How to apply the Montessori method to manage anger and prevent tantrums.The anger is a feeling that begins to emerge at around two years, when the children feel in this way to defend their desires and interests in front of a rejection that usually arises in so-called whims . Managing the situation is sometimes difficult which is why it would be better to know how to prevent it.Especially when we tell our children not to do something, a series of emotions can be generated in them that they cannot manage and which explode in the form of whims. Sometimes these are real scenes that we would like to avoid and that we could perhaps learn to prevent by following some tips that arise from Maria Montessori’s method .
The basic idea is to create an environment suitable for the child in which he feels comfortable and therefore avoids being in a state that can make him “explode” at any moment.
Here are 20 Montessorian tips for managing anger and preventing tantrums:
- 1) Greater autonomy and independence : prepare the home so that the child can develop independently by always having his own toys, tools and books available.
- 2) Motivation and real tasks : just like adults, children after a while get bored and need a new motivation. For example, you can involve them in household chores to make them feel useful.
- 3) Always speak with respect, love and empathy : the tone to use is the same as that used with adults
- 4) Put yourself at their level : it is important to communicate with the children keeping contact with the eyes and therefore “lowering” to their level, calling them by name and talking about their feelings and ours
- 5) Pay sufficient attention to it : it means both in terms of quality and quantity. If we are busy at home we will ask the child to help us, if we are out we can instead bring some creative games . However, it is important to always let him know what’s on the agenda and ask for his opinion so that he doesn’t feel left out.
- 6) Establish a routine : if the child knows the activities that are planned, he will welcome them more easily and avoid getting angry.
- 7) Beware of hunger and sleep : tiredness and hunger increase the likelihood of having outbursts of anger, always plan well the time of meals and bedtime.
- 8) Facing new experiences : lowering anxiety before having new experiences can be important. Getting out of the comfort zone is not easy for all children. If there is a new situation to be faced, just explain what it is to avoid surprises and the onset of anxiety.
- 9) Respond to his natural needs : a child after spending the day at school needs to move, play and be outdoors. We should therefore observe it, respect its needs and adapt its planning of the day also considering this aspect. If he is indoors and doing activities sitting all day it is easier for his unexpressed energy to turn into anger and tantrums.
- 10) Consistency in the family: it can happen that mom, dad and grandparents have different visions of how things should be done. However, this risks confusing children, therefore it would be good for adults to find a compromise by talking and establishing a unique way of dealing with situations.
- 11) Explain why the rules : there are things on which you do not negotiate (for example, sitting and getting tied on the car seat) but you must always explain to the child in a language understandable to him why they are so important.
- 12) Emphasize the positive aspects : even when a child does not want to do something, the positive side can be found in it to be seen. Going back to the example of the car seat, you can tell the child that it is true that he will have to sit but can listen to songs, sing, watch the landscape, etc.
- 13) Empathy : it is also important to put yourself in the child’s shoes and look at the issue from his point of view.
- 14) Healthy and respectful relationships : we will not be able to maintain a good dialogue with our child if we do not know how to discuss with respect with other people at home
- 15) No blackmail : blackmail is a double edged sword. We often enter a spiral from which it is difficult to escape.
- 16) Make them choose: instead of imposing it would be good to let the child make the decision for himself. Obviously one should not leave him the maximum freedom, but for example offer him two options.
- 17) Attracting his attention: if you notice that anger is caused by a game, an activity, an environment or tiredness, you can immediately try to divert his attention to something else.
- 18) Avoid the abuse of no : it is always better to express yourself positively. For example, if he is pulling an object, do not say “do not throw it” but “Be careful! If you pull it you could break it! ”.
- 19) Relativize and negotiate: if the child wants something you can negotiate with him. This is very useful as compromises are also used in adult relationships.
- 20) And if everything fails … : don’t lose your temper. On the other hand it will happen that the child feels anger since he is learning to manage his emotions, all that remains is to face it calmly and lovingly. Breathe deeply and give him a hug!