Conscious Parenting embraces that children are not vessels to be molded but are sovereign spirits with untapped child’s potential to be unfolded.
When we mold our children, we project what we want them to be based on our own thirst for validation, inner longing for significance, or craving for belonging. When we offer a prepared environment for them to unfold their fullest potential, we are letting them be who they need to be. We are allowing them to achieve the fullest true and pure expression of self, unburdened by our own emptiness, scarcity, desires, or insecurities. conscious parenting is choosing what is, rather than imposing what should. So, conscious parenting embraces that children are not vessels to be molded, and recognizes that our role as “aid to life” is to help unfold a child’s untapped potential.
Conscious Parenting Child’s Untapped Potential
How to Embrace Conscious Parenting and unfold Child’s Untapped Potential
We should offer a sufficiently stimulating prepared environment
We can aid children to grow to their fullest potential by setting up an environment conducive to the acquisition of knowledge. An environment that will aid a child to develop all the immense potentials, which the newborn is endowed with, by offering a prepared, not overly stimulating atmosphere. And since children absorb their environment and classify information through senses, it is extremely important to offer plenty of sensory play opportunities during early childhood development. The unconscious mind becomes conscious through work, sensory refinement, repetition, and hands-on experiences. Knowledge acquisition takes place not by listening to words, but through experiences in the environment. (Maria Montessori.)
Comparison is Not just a Thief of Happiness; it is a Thief of Everything
Stop putting pressure on your child by comparing them to what others do, know, or say. When we compare ourselves or our children to others, we generally compare others’ best to our average. Such comparison rubs us off happiness and is often self-destructive. We never truly know what others are doing, learning, or being. We can only compare ourselves to what we were yesterday and should strive to every day and in every way become a better and better version of our yesterday’s self.
Conscious Parenting Child’s Untapped Potential
Ignite Intrinsic Motivation and Eliminate Extrinsic Reward
Humans perform better when they do it for themselves, so rewards, presents, and extrinsic motivations are not necessary or effective! One of the beautiful goals of the Montessori primary program is to ignite intrinsic motivation and eliminate extrinsic rewards. For example, tying extrinsic rewards to an activity (e.i. parents giving money for high grades) adversely impacts the motivation to engage in that activity when such a reward is withdrawn since the desire to do well did not come from within! When you do not go within, you go without! Most importantly, rewards are not necessary since even small children can figure out that if they have to be rewarded for doing something, that something might not be something nice to do! Besides, the activity your child is engaged in is rewarding in itself! For example, when your one-year-old is learning how to peel a banana, the joy is in the skin coming off and preparing your own snack and eating it. Or when your toddler is learning how to clean a carrot, the joy is in brush bristles and running water, and seeing the carrot clean!
Preserve Interest-driven Concentration
Children acquire knowledge better when they are interested in what they are learning, so do not interrupt a child who is deep in play – that is how they learn.
As Dr. Montessori said, “as soon as children find something that interests them, they lose their instability and learn to concentrate.” In fact, interest-driven concentration nurtures a happy child. For example, Dr. Montessori observed that “the child who concentrates is immensely happy.” And, happiness, in turn, is directly correlated to and has a positive effect on learning, memory, and social behavior. So, the Montessori method is indeed a beautiful progression:
interest-driven concentration ➩
a happy child➩
constructive learning ➩
advanced memory abilities➩
positive social behavior
So, follow the child and allow their interests to guide them.
Children Absorb Everything: Good and Bad
Chidden are endowed with an INBORN GIFT, an inner guide that, if protected and nurtured, can lead to the development of each child’s full potential. They are sovereign beings, born with an absorbent mind that helps them adapt to time, place, customs, and traditions during their early years by observing and absorbing their surroundings. While this gift of absorbing and incarnating their environment is a remarkable advantage as a species, children are also susceptible to soaking and internalizing information that can lead to behaviors that might be detrimental to them or those around them. So be mindful of what environment and behavior you model to your child.
What are your thoughts on Conscious Parenting and a child’s untapped potential? Leave a comment.
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eBOOK | THE BASICS Bringing Montessori Home
“Our work is not to teach, but to HELP the absorbent mind in its work of development. How marvelous it would be if by our help, if by an intelligent treatment of the child, if by understanding the needs of his physical life and by feeding his intellect, we could prolong the period of functioning of the absorbent mind!”
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