Profoundly so! That is one of the basic principles of Montessori, along with friendliness with error, protection of the cycle of activity, choice, and respect for the child’s own satisfaction in work over the adult’s praise – here’s hoping the Montessori Assistant will write on each one for us. We are grateful!

“And there it was again today, the almost overwhelming urge to offer unnecessary help. A child was struggling to thread a needle. I sat and watched, itching with the need to get up and help her. It took all of my self-restraint to sit in my chair and watch her struggle, which she did. For a long time. Eventually she succeeded, and after smiling triumphantly she got on with her embroidery.

The keyword here is “unnecessary”. Of course adults should help children, but only when it’s necessary. The child did not ask for help, and gave no indication that she needed it. It was my adult mind that interpreted her struggle as a bad thing. She did not interpret it that way at all. In fact, for that child, struggle was a doorway to confidence, to self-efficacy, to feeling good about herself.

One of my favorite Montessori quotes is: “Every unnecessary help is an obstacle to development”. If we could just get everyone to understand this and act accordingly (myself included), we could remove one of the biggest hurdles to optimal development: the well-meaning but unnecessarily interfering adult.”

fromĀ Facebook/Montessori Assistant