My family and I were recently asked to take part in a brand new series of the hit MTV show Teen Mom UK, but instead of closely following along the lives of the teen mums, this new series, Mums Move In, is all about the mums learning about different styles of parenting.
Teen Mom UK: Mums Move In was made to help the original teen mums learn all about different families around the UK so that they could take from the experience little aspects of other families that might help them in their own lives.
My husband and I slowly began learning about the Montessori method when our first son, Benedykt, was around 11 months old. Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor - turned - educator who devised a group of principles that she believed brought the best out of a child. Montessori parenting is not the same thing as Montessori Education, that you would find in authentic Montessori schools around the world. Montessori parenting should be considered a style of parenting that is adapted differently by each family that chooses to undertake it. That means, that Montessori parenting brings the best parts of the Montessori principles and family life together. Montessori parenting is therefore the best of both worlds. Montessori parents might wish to homeschool their children with a Montessori curriculum, they might wish to send their kids to a Montessori school or they might wish to practise Montessori as much at home as possible and send their kids to a regular school (just like us!)
Montessori parenting is flexible and approachable by all types of families all over the world. The best part is Montessori parenting isn't one-size-fits-all. Montessori parenting can be beneficial to working families, homeschooling families, small families and large families. Montessori parenting means that you adapt Maria Montessori's classroom principles in and around your home life.
For me, Montessori at home means enabling my children to be as independent as they physically can be from as early as possible. Montessori parenting means raising independent children that have a strong concept of family, teamwork, and cohesive living. I want to raise children that will become great adults - the type that are easy to live with, not just good kids.
I strongly believe that Montessori parenting will look different in different homes. Montessori parenting might mean lovely neat low down shelving in a lovely bright and spacious homeschool room in one home, but not in ours. If you visited our home, you'd see a typical modest British 3-bed semi with plenty of dust and clutter, but bright and happy kids nonetheless. I don't think you can see Montessori when you look at the kids, but watch them and you might find my kids helping out around the house without being asked. Cleaning up skills are second nature.
It was a real joy to meet Amber and show her how we "do" Montessori, and how we live as a family of 5. Amber was absolutely brilliant with the children, and so even though I've not seen much of Teen Mom UK, I know she's an excellent mum. Since she left, the boys have constantly asked when they'll be seeing her again, and as she was only with us for a few short days, that in itself speaks volumes.
The most interesting part about my whole TV experience is realising that our style of parenting isn't as natural or as common as I thought. Since our own Montessori parenting journey started largely on instinct, it interested me that Amber thought a lot of the things we choose to do are unusual and some things she wouldn't choose to do herself.
With that in mind, it's actually a huge lesson for us that there's no right way to raise good kids and I hope that Amber (and the viewers) got something out of seeing how we do Montessori parenting.
Get notified when we release new products and blogs, plus receive a £5.00 voucher* for your next order!
*Cannot be added retrospectively