INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM
Voici ce qu'il faut retenir de notre family partenership de cette semaine ; comment donner de l'estime de soi à son enfant ? Les paroles, les actes qui le rendrait indépendant ? Un échange passionnant entre parents et éducateurs de notre école sous la forme d'un workshop et d'une réunion de présentation. Merci à tous !
INDEPENDENCE IS THE FIRST STEP TO SELF-DISCIPLINE
Children who can do things by themselves love to work. The independence of doing things by oneself is essential to living a life. If we help children to know how to act in a prepared environment, they will come to understand that everything progresses well through control of oneself – of one’s impulses and one’s movements.
A sense of dignity is acquired by the child who learns to satisfy the self in an approriate way in an environment which is beneficial to development.
In The Secret of Childhood, Maria Montessori discusses childhood as a time of social dilemma. She remarks that children have been required to make their way in an adult world not suited to their task of creating themselves, first as individuals, and then as individuals in a group. If too many obstacles are placed in the path of the child, he loses himself. « He loses his masterpiece, his genius, the best things he can do ». (SQM)
We know today, through careful observation and a growing understanding of child development, that the child does major work towards his own humanization before the age of three ; and towards his own socialization before the age of 12. To develop as a human being requires a certain freedom; and education is the active assistance given to the normal independent expression of life.
Every adult in contact with a child is an educator, and should be encouraged by a profound reverence for life to respect the gradual unfolding of the child’s potential. If we strive to understand the child and remove obstacles to growth, the child can have the freedom to move, choose, and be independent in a way that is beneficial to both himself and the environment.
The child is urged on by his cosmic mission, which is that of growing up and becoming an adult. Maria Montessori stated that science, combined with humility and careful observation, resulted in the creation of environments in which the child could develop the capacity to independently follow the rules of life and of society. Coordination and a desire for collaboration occur in the brain.
Deviations of behavior occur when the child is not helped in the right way. Rebellion, non-collaboration and misbehavior of all sorts are expressions of pathology. They are reactions to obstacles to growth. These symptoms disappear when the child becomes independently active with appropriate discipline.
SELF-ESTEEM IS THE RESULT IN THE CHILD FREE TO ACT
Children who receive proper guidance in a prepared environment work with a dignity and calmness. They know they are seen as competent and able to act independently. These children are aware of their internal needs and of their mission to develop. The child feels, « I am in control of myself. » « I can do things .» « I can choose well. » .
Each new conquest is its own reward. In an environment prepared through an understanding of life, the child becomes an eager partipant and a collaborator, following the societal rules because he enjoys his own progress and that of others.
« We must work to aid the growth of self-esteem in the child, as there is always a direct relationship between well-being and learning. »
Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro, M.D.
Our task is to provide an environment which will allow the child to create a healthy, fully-developed personality. Children from the youngest age want to work actively, and we must give activities to feed the psyche and the desire for movement. A cycle of work originates from an inner necessity, and we must refrain from interrupting or disturbing.
The child’s intelligence suggests action ; the will makes a choice ; and together they activate a sequence of movement. The body and psyche become ever more integrated, and the result is a person who is able to live with and enjoy responsibility.
Each child is a discoverer, born from a nebula, a slendid being looking for its own form. Each flower, leaf, and human being is unique, not a copy from any other. This nebula is on its way to becoming its own star.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Let the child makes choices when possible.
Show respect for the child trying to gain competency.
Help the children begin to think for themselves.
Hand over responsibility to the child and encourage autonomy.
Encourage the child’s dreams.