Each term there is a Montessori Matters meeting at our kids’ school and yesterday’s topic was about discipline in the Montessori Way.
Which was very apt as yesterday morning was a barmy of note in our house. It’s like the kids can smell when you are stressed and all you need to do get out of the house as soon as possible. Which means that everyone starts whining about EVERYTHING and suffer from memory loss when it comes to eating/dressing/brushing teeth/talking/walking and the girls are the main culprits. You get the picture.
At this point I might need to add that I am not an advocate of rushing children because I know it normally ends in tears (mine). The more you rush a child, the slower they move and the more you stress, which means you rush them more and they just move even slower. Completely counterproductive. I much prefer the ‘give the child space to dress themselves’ approach, which is great if you can afford to only leave the house at 08h30. Which I can’t at this point in time.
So on to plan B and the Montessori Matters meeting. I love these meetings because the parents that go are very honest about their challenges and I always come away with something valuable and feeling like I’m not alone. Yesterday I brought up the whole dressing issue and I got some great advice (some of which I had contemplated but was just too downright lazy to try). (See what I did there with the honesty thing?)
Someone suggested that we should wake them earlier and when I said that they are already woken quite early (06h00 – 06h15) we all had a slightly hysterical giggle. The one Mom suggested that we pick their outfits at night and another Mom said that they also pick outfits the night before after looking at the weather picture on her phone. They even pick out 2 outfits to account for the unpredictable Cape weather.
I went home full of hope.
When we arrived I did my little sales pitch (Girls, how about we pick out your clothes for tomorrow and Oh Look! There’s a little sun with clouds tomorrow which means it’s still winter blahblahblah) and they were very happy (read: bouncebouncebouncebouncebounce) to pick their outfits.
We picked the panties and skirts and got as far as stockings when they lost interest and ran off, but I put out their tops, left the little piles on the dresser, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
Because I know Daniel isn’t really a problem I gave him the option of picking his clothes and he was very happy about it, but then trotted off to do something else and never came back.
This morning when they woke up they had breakfast and wanted to get dressed before brushing teeth which was fine and went without as much as even a little whine, except when we wanted to go brush their teeth Daniel was in the bathroom, dressed only in his vest.
Where he stayed for at least 45 minutes. Well it felt like it.
Bottom line: we left a whopping 15 minutes earlier this morning.
Rinse and repeat.