Reflecting on this on my drive to work this morning, I was struck by Montessori’s comparison between toddlers and adolescents. Both planes of development are marked by great growth and change, physically, emotionally and academically, and are accompanied by times of high frustration and personal success. I started thinking about what my son needed as a toddler and I quickly realized that he needs the same things as a young man entering the Third Plane of Development.
Similarities Between Toddlers and Adolescents: A Montessori Look at Growing Up
- Ego Centric
- “I can do it myself.”
- “I already know [how to do] that.”
- “It’s all about me.”
- Seemingly insensitive at times, but can be incredibly empathetic
- Has a keen sense of fairness
- Feelings are easily hurt
- Plays hard. Works hard. Sleeps hard.
- Active listening
- Adequate nourishment – often
- Physical attention (hugs, pats on the back)
- Limits. (They will push the limits and want to know they are consistent.)
- A safe place where they can feel free to fall apart/lose control/have a tantrum or just be themselves.
- Freedom to explore new things/new friendships/new places, with the knowledge that there is a home “base”, a place of normalcy, to return to.
- Help making wise choices
- Positive role models
- Freedom to make and learn from their mistakes
- And most importantly, unconditional love and acceptance
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, August 8, 2007.