This article explains why Montessori’s “Grace and Courtesy” during early childhood and “Civility and Manners” during the elementary years work so well. They honor and celebrate the dos instead of hurting the don’ts. They provide the community and the individual children “active modeling” and “active practice.”

“Spanking does not convey positive guidance on how to behave in a particular situation, only how not to behave if a threat of punishment is at hand. Children learn positive behaviors from practicing actions that work, ones that lead to a sense of belonging and competence. They internalize what they practice and what their family practices. They learn reasons for their actions from what they hear and are told, but active practice has the deepest impact.”

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