During my parent education presentation on the 9-12 year old and the transition to adolescence, I spent some time telling stories from my own experiences. The main focus of my presentation however, was the way in which Montessori theory is used as a guide to teaching in the Montessori classroom and also how many aspects of this theory can be interpreted and implemented for the child at home. We now know much more about the development of the brain and we can use this knowledge to better understand the pre-adolescent and the adolescent child.
A major aspect of development in the 9-12 age is social development. This is extremely useful preparation for the adolescent plane, a time in which the influence of the peer group dominates. Social skills on the internet are also important to learn at this time. Parents can monitor this. www.cybersmart.gov.au is a great website for guidelines on behavior.
Here are some great quotes and tips from a talk on parenting by Dr Stephen Hughes (US paediatric neuropsychologist and Montessori advocate), to remind us of the importance of effective socialisation.
“Don’t raise your children to be happy. Raise them to be lovable. Well socialized children are lovable. Well socialized children are happy”
Well-being is an outcome
“Self-esteem” is a consequence of competency “I can find reward in the world”
“I am good at doing stuff”
“I can count on myself to follow through”
“People like me because I am likable and a good friend”
Tell your children this:
✓ Lack of natural ability doesn’t matter.
✓Talent has little or nothing to do with success.
✓ Sticking with something matters.
✓ Your brain is a muscle. Intelligence can be improved by exercising it.
Happy socializing. Fiona Mackenzie, Cycle 3 (9-12 yrs) teacher