I’m not the first to say it; and I won’t be last. But “less is more” certainly fits well with the Montessori approach in your home.
1. Setting up our spaces
Are you struggling with toys everywhere and kids refusing to pack them away?
I use it a lot when thinking about the number of toys to have out in our spaces. I find fewer well-selected toys works best. The child feels less overwhelmed. They can see easily what is available.
As there will be fewer toys available for your child, you do need to choose well. Look for those activities that they are trying to master and can repeat and repeat. Baby toys can get packed away, and more difficult activities too.
Find about 6 toys that they are really interested right now. And then change them when you notice they are not being played with any more (or just being thrown).
2. Wanting for less
“Less is more” can also be applied to the idea to show our children that we need less things. I’m trying to pass onto my kids that we only buy new things when we need them, for example, if your trainers are worn out then we buy another pair. I might be more extreme than you, but I think it can’t hurt in our super commercialised society.
3. Our words
Sometimes it helps to say less, and listen more. I’m still working on this one, but find it so amazing how much more your child will tell you when you nod or say “mmm” rather than jumping in to advise, tell your own story, etc.
And we can sometimes repeat ourselves over and over when we are trying to get cooperation from our children. It can help to say less and let the child work out the rest. For example, just saying “shoes” can prompt a child to think, “I need my shoes. I’ll go fetch them and put them on.” Works particularly well for children that don’t like to be told what to do.
4. Slowing down
And less rush is totally giving more to your child. It allows them time to move, to hug, to play, to be.
I don’t believe in rushing children from one activity to another. Pottering around home in our pyjamas is one of our favourite weekend pastimes.
Less to do, means more time to be together.
If you want to remind yourself during the week, why not print off the “less is more” at the top of this post and tape it somewhere you will see it each day. Give it a try!