The final tool I will write about this year is Mirror. Perfect for the time of year that we are reflecting on the things that we have learned this past year. I am feeling a little sentimental that the year is ending and we will be all finished with our year of tools. But at the same time I am so thrilled with the experience I have had practicing all these tools and sharing them with all of you. It has been a great year for me personal as a parent, and for Positively Montessori. We have gained many new readers, and I am so happy to be reaching a greater audience. I got my Positively Montessori Faceboook page up and running this year too. This has been a great place to share articles that I come across as well as little bits and pieces of my daily interactions with my children. Thank you to everyone who had joined me on this journey. I hope that each of you have gained something that has made you a better parent or teacher.
The tool Mirror is another way for you to invite your children to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. The Tool Card says, : Telling children what you observe is often enough to motivate change." So instead of asking your child to pick her backpack on the floor you could say, "I notice your backpack is laying on the floor in the kitchen." By simply noticing something you give the child the opportunity to come up with a solution and take the course of action that she desires. This can also come in the form of feelings or emotions. "I notice you and your brother are getting upset with each other while trying to play with the new toys." An older child has the ability to take your observation and make a choice to play differently or choose something else to do, to settle or avoid the conflict.
When we keep what we tell them limited to a simple observation we show faith in them and their ability to find a solution. This is respectful to them and you. They are not constantly being told what to do, and you are not always giving orders.
The funny thing is that when you start using this tool, as with many others, your children will begin to use it too. One day my daughter came home from school and instead of telling me that I really need to remember her napkin and spoon in her lunchbox, she said "I noticed that there was no spoon or napkin in my lunch today, so I borrowed one from the school!" I almost laughed out loud when she said it, but then I felt pretty good. Not only had she learned an efficient way of communicating, but she also made me feel encouraged to remedy the problem right away. Where as if she had said, "Mom, you keep forgetting my spoon and napkin, can you please remember tomorrow?" I might not have felt quite a motivated to do something about it, instead I would have probably felt guilty about making the mistake, again!
All 52 Positive Discipline Tools that we practiced this year were helpful in some way. I feel like they have contributed to an atmosphere of respect and love in our home, and taught us all how better to treat others. Thank you again for coming along on this journey with me. I have some fun ideas in mind for the upcoming year and I hope you will stick around to continue learning, growing and laughing with me!