both ways. Montessori has taught me that kids thrive when they have our love and our respect — for their choices and individual needs — which are actually two different things.

Ad failed to load

To Let Them Learn To Lead


Most classrooms involve a lot of talking from the desk in front, but if we want our kids to be CEOs someday, we need to teach them to come up with strategies and take the lead once in a while. This works at home, too. When my partner and I let our kids come up with plans, make dinner, or even decide how to rearrange the furniture in their rooms, we give them leadership skills and self-confidence.

How To Teach Your Kids How To Learn

So yeah, different kids learn in different ways, but when we let them choose their own path we give them not only information, but some skills, too. Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills will help them at school, at home, and on the playground.

To Lighten Up


Honestly, there are so many more messes in Montessori school than there was at my son's traditional preschool. At times it seemed like they were doing it on purpose. Now, however, I see messes as part of life as a mom, and I have started to go easier on myself when it comes to a messy house, too.

Ad failed to load

That There's More Than One Way To Get Things Right

While some people think Montessori means letting kids run around, I am so not a free-range mom. Montessori moms know that creating controlled chaos, knowing your kid, and getting that there is more than one way to reach the same goal gives you important insight. What's more is this perspective has given me some important flexibility in how I approach problems — like tantrums — at home. I ask myself, "What is the end goal? Are we headed there?" and let the rest go.

Kids Do What You Do, Not What You Say


Learning how to be a role model is so much harder than giving orders, but honestly it's so much easier to ask your kid to eat at the table, take turns, use manners, and be kind to others by example, than it is to simply use your words. As a Montessori parent, I try to model good behavior. I sometimes fail, but even then I can teach my children that nobody's perfect, and that's a good lesson, too. It's really win-win.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills