Allow me to disclose: I believe in the Montessori Method of education. AND this blog is not to convert you, so please read on.
The greatest influence (and there are many), the Montessori Method has had on our family lifestyle is the premise of our home as a prepared environment. As the gardener, I see my duty to constantly and consistently plant and weed, plant and weed. Maintaining beauty, order, and simplicity that create an envionment of love, peace, and creativity. I believe an orderly physical world gives order to the mental world. I know when I can function best and I expect nothing less for my children.
There’s an article, supposedly from a 1950’s home economics textbook, that has raised controversy over the years. It seems to me it has a wisdom that has been disregarded due the language of the era. So, I have taken the liberty to remove the gender-specific language and replace the recipient as “the children” and the wife as “parents.”
How to Be a Good Parent (and Gardener):
1. Have dinner planned: plan ahead, even the night before, to have a healthy meal.
2. Prepare yourself: Take a moment to renew yourself and reset your thoughts to the best interest of the family. If you are entering the home, where the family dynamic is in play, leave your baggage at the door. Let the family know they are a priority. Give them your time and presence.
3. Clear away the clutter (including electronic distractions). Return items to their appropriate location, remove piles, turn off television, computer, and phone. Your children will feel they have reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
4. Prepare a creative space for the children. Organize their items in bins, drawers, and shelves. Adults don’t purposefully use anything that is stowed recklessly in a pile, and neither do children. Set up a puzzle, have a drawing tablet available, plan an outdoor adventure.
5. Minimize the noise. Eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, television. Encourage the children to use inside voices. Be happy to see them. Greet them with a warm smile, and a hug or kiss. Play peaceful music.
6. Some Don’ts: Don’t greet them with problems. Don’t greet them with hurry-ups.
7. Make them comfortable. Have a prepared healthy snack available for after school.
8. Listen to them. Let them talk first, and listen with your heart and eyes. Look in their eyes, and see what they are feeling.
9. Make the evening for the family: a game, a movie, a walk, an adventure.
10. The goal: to make your home a place of peace and order.
When I view my home as heaven on earth, my role as gardener, and my responsibilities as maintaining my blessings, it makes all the difference. There is no subregation; there is not animosity; there is no self-created resistance. All is good and good is in all. I am content. I am joyful. My home is peaceful.
I love this quote by Mark Twain, and I have it hanging in my home to remind me of my commitment to create the environment for dancing, laughing, and living – where my children know unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
“Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”
I am my child’s gardener.
Love & Peace,
♣ What is heaven to you? Create it today in your home.