When we talk about Montessori we are referring to a philosophy of education… it is a way of seeing the world and the development of children. Montessori teachers use language that deeply respects children and provides consistent expectations to the best of their ability.
The words they choose are well thought out to motivate children to be better, to think critically and to be independent. Although above all, what they are looking for with their words is that children feel intrinsically motivated, that is, that they awaken their innate curiosity.
Here we want to show you some Phrases commonly used by Montessori teachers so you can use them with your children every day. In this way, you will be able to motivate your children in their learning, not only academically, but also personally.
Montessori phrases to say to your children
A Next we are going to explain some of the best phrases of the Montessori philosophy that you can say to your children every day. They will grow up happy and feeling capable of doing things, according to their own evolutionary rhythm.
1. You are doing well
In the Montessori philosophy, children are avoided saying things like “well done” or “good job” but on the other hand, they are told how well they did the process, for example if they were very focused or if they did their homework carefully to do it well. Work is praised rather than results. This helps instill in children a growth mindset where they realize they can improve through their own efforts.
For example, instead of telling a child : “You are very good”, you would say something like: “I have noticed that you have been kind to your brother by sharing your toy with him”. This way you are showing him good behavior but not judging him.
2. What do you think about what you are doing?
In Montessori the child is his own teacher. Teachers are only guides to give lessons and help the little one in his process, but it is the child who has to discover things for himself through a good learning environment. It is necessary to promote self-analysis at all times for this to really happen.
For example, if a child chooses to draw a house, they are asked what they think, why they have decided to use those colors and not others, what is your favorite part of the drawing, etc. In this way he will learn to evaluate his work by himself instead of seeking the blind approval of others.
3. Where could you look for that?
Independence is key in the Montessori philosophy and must be present in any area of a child’s life. The goal as adults is to help children do things for themselves. Although it is easier to answer a child about where something is or how to do it, it is best to answer their question with another question to encourage critical thinking.
For example , you could say things like, “Where could you look for that?” or “Are you sure you want to do the task like this or do you want to change something?” Although it may take a little longer, it is worth it for children to learn to take their own initiative.
4. In which part do you want me to help you?
In the Montessori philosophy, children are responsible and learn to feel proud of what they do in the environment, such as cleaning or ordering things. Sometimes a lot of work can be too much for children and in these cases, it is important to ask the child what part of her homework she wants us to help her with. It does not mean doing things for him, but rather, that he notices that we are together, that we stay by his side, but the task is done by him even if we help him in one part.
For example, if your child is tired but has to pick up all the cars off the ground, you can say something like, “I’ll pick up all the yellow cars and you’ll pick up the blue ones.”
5. In our house, we…
In Montessori schools they use the phrase “In our class, we…”, but in this case you will have to adapt the phrase to the home using “home ” instead of “class”. It is a small phrase that is key to reminding children of their belonging to the community and the rules that they must follow for good coexistence. Instead of giving orders, they are just reminders of factual statements about how a community works, in this case, our family.
For example, instead to give an order that can become aggressive depending on the tone with which it is said: “Sit down”, the phrase: “In our house, we sit while we eat” can be used. Like all children and all people, they want to be part of a community and that is why we have to remind them how we work. They will be much more willing to collaborate. Instead of saying “Stop jumping on the couch”, you can say: “In our house we sit well on the couch.”
6 . I have seen you try very hard
It is very important that you focus on the process and not so much on the result as the key to learning and child development. This is key in the Montessori philosophy. Absolute recognition must be avoided with phrases such as: “Good job” or “How nice it turned out on you”, or even: “It turned out perfect on you”.
These phrases that we have just mentioned do not recognize the effort since they only focus on the final result regardless of the process that has had to be followed to reach it. Cleanliness, order, if the handwriting has improved, etc. have not been taken into account.
For all this, it is necessary to always take into account the effort of the child or the girl. This will make the little one feel motivated to do better next time, regardless of the results. In fact, with good motivation, positive results come by themselves.
To do this, it is ideal to use specific and concrete phrases, forgetting more general words. Some phrases you can use are the following:
- “I have seen that you have made a lot of effort”
- “I have noticed that you have treated your brother better and that you shared your toys”
Acknowledge the behavior, but do not label it in any way. Instead of saying, “You are the best reader,” you can say things like, “I like how you understood the story and how you explained it to me in your own words.”
7. Follow your own pace
It has to do with your own confidence. The child must recognize and know (whenever you allow it) when the time has come for him to be able to do certain things and to achieve skills. In this sense, the little one establishes his rhythm and interest in learning and the guides (the parents) accompany him in the process.
It is a matter of respecting his rhythm, of always understanding the reason behind the behavior. Not all children have the same learning pace and nothing happens. Perhaps some learn to read when they are 4 years old and others don’t, they can walk after a year and others don’t get it until later… And nothing happens.
Each child is unique and has its own idiosyncrasies. You have your own interests, your needs, your passions and personal skills.All this is achieved at your own pace and respecting you at all times as a unique individual in the world.
In the same way, it is important to protect the concentration of children according to the Montessori philosophy. You have to establish rhythms and times so that they can pay attention within their capacities towards the things and activities that they understand. If your child is concentrating on something specific, don’t interrupt him! Respect that important concentration that he is having at that moment.
Remember that concentration is the basis for creative thinking and to enhance children’s imagination. This is essential for a good comprehensive development of the child!
Finally and in conclusion, we want to convey to you that Montessori is not only an educational current, as we have mentioned several times, it is a whole philosophy! It is a way of seeing and being with children. Even if your children do not go to a Montessori school, if you believe that this way of parenting is the correct one, do not hesitate to apply these thoughts in your daily family life.