Montessori Techniques that Can Help Handle Your Child’s Anger

· September 27, 2016
For the inventor and champion of the Montessori techniques, emotion and socialization must go hand in hand. Parents play a fundamental role in child development.

Although it’s true that Montessori techniques have been admired as much as they’ve been criticized, it still remains an interesting topic. It’s one we can use in the classroom, as well as at home as we raise our children.

Today, we’re going to talk about angry and excitable outbursts that many young children have. They are often so complicated for us to channel, control and understand.

One of the most useful concepts that Maria Montessori left us was sensitive periods. Children, from the moment they’re born up until 6 years of age, experience what are known as “windows of opportunity.”

These windows of opportunity are when children have innate skills to learn and acquire certain competences and skills. This is the best time to teach them how to handle and understand the complex emotional world that sometimes overwhelms them.

Today, here on our website, we are going to offer you some simple techniques on how to tackle some of the more challenging emotional states of your child.

Montessori techniques to handle temper tantrums and anger in children

In daycare centers that use the Montessori techniques they put the child’s autonomy first. They mainly focus on how the child is responsible for his own learning. He does this by using his curiosity and interaction with everything that surrounds him.

However, many mothers and fathers often wonder how Montessori techniques can help them at home with their children.

We’re going to look at some advice which will greatly help parents to channel those angry moments that children can often have.

See also: How to Control Child Rebellion

A child having a tantrum.

Socio-emotional education

Maria Montessori didn’t only talk about emotional intelligence. According to this famous teacher, emotion and socialization need to go hand in hand.

When a child has a temper tantrum, what he is feeling is simply the inability to adjust to what he is experiencing. Specific examples include:

  • He can’t have what he wants, he feels annoyed with something or someone, or is incapable of waiting for a reward. This all ends up in tears, screaming and kicking.
  • Emotions come to the surface in this socio-emotive context of the child where the child interacts with adults or other children. This results in the child being unable to distinguish things from each other.

Some have criticized the Montessori method for offering this so-called freedom and independence to children. However, there are some fundamental things we shouldn’t forget something fundamental:

  • The adult is the guide, the adult enables learning, and above all, the adult is a model that the child imitates and follows.
  • These sensitive periods, which are understood as occurring between birth and 6 years old, are a key milestone that children go through. Parents need to be there to respond to every question and attend to each emotion.

Read more: What is a Dysfunctional Family and How Does It Affect Children?

Aspects that we must consider in order to channel our child’s emotional world

  • According to Montessori techniques, we shouldn’t disregard a single word or piece of behavior of our children, nor compare them to anyone else. These actions will make them angrier.
  • Make sure your child feels confident at every moment. For instance, you should ensure that they feel comfortable talking to you, and confident about daring to discover the world. They should also be confident talking to other children, playing with other children respectfully, and trusting in people and creating things.
  • Allow your child to make mistakes. Offer them advice, but allow them to resolve their mistakes on their own. Children need to do things by themselves in order to feel capable of boosting their self-esteem.
  • When a child becomes angry this means that there is something that he doesn’t know how to express. Alternatively, this could also mean there is something in his environment that we must know about and understand.
  • So it’s important that, as parents, we guide our children with calm and patience. Never neglect these outbursts, especially if they are small. We need to trace their origin, and provide strategies to combat them.

Calm bottles

In the last couple of years, so-called “calm bottles” have become extremely popular, and are used to relieve stress and anxiety in children. However, it’s important to clarify what their purpose is and how to use them.

A young girl with a calm bottle.

  • A calm bottle is a visual stimulus that children can center their attention on for a few moments, thanks to the movement of the glitter inside the bottle.
  • A child must always use one in the company of an adult.
  • A child can, for example, take a calm bottle to bed every day. While your child observes and moves it you can ask him how his day went, or what is worrying him. You can also ask him what makes him scared, and what he likes and dislikes, for example.
  • You should ask these questions correctly, without judging him, and also without having to ask him directly. Instead, the questions you pose to your child will be part of a game which fosters his emotional release.

Calm bottles are simple resources that can greatly help us as parents, and they can also be made at home very easily.

Lillard, A., & Else-Quest, N. (2006). Evaluating Montessori education. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1132362