We had a great turnout for our parent education evening and received very positive feedback. Here are some further thoughts on the evening from Ms. Jennifer:
When my children started Montessori school over twenty-five years ago my husband and I were invited by the teacher to consider the goals we had for them. After some careful thought we came up with three ideas we agreed upon. They weren’t academic in nature or about professional development. Rather, these goals articulated the kind of adults we wanted our children to become. These three values were posted on our refrigerator. The list got lost over the years, but the values stuck with us and were constant reminders to our children of what we value as a family and a lens through which we judged our behavior as parents.
On our list were:
Strong work ethic
We wanted our children to be confident and well prepared to live independently once they were no longer under our roof. We wanted them to have the freedom to explore their skills and talents that independence brings and develop their full potential. We wanted them to have positive self-esteem and self-value as a result of these accomplishments.
My husband and I had both inherited a strong work ethic from our parents and wanted to encourage that in our children. While always putting family first we hoped to demonstrate the importance of integrity, responsibility, team work, and self-discipline and desired to inspire them to always strive to do their best.
Finally, there is no greater manifestation of love than the willingness to give of oneself. We wanted to show them how to be generous with their money; sharing friendships easily; giving of their labor. That is the way to find joy in your life.
As we discussed these goals with the teacher we realized how well they fit with the goals of Montessori.
It wasn’t always easy sticking to our action plan to develop these goals. Like all parents sometimes we lost sight of them and got side tracked. Sometimes we wondered what had happened to our children! Our work, as parents is never finished, but I have been rewarded with adult children who are confident, generous, and generally happy.
Now I am working on my grand children!
I believe that this is an important exercise for all parents. If we can’t clearly identify the core values we want our children to have as adults, how can we possibly work to nurture and develop those characteristics within them as children? If we don’t know what the destination is, how can we map out a road to get there?
Whatever the age of your children it’s never too late to make a plan!
If you would like one of your chosen values to be the topic of our next parent education evening, please don’t hesitate to share!