The Montessori environment is a shared space where ALL toys are shared.
If a child is concentrated on something, it is unavailable to other children.
If an object is not in use, it is available to any child.
The adult sets this limit is a kind, but firm way.
We enforce this limit whether our child is the one who has taken the object or the one who’s object has been taken – whether you are at home or on the playground.
example scenario between toddlers, Sam and Francis
“Sam is using the paints right now. Would you like to use stickers instead?”
“Francis, it looks like Sam is working with that right now. It will be available soon.”
“Sam, are you trying to say this is your work, but it will be available soon?”
“Let’s go wash our hands while we wait for this to become available.”
“Sam, may Francis and I watch you work?”
If a conflict causes a tantrum in either child, we pause to let the child release their emotions about the situation. We let them know we understand how they feel and comfort them. When they are calm we make amends.
RESPONDING TO CONFLICT
“I can’t allow you to take Sam’s work, but I can show you something else that is interesting. ”
“I see that you are upset, Francis. You really want to play with that. It will be available soon.”
“I understand that you are very interested in this, but Sam hasn’t finished yet. We have to return the ball to Sam for now. It will be available soon.”
“Sam, I understand that Francis took your work, but I can’t let you hurt him.”
“I am going to gently take this and return it to Sam.”
when you don’t know who started it: “I can’t allow you to fight over this. I am going to gently remove it and you can both try again later.”
Sharing Between Siblings
Between siblings we can follow the same guidelines. If it is in use, it is unavailable. If it is available, either sibling may use the object.
It is not necessary to buy multiple of everything.
It’s nice to have a place in the home which is especially prepared according to each child’s interests, especially for siblings of different ages. They can still venture into either space or use the objects on either shelf when they are available.
At any age, sometimes a sibling might need alone time.
“Jamie, it looks like Francis wants to be alone right now.”
“Francis is working at the moment. Let’s come back when he’s available.”
“Francis, are you trying to say that you want to do this alone?”
Thank you for reading!