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Muuuuuuummmmmm I’m huuuunngryyyyyy

If I had a pound for every time this has been hollered at me during lockdown homeschooling I’d be a rich woman!

My 6 year old daughter’s constant desire to snack has become relentless, so I‘ve decided to do something about it.

At Montessori settings where I have worked, children were able to prepare and help themselves to snack throughout the day, before cleaning up independently (or with some support, for those children fascinated by the gravitational pull on water on to floor 😂). Similarly, I have made a ‘snack station’ in our kitchen. Each morning my daughter and I prepare and put out all the snacks that she can have that day. It’s then up to her to decide what and when she eats. When it’s gone, it’s gone. This way, she can become more independent, regulate herself and develop delayed gratification (and hopefully the hungry hollering will cease).

A fundamental part of Montessori education is to nurture independence in children. ‘Help her to help herself’ used to be my motto with my daughter, but somehow, since she’s started school I’ve become her servant. After she grew out of the horme* driven years, she lost that steely determination to do things by herself, and I guess I became lazy and impatient. I’d got to the point where I’d rather just do things for her- quickly with little fuss- rather than take the time to think how I could help her to do it by herself.

With all the difficult things happening in our lives right now, children are certainly picking up on the vibes and are becoming anxious. I’ve noticed that my daughter’s self-esteem has been impacted and that she is displaying lots of controlling behaviour. This has shaken me in to action and I’m now determined to go back to ‘helping her to help herself’ as I think that giving her more independence and control of things in her life will help alleviate some of the anxiety about elements out of her control. And I think through this, she’ll develop and refine skills which will help build up her self-esteem, and hopefully inspire a ‘can do’ attitude. Consequently, giving me more time to drink my tea in peace 🤞🤔🤣

Here’s the breakfast bar and snack station.( I love a label 😉)

Snack in little boxes include fresh fruit, dried fruit, veg sticks, crackers, breadsticks, biscuits and the odd bit of chocolate.

*Horme - The inner drive which guides the very young child in his/her learning and development. Montessori also refers to the Hormic Impulse, which drives the child toward unpremeditated action and independence. It‘s very hard to reason with a child when they are horme driven. The hormic impulse is stronger than their ability to reason at that age, hence the ‘terrible two’ label. As the child begins to have more social understanding and develops his/her ‘will’ the horme begins the wane.

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