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#1 of 24 Old 10-05-2005, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going back to work soon. First time back in nearly 3 years. I met with a new Montessori day care that is opening up near me. It would be ideal since it is so close to me and the place looks lovely, but I have some concerns.

1. My 3-yr old potty trained just this past summer and uses a little potty at home. I have a folding travel potty topper that I keep in the diaper bag for out and about. She is afraid of using a big potty without the special potty topper seat. The lady at the Montessori said she would have to learn how to use a big potty because they would not have a little potty or potty topper available.

2. My 1-yr-old is very very attached to mama and has a hard time adjusting to new people. She usually cries for about 1/2 an hour, but if held and/or slinged she will calm down and become her usual happy self. I asked the teacher if it would be a problem to have either her or one of the helpers take the time to hold my dd and allow her to cry for a while before sitting her down on the mat or trying to distract her and I was told that in Montessori they do not touch the kids. No hugs, no touching, nada.

The first point I'm trying not to get too hung up on. Maybe it is a good thing for my dd to learn not to be afraid of the big potty (I just hope they don't give her a hard time if she has an accident because she doesn't want to use the big potty).

The second point, though, is a deal breaker for me. Are all Montessori schools like this? Am I missing something about my child's development that she needs to not be hugged or touched when she is upset?
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#2 of 24 Old 10-05-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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I agree that I think your older child will deal with the big potty pretty quickly. #2 is not standard montessori. Is there another montessori near you?

good luck

-Angela
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#3 of 24 Old 10-05-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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I agree with alegna. At all of the schools my daughter has attended, children are frequently seen sitting on the teacher's laps being comforted, or at the very least, being held and soothed. I would look for a different school as well. You don't want that sort of coldness to be the start of schooling...It's particularly sad if they are working with young children and there is no touching. They need it!

I know that in older years, children and teachers both ask permission before touching (i.e. putting hand on shoulders, picking up, etc) in order to give children physical respect...but man! If the teacher has this misconception about Montessori, then I would definitely be looking into something else...
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#4 of 24 Old 10-05-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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What a freaky school! My son is in Montessori and they have little toddler-sized toilets for the kids. They also do plenty of holding and touching with the little ones.

There is a lot of variation in Montessori, from what I hear. My son's school has all the Montessori materials and the teachers are all certified, but the school doesn't do most of the uber-independent stuff I hear about with other schools (like not letting parents come in the classroom, etc.). It's like AP-style Montessori :LOL
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#5 of 24 Old 10-06-2005, 02:06 PM
 
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Agree with the others. #1 (potty policy) is pretty standard. Kids are sometimes more capable (esp. in a new environment) than we give them credit for. Montessori definitely challenges kids to "rise the the occasion" and they usually do, in time. Also, our Montessori school understands that potty accidents are totally normal and would never scold or shame a child for having accidents or difficulties.

Rule #2 though, is crazy, and not reflective of Montessori as I understand it. Kids need physical comforting--esp. little kids. That would be a deal-breaker for me too, and would call into question how they (mis)interpret other M philosophies.
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#6 of 24 Old 10-06-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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I agree with the pps: Can you find another Montessori school near you?
BTW, other schools can use the MOntessori name but not be *true* Montessori schools. Just FYI. This one does not sound like a child centered school to me.
Good luck!
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#7 of 24 Old 10-06-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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Our montessori has those potties that you'd see in a kindergarten or something. So they're regular seat size but short and easy to get on.

As for the hugging, that's bunk. My child gets a hug at drop off and good bye from his teacher.
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#8 of 24 Old 10-06-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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#2 would be a deal-breaker for me as well. The first few days of preschool, the teacher had to hold him as I walked out the door-and then I waited in the hallway out of sight but in earshot to make sure he stopped crying before I left the building. The crying (in-arms, not "CIO") lasted less than 3 minutes.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#9 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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that would be a total deal breaker for me too. a "no touch" policy with just seems so cold. i actually like that i have seen teachers comforting upset kids, or that my ds teacher puts his hand on Ro's shoulder when he walks him into class.
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#10 of 24 Old 10-15-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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#1 seems to be standard. It is teaching your child how to use the potty independently and i really have no issues with that ...

#2 seems WACKY ! I was just at the school this morning (cleaning up after a party we had last night) and the Director was lovin all over my DD. This is an AMI accreddited montessori also. Are you sure this is a real montessori? It seems like alot of schools like to put montessori with their names not knowing what it is all about.
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#11 of 24 Old 11-09-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
My 1-yr-old is very very attached to mama and has a hard time adjusting to new people. She usually cries for about 1/2 an hour, but if held and/or slinged she will calm down and become her usual happy self. I asked the teacher if it would be a problem to have either her or one of the helpers take the time to hold my dd and allow her to cry for a while before sitting her down on the mat or trying to distract her and I was told that in Montessori they do not touch the kids. No hugs, no touching, nada.
What?!?!?!?!?!?!!? That's absurd. And for what it's worth, we've been involved with a Montessori school for almost 3 years and it is nothing like this, especially for the toddlers...I always see the guides holding toddlers, comforting, etc.
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#12 of 24 Old 11-10-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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I have read alot of thread about the "no hug/no touching", not just Montessori.
I agree with all the post, that is definately NOT a Montessori practice.

On a bigger picture, check with your school and see if that is a "state directive". My sister teachers in Pubic School and she was directed that children are "basically" not to be held and comforted, since the recent rash of child molestation, child abuse, daycare scares, pedophiles etc etc. It was like the state (NY), maybe others, took a drastic measures at all the schools to get this issue out of the school system.
For example, if a kid is crying, they were directed to hand them tissues, but no long hugs, cuddles, etc. I would surmise that some school took this directive "verbatim" and some others utilize some realistic boundaries.

Definately, you need to question that M-school on those comments. It is absurd to never hug a child when they are in need of some safe nuturuing and calming. Ask them what do they do in those instances. And if you gut is not happy with that answer seek another school !
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#13 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 03:27 AM
 
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I too agree with the mamas here. My boys go to a Montessori school and hugs are always on tap
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#14 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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Hi, I have sent four children to a Montessori school and loved it. I would however have a real problem with both of your issues. If the school caters to the younger children they should definately have the right potty equipment to fit all ages. I don't recall ever sending a child before the age of four so I did not know they took them so young. That seems like extremly expensive day care, especially if they are leaving out the most important part, holding and hugging. Small children need this in big doses, please keep looking. Dennis
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#15 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgourley
I don't recall ever sending a child before the age of four so I did not know they took them so young. That seems like extremly expensive day care
Traditional Montessori classrooms are ages 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12. There are also accredited infancy programs.
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#16 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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...for a SHORT time, believe me! I was "disciplined" for picking up and comforting a crying 3 year old! I agree completely with the others-- RUN from this school.
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#17 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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I hope no one thinks I am a I have came across many posts refering to Montessori school I have no idea what that is could someone please explain?

The public school dd attends(pre k) her teacher & the assistant both hold and comfirt the kids when needed, they always greet w/ a hug if my dd goes up to them wanting 1.

 
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#18 of 24 Old 11-28-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRDCatLvr
I hope no one thinks I am a I have came across many posts refering to Montessori school I have no idea what that is could someone please explain?
Montessori 101:
http://www.mrcserie.org/mont101.html
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#19 of 24 Old 12-07-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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Can't imagine a no-touch policy! DD's favorite part of her day is 'when Mrs. D gave me a hug'. She gets hugs on pick up and drop off. I would never entrust dd to anyone who had a no-touch policy. What an awful place to spend the day!
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#20 of 24 Old 12-13-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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: I agree wholeheartedly with the advice to RUN from this school.

The toileting issue is one thing; your child will surprise you at how fast that is mastered! The no hugs thing, though, well that just does my head in. I have a hard enough time explaining the philosophy behind Montessori Education, without having to deal with this kind of preconception.

One of the Montessori environment's main purposes is to be an extension, if you will, of the child's own home. It should feel comfortable, and attractive; it should be their own space. It is, after all, called the CHILDREN'S HOUSE!
In fact, for many children, for much of their lives, this is the place where they spend the great majority of their waking hours.

This environment should, of course, be enriched with all the materials inherent with a Montessori curriculum, including a loving, honest, dedicated adult. This adult is not a replacement for the parent, but should be seen, to a certain extent, as a co-parent: a partner to the parents.
If a child in my class needs to be held for a few minutes until they feel they are ready to get into an activity, it is my absolute responsibility to be there for them. It has always been my experience that this has been necessary only for a very short time, before that child is so attracted to do something that they happily hop down from my lap -filled with self-confidence.
One of the cornerstones of the Montessori Philosophy is to 'Follow the Child'. This should definitely include knowing when they need a little affection and support.

I hope you have been able to find a loving, nurturing environment for your children.


P.S. I'm not sure what to think about the comment about 'uber-independent stuff'. I prefer not to have parents come into the classroom because it can be very chaotic for the children. The adults tend to either
1. Talk at adult level, to each other, thereby raising the noise level and hindering concentration on the part of the child.
2. Try to direct what activity their child starts with, thereby influencing the whole direction of the work cycle.
3. Make assumptions about the whole environment based on the 10 minutes they witness.
Any parent is welcome to schedule an observation, where they can stay for at least an hour, and observe the children at work.
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#21 of 24 Old 01-05-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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Just have to bump this up and add that the no-touch policy is absolutely not a part of our M-school either. I have actually thought a lot about how nice it is that my 8 year old still hugs his friends and teachers and likes to hold hands with his friends of all ages, both boys and girls, at times. The children are even encouraged to place a gentle hand on the arm or shoulder of someone they want to speak with when that person is talking to someone else (instead of interrupting). So gentle touching is actively encouraged.
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#22 of 24 Old 01-05-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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[QUOTE=butternut The children are even encouraged to place a gentle hand on the arm or shoulder of someone they want to speak with when that person is talking to someone else (instead of interrupting). So gentle touching is actively encouraged./QUOTE]

They do the same at my son's school. My son is very talkative with a tendency to interrupt and it really helps!
My son did not go to a Montessori casa so I can't speak personally but at the school where he is now I often see the primary or casa teachers in the hallway holding and comforting small children who just been dropped off and are crying.
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#23 of 24 Old 03-10-2006, 01:20 AM
 
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I would agree that number two would rule out any decision about a Montessori.

I am an infant 'teacher' at a Montessori school. I recently transfered to a new school in my area because the other one I worked at also had a slight hands off policy. It tore me apart to see the child lay there and cry and lay in the same place all day with no affection.

My new place of work is wonderful. We hug on the kids all day long and I adore them. They are the happiest children, and interaction is key to their Montessori experience at such a young age. I would agree with everyone else that is saying to find a different Montessori. There are ones that allow holding.
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#24 of 24 Old 03-10-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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One of Dr. Montessori's own directives is never to touch a child unless invited by him or her in some way...with that said, I think that we have to be very careful of how we touch the children and for how long. In my opinion, it really isn't a teacher's job to interact with the children in this capacity...it is the parent's job to hug and to kiss. In my experience, I have found that it is best to maintain a professional demeanor with the children in my care. This does not mean I am short, rude, inconsiderate or not aware of their feelings. It means that sometimes, I let a child cry for a little while if s/he needs to. I do offer them a tissue and surprisingly, this usually quites them down. Personally, I have seen that when we place too much importance on a sad event for the child, it becomes drawn out or overemphasized and can really interfere with the child's work/the work of others and plainly, the child's emotional health. We like to quiet down, express our feelings and then move on to something interested to do, or something helpful. Usually a sad child becomes much happier after helping someone else. This question raises an interesting point and something I have given much thought to after having a child, and bringing her with me to the Montessori school where I work. Lilli attended with me since she was 3 months old. I think this is also related to "Attachment Parenting" which I whole heartedly agree with in it's theory, but have seen some problems with in practise. It is totally possible to create an "overly dependent" child. The child should be aware that s/he has his parent's unconditional love. As a mother, I had to create opportunities for my daughter to exercise her independence and let her know that it was ok for me to walk away from her while she was being held by someone else, or for me to go out for an hour and let Dad have some one on one time. The main goal in a Children's House is for the child to develop in independence, concentration and coordination. It is a process and all children start at different places along this path. A child that has to depend on hugs and any other external action is not being allowed to develop his or her own resources for dealing with all the many emotions. Now, I don't think that any child should be left to cry on a mat by themself all day...this is neglect. The directress needs to be there for the child, but should never substitute her will for the child's own developmental needs.

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