19 old tips for raising children that still work today

Even as late as the turn of the 20th century, children were regarded as adults in a smaller body. There was little thought given to their needs and development toward becoming adults. However, Maria Montessori (1870-1952) belonged to a group of pedagogues who revolutionized the way we think about raising children. In 1909, the Italian doctor and philosopher introduced the Montessori method, an educational program which focussed solely on children.

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The pedagogue created 19 simple "commandments" for parents. As you'll see, most of them are still relevant today: 

1.) Children learn from what surrounds them.

2.) If a child is often criticized, they learn how to condemn others. 

3.) If a child is often praised, they learn how to evaluate others.  

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4.) If a child is shown hostility, they will learn to fight

5.) If you are honest with a child, they learn the meaning of fairness

6.) If a child is too often derided, they become shy

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7.) If a child feels safe, they learn to trust people

8.) If a child is too often made to feel shame, they will learn to always feel guilty.

9.) If a child is given frequent encouragement, they will have high self-esteem.  

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10.) If a child is condescended to, they will learn patience

11.) If a child is given support, they will be confident.

12.) If a child lives in an atmosphere of friendship and feels that others need it, they will learn how to find love.

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13.) Never speak badly of a child, in their presence or otherwise.

14.) Concentrate on nurturing the good in a child. That way, there will be no place left in them for the bad.

15.) Always listen to and answer a child’s questions or requests should they approach you.

16.) Respect a child even when they make a mistake. They will be able to correct their error soon enough

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 17.) Always be ready to help a child who requires assistance, and to stand aside when they’ve found everything they need.

18.) Help a child to master things early. This can be done by making sure the world around them is filled with affection, peace, and love.

19.) Always display the best manners to a child. Show them how to be the best they can be

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Even if you don't agree with all of Montessori's teachings, her work was important for opening up other perspectives for raising children. Thanks to Montessori, we now see children as small creatures who need time and space to be able to naturally develop. And Montessori's commandments show the important role parents have in their children's development.


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