How Montessori Encourages Resilience in Children

We all want our children to be able to bounce back from little things like a trip-and-fall, to bigger matters like not making the team. But how do we instill this in our children?

How can we help them become resilient teens and adults? In her blog essay, “Is Your Child Resilient?” (http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/your-child-resilient), Maureen Healy mentions two important factors in resilient individuals: The ability to remain optimistic and the ability to see one’s own strengths. So how does Montessori cultivate these abilities in children? Montessori accomplishes this by fostering, from the very beginning, the idea that the child can do things for himself. By promoting this idea to the child, by words and actions, we make it part of the child’s culture that he can do things and that he is a capable person.

Teaching the child to care for himself, to do things for himself and others, gives him the confidence he needs to bounce back from little accidents or disappointments. When things go wrong, a drink is spilled or a work is dropped, we show the child how to fix it himself and move on, instead of taking the problem away from him. This environment of independence is fundamental to the Montessori philosophy and helps even the youngest students gain a resilience that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.