Did you know that those IT guys who design ipads “so easy even a baby can use them” don’t allow their own kids to use them? Did you know that more than 50% of those Silicone Valley smart tech families send their children to Steiner schools (and many have been to Montessori schools themselves). Why? Because they observed that these children were so alert and open, so socially confident, so articulate, so observant of their environment…
Early childhood is the time that their spirits grow into their bodies, that they learn about the world by acting in it and on it and learning how to use their bodies as a tool like this little fellow who is practising to use the scissors. He is learning to coordinate his hands and eyes without cutting his fingers. He is totally focussed on the job. His brain is actually making neural pathways on which other skills can be built. Learning how to do things and do them well is a child’s job. And knowing you can do them is the basis of self- esteem and self- confidence. Don’t deprive them of that.
Around three years of age a change takes place in little boys: Soft and cuddly babies who morphed into cute toddlers now turn into challenging and defiant little critters one minute while going into complete melt down the next. When this happens parents wonder what on earth has happened or what they are doing wrong! Nothing they have done is wrong; this behaviour is a symptom of little boys having reached the next growing phase.
It means that for the coming three years testosterone levels will be at its highest, NOT to trigger sexual maturity, but to assist the male species to grow more and stronger muscle mass. The side effect is that they will challenge the very people they will actually feel closest to and feel safe with, mostly their parents. They want to be strong, carry big things, are very pleased when someone remarks how their muscles have grown and they often want to do manual things they see dad or grandpa do, the more action the better.
When action is more effective than words
Many 3-6 year olds are still unable to control emotions and pace themselves. When over excited they can get themselves into a spin without knowing how to stop it. It has been our experience that even using language can be too much at some point.
Emotions shoot up and through their body like a lightning bold and are expressed immediately, e.g. when something doesn’t work, it may get thrown. If a door doesn’t open, it will be kicked.
When the child feels happy, he may literally run around in circles. This type of behaviour is more apparent in boys than in girls. The brain is still in the process of constructing the reasoning part and adults can influence how this pathway is being constructed.
The point is that the child has as yet no means of controlling himself unless he is helped how to express strong feelings appropriately. Reprimanding a child verbally across the room does nothing or may even make matters worse.