Getting the basics right

Children thrive in a calm environment

Young children thrive in a well ordered environment.

Rearranging your child’s play area to meet their development needs will result in a happier, calmer, more engaged child who plays independently for longer periods of time.

Practical steps to a well prepared play area

  1. Assess and sort the toys you already have and decide which best serve the current developmental needs of your child and give away or store the rest. Use the Goldilocks principle, not too easy not too hard, but just right.

  2. Look at those toys in new ways. Get creative. Displayed differently the toys will often have a new appeal and better meet the child’s developmental needs. 

  3. Learn how to put the motto 'Help me to do it myself' into practice to satisfy the child's drive for independence and meaningful activity. There are lots of ideas on the blog page to help with this.

  4. Think about a storage and rotation system to sustain the newly established order.

  5. Make sure there is an area where the child can 'work' independently. Include things like a rubbish bin and a drying rack.

  6. Concentration is an important skill for future learning. Promoting and protecting a child's concentration, also increases the likelihood of sustained play. 

  7. Make a list of things you need to purchase. Purchase them.

Stand back, smile and enjoy the beauty and benefits of your work.

You would like support to do this please contact me as I can do this with, or for you.

 

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How to give your child what they really crave, calm simplicity.

What does your child really need?  

More experiences, more educational toys, more outings, more play dates, more, more...., more?

Perhaps what they really need, what would really make them happier and more satisfied is not more but less. 

Many adults are attracted to the philosophy of de-cluttering, and find that simplifying their life brings a sense of peace, the same applies to the young child.  

Less for most children would very definitely be more.

A simple Montessori-inspired approach to parenting has a lot to offer busy parents.

It offers practical, easy to understand strategies to simplify home life and most importantly it helps parents understand and focus on the needs of young children.

How to start?

Step 1. Press the blue button

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Families do well when there is consistency, order and security.

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The choices we make for our young children lay the foundation for all that is to follow in their lives, the way we talk to them becomes their inner voice.

Raising children is like building a house from the foundations up. When parents interact with their children, parents are building the future of their child.

When parents get support they can help their children develop the skills they need.

I can provide that support

You'll be relieved to know it's not a matter of doing more but rather of developing a clear idea of what your child needs.

A great way to start is by allocating a block of time to discuss and decide what type of parenting you want to practise.

Alone or with help?

Deciding on your parenting priorities can be done with or without the help of a supportive parenting mentor. 

If you want things to be different it's really important for you to get the support you need.

Families thrive when there is consistency, order and security.

There's a maze of parenting information out there and lots of people offering any number of quick fixes. Instead of a quick fix (which is almost never quick nor a fix), developing knowledge about act as a compass to guide you on your parenting journey.

Instead of random quick fixes, I advocate a thoughtful, considered approach inspired by the philosophy of Maria Montessori. Having an underlying philosophy they can refer to is a a great support to many parents.

Even if you've never head of Maria Montessori or know nothing at all about Montessori education it doesn't matter. 

Montessori-inspired parenting takes a respectful and very very practical approach based on understanding the developmental needs and stages of the child.

When their developmental needs are met your child will be happier, your home calmer and there'll be a lot less stress and tension all round.

Using a modern Montessori-inspired approach gives you wonderfully practical tools to encourage independence, build skills and develop resilience, resulting in greater happiness and harmony for parents and children alike.

 
 

Parents are you drowning in kids toys? Have a huge clear-out and feel the calm descend

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Many parents of young children express frustration that their house is filled with toys yet the toys don't seem to satisfy their child for more than a moment.

There are many reasons for this:

  • the activities are designed for an older child and are too difficult or they are too easy and provide no challenge at all.

  • Parts are missing or many different toys are jumbled up together

  • The tools/materials required are not on hand or they are not effective

So how can you make better use of the toys you have so your child will be able to select an activity and work with it (on their own)?

Yes, this is possible!

  1. Sort through the toys you have, discard any which are incomplete or if the pieces are lovely use them to create an entirely new activity.

  2. Decide which activities are right for your child's stage of development and interests. Remove those which are too easy or too hard

  3. Shelving: safe, child-height - shelving is vital.

  4. A designated work space (perhaps defined by an attractive mat) which contains a child-sized table and chairs.

  5. Trays / containers/ baskets which contain all the pieces of an activity.

  6. Trays / containers which are practical for containing materials which may be used in different activities e.g. scissors, paper, pencils,crayons, glue etc.

  7. Arrange the activities attractively on the shelves, categorising them where possible.

You don't need to put all toys out at once, rotate some from time to time.

You don't have to do this all by yourself, I can help you.

If these changes sound like exactly what's needed at your place, but you haven't the time or feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, don't worry because help is available, this is one of the services offered by even better parenting.

 

One more thing, do you know about the Free Taster? 

An introductory session, absolutely free. No obligation, nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.

Click here for more details and booking link.

 

Are you tired of being surrounded by mess?

If you're fed up with being surrounded mess, I can help. 

I really can. 

I will work with you to establish practical order and teach you how to maintain it while still meeting the developmental needs of your child.

This may sound impossible  but it's not, and when it's done it will make a huge difference to family life. 

Practical advice tailored to the specific needs of your family is the fastest and most effective way for you to achieve change.

Making change without support is difficult, especially for busy stressed parents.

Would you like a calmer home with happier, more content children (and adults!)?

Together we can make that a reality.

Chaos to Calm: nine steps.

 I can come to your home and : 

  • Show you how to assess and sort the toys you already have and advise you on which best serve the current developmental needs of your child and which need to be discarded or stored.

  • Demonstrate how to use the toys you already have in new ways. Organised differently the toys will have new appeal to your child and will better meet their developmental needs and your little one will be happier and more satisfied. 

  • Show you how you can create new activities which better satisfy your child's drive for independence.  

  • Advise on storage and rotation systems needed to sustain the newly established order. 

  • Discuss reorganisation of spaces so your child has an area where they can 'work' independently. 

  •  Demonstrate how to put the motto 'Help me to do it myself' into practise and understand your child's drive for meaningful activity. 

  • Teach you ways to promote and protect your child's concentration. 

  • Provide practical information about what, if anything, is additionally needed.

  • Check-in phone call to see how you're going.

Chaos to Calm packages:

 Option A: all of the above $195  

Option B: all of the above plus a follow up home visit to review the changes discuss any problems and make plans for the future $265

What do Marie Kondo and Maria Montessori have in common?

A beautifully ordered shelf makes toys easy to select

What do Marie Kondo and Maria Montessori have in common?

I started the day by reading this Domain article and was immediately struck by the similarities between the key components of the KonMari method and those enshrined in Montessori principles and practises.

Montessori advocated for children to be surrounded by beauty, the beauty of good, simple design in an attractive, ordered environment. She believed such an environment necessary if the young child is to fully experience (inner) peace and engagement.

We also know through an increasing body of research that children do better with fewer rather than more toys.

So with that knowledge how can we provide the best possible environment for our children in the important foundational years?

A favourite Montessori slogan is "Help me to do it myself" and as adults that's precisely our job, to help the child in their quest for independence.  We do this through the creation of an environment which supports rather than hinders those needs.

It's not always easy, the toddler years can be very testing as your child is driven, by their strong desire for independence, to do things by themselves at their own pace, a pace which is not always practical or convenient! 

What we can do is support the development of independence though an ordered play-area and through organised age-appropriate tools and toys.

If the child is (for example) driven to do some cutting and knows where to find the scissors and the cutting paper, and they have a place to work, they are freed from dependence on the adult and can do this even when adults are busy with other tasks.

When a child is overwhelmed by clutter and frustrated in their quest is it any wonder they can become cranky?

It's so important that the adults surrounding the child are partners, rather than obstacles on on the child's journey to independence.

Physical changes really will make a difference.

 De-cluttering your child's play-area/bedroom and creating a streamlined, practical storage system is a great place to start, as an investment it will pay dividends.

I can only agree with the final paragraph in today's Domain article:

  • "There’s a real sense of calm in an ordered home and it transmits to everyone living there (sounds woo-woo, but it’s true.)
  • Getting a professional in is always worth it!"

I'm a professional, an early childhood specialist, with decades of experience creating beautiful, practical spaces for pre-school children.

If you'd like any help to make the transformation to calm, contact me here, I'd love to help you.