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Montessori Tidbit: Let It Go?

How do we know what to let go and what to follow through with? Is it ok to let go of our child’s mess and not follow through with having them finish cleaning it, or how about letting their outfit go and not correcting that their pants are on backward and the shirt is inside out?

As adults, it can be challenging to know when to step back, giving a child space to build their skills rather than stepping in to help. Our teachers are constantly checking in within themselves and with the children on which situations to step into and which to step back from.

Here are a few questions our teachers may ask themselves first before jumping in to help:

-Is this dangerous or disrespectful? YES→ Step in right away

-Is the child concentrating? YES→ Step back (let that mess from before go, for now)

-Is this something a child feels they can do on their own? YES→ Step back (let that water being spilled go, for now)

Why is this important? Every time interrupt a child’s concentration or we step into a situation that the child thinks they have under control, we undermine their confidence and their chance of doing it on their own next time.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” -Maria Montessori


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