I am a Montessori inspired attachment parent. At first it probably seems these two ideas oppose each other. How are you “attached” yet promoting independence in your child? But in my interpretation, Montessori education is an extension of my attachment parenting for at least one reason.
Both follow the child.
In fact, I would argue that following the cues and needs of your child is the ONLY tenant of attachment parenting. Dr. Sears, the leading authority on attachment parenting has the 7 Baby Bs, but they all have the baby’s needs at heart. You trust your child to tell you what he or she needs; you respect a crying baby as a person who needs something. And you attend to those needs appropriately. You could follow none of the “Baby Bs” and if it was truly based on a deep connection with what your child was telling you through their cries and behavior, you are an attached parent.
By the time your child is two or three, most of the things you “do” as an attachment parent are done. Your baby is weaned, is able to walk and doesn’t want to be worn, may have even moved into their own bedroom (not my child, lol) and is ready to assert his or her independence. A true attachment parent would read these cues and respond to their child’s changing needs. Attachment parenting isn’t about “babying” a toddler, it’s about babying a baby who is unable to be independent.
It’s about being child focused instead of parent focused. Which is really the magic of Montessori. The method not about independence, independence is the end result of giving a child exactly what they need to grow. Montessori doesn’t throw children into an adult world and expect them to take care of themselves. It observes the needs and abilities of individuals, waits for their readiness and leads them with just the right amount of help along the way.
Montessori and attachment parenting are based on the same basic principle. That children know their needs, have an instinct to progress into functional individuals and if you give them what they need when they need it they will grow into the best version of themselves.
Would Maria Montessori advocate attachment parenting? Probably not. But I don’t see conflict in these approaches. They both feel right to me and have influenced Ryann’s growth in positive ways. Which is what being an attachment parent is all about.
Whew! What a whirlwind Montessori school has been! This past month just flew by.
The transition was in fact tough. Ryann rebelled. And the first two weeks had me doubting that she could handle five days a week in school. She came back energized each day, but crying into her pillow every morning that “I just want to stay home” had me worried.
And then things magically fell into place. She woke up excited to get to school after about three weeks. She loves her teachers, especially her “boy teacher” as she calls the male assistant in her room. She comes home with lots of collage work. And you can see her apply what she learns at school at home, like walking softly, using careful movements and taking care of her own dressing and care. All things I had encouraged at home but she had resisted.
I feel we are over the hump and getting comfortable in our routine, which is a relief. I have a number of posts rattling around in my head so be on the lookout for more from me. I had worried that once school started I would be less motivated to keep this blog, but I actually think the reverse is true. Especially as I interact with the parents at Ryann’s school who really want and need resources for extending their childrens’ education into their everyday life.