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The Secret of Childhood

February 18, 2019

I am reading my course set work by Maria Montessori called The Secret of Childhood. The first few chapters have described children living in a world for adult by adults. Educational methods and a child’s needs are predetermined by adults and the child must then fit into them. The book beautifully suggests the converse; that the child be given the freedom to express his or her needs and that the educational methods must be made to fit the child. 

 

The book expresses the view that children are born with a sense of knowing, inherently deep within their souls they already are everything they are meant to be. However; this true, full self will only flourish in an environment that nurtures and cares for the child as they need to be cared for and not in the way the adult wants the child to be cared for, in order for the child to fully become his or her true self and not merely a version of the closest adult to that child. 

 

We believe the child is an empty vessel that we must fill. Rather the book states that the child is born with all it will need and through the process of development, in this prepared and thoughtful environment, the child with reveal his or her true self and reach their full potential.  

 

Instead of molding our children into the form we would like them to take, we need to allow them to take the shape they are meant to take, which is in part the secret of childhood. 

 

It is a difficult concept for a parent to grasp, as we are taught to shape our children and guide them along the lines of what we think is best for them. We determine their education, religion, clothing, diet, their caregivers, the books they read, their daily activities, essentially everything that makes up who they are as people. We never really give them much say into who they want to be. 

 

Here I am now studying to become a teacher after discovering my true passion for education, after first pursuing the career that, perhaps, my parents thought would be best for me. I do not regret my studies or career and I owe so much to my parents for their guidance and love throughout the years, but I wonder if I had been allowed to take my own shape would I be an advocate? I in no way seek to rewrite my past, as it all brought me to where I am now and the beautiful life I love, but it is a point worth considering as I raise my three blessings.

 

I will be mindful of encouraging my children along their chosen best and not my own ideas of what I want for them. In order for them to be truly happy and to truly reach their full potential, they must be allowed to take any shape that speaks to their souls. 

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