According to Pia Melody (The Intimacy Factor: The Ground Rules for Overcoming the Obstacles to Truth, Respect, and Lasting Love. Harper Collins. 2004), there are five essential attributes of the Authentic Child. These attributes are deeply connected to the child’s inherent sense of self-worth.
- Nascent reason (the inborn ability to recognize truth)
- Appropriate immaturity (the ability to act one’s own age)
- Exhuberant energy.
Montessori Education for Nurturing the Authentic Child: Development and SuccessTraits of the Authentic Montessori Child
- Joyful Learners
- Internally Motivated
Unlocking the Secret of Childhood
Maria Montessori said “It is only the power of Love that can enable the adult to come close enough to the child to understand him. Love and humility will unlock for us “the secret of childhood.” (The Secret of Childhood. Ballentine Books. 1982) Montessori believed that we must nurture the true spirit of the child in order to unveil their true potential, thus leading to a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Although parents and teachers must work together to protect the authenticity and innocence of the child, it is the influence of the parent that is most significant.
The Montessori Parent
- Recognizes the child’s authentic nature regardless of behavior.
- Is patient and reflects the child’s light and spiritual treasures.
- Is centered in love.
- Models peaces.
- Creates home and school environments which support authenticity.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
- Regular, healthy meals
- Good sleeping habits
- Comfortable home environment
- Appropriate clothing
- Good health
- Regular routines
- Consistent patterns
- Safe home environment
- Supportive emotional climate
- Sensible boundaries
- Involvement & contribution
- Justice & fairness
- Withdrawal from conflict
- Unconditional love
- Mutual respect
- Confidence in child’s abilities
- Love of learning
- Enthusiastic role models
- Opportunities to learn
- Effective communication
Children have an innate drive to manifest their own will and potential. The way they construct themselves is the “secret” of childhood. As adults, it is ever so important that we respect this inner construct and honor and preserve their authentic nature.
"I see your love. I see it sparkle in your eyes. I see it when you smile. I bring my heart to you. I trust and respect you for who you are and who you will become. I will be with you wherever you wish to stand. You are safe and I love you." (McFarland, Sonnie, Honoring the Light of the Child - Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young Children. Shining Mountain Press. p. 11.)
NAMC’s Montessori Classroom Guides discuss how to prepare your Montessori classroom to meet each child’s developmental needs and interests.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.