The Hurried Child
“Hurry up” – How often do we find ourselves saying this phrase? We live in a fast paced life and are constantly responding to phone beeps and other such noises. As adults we have the ability to process things quickly and often all at the same time.
Maria Montessori observed that children in their early years have “absorbent minds”. Picture a sponge ready to take in the water that surrounds it. They are using all their senses to absorb the situation around them and then trying to make sense of it and process it.
In these situations it helps to understand that maybe the child isn’t listening to every word. Try to repeat your request at least five times using varying pace, tone and vocabulary. If the child is busy, gently give a countdown to help the child ease out of the concentration zone they’re in. “In five moments we will need to do this.”, “In four moments we will need to…” and so on. By planning and coping with the request in smaller amounts there’s usually less frustration and more understanding.
However, there are instances where the child needs to understand a command immediately… “Stop” is one that’s said with a firm voice…. We need this for the safety and security of the child.
A hurried child can be a worried child, so let us unravel the tangle of senses and stimulus, allow the child to process more manageable pieces of information and help turn a worried child into a calm, confident child.