This month in Rabbit Run Cottage
Hi Rabbit Run!
I had an email prepared to send that is just FULL of resources, articles and info surrounding the most common topics brought up during conferences, but then I discovered the show "Old Enough" on netflix, and so I will save that "big" email for another time and send this one for now. "Old Enough" is a show about Japanese children and tots running errands independently for the first time. Of course their families have prepared them for this level of independence through small steps, repetition and practice, and not just sent them out on a whim. What a beautiful thing it is to see these children embracing freedom along with the requisite responsibility, and how aligned it is with the Montessori ideology! The episodes are short and sweet and downright heartwarming. I highly recommend watching.
In addition, NPR published an article about it a few days ago, and it is a great read! Below are the highlights, although I highly recommend taking a few minutes to give it a full read. Since most of the resources I intended to send post-conferences were around practicing independence at home and addressing limit/boundary-pushing behavior, this article is really right up our alley! The author talks about her child's own boundary-breaking behavior and how, when given the opportunity for autonomy, it all stopped. Now, I don't recommend sending your kiddo out the door solo this evening to buy milk, but take a look at the step-by-step list to help build the skills and self-confidence a child needs to successfully run an errand independently and maybe make a plan to begin working towards this in the future (of course, based on where your child is in terms of age and ability).
If you give it a watch and/or read, I'd love to hear what you think!
"It's not so much about raising "free range" kids – the term often used to describe children who are free to play and explore around their homes and neighborhoods on their own — but rather it's about raising smart, capable kids whose parents enable them to practice autonomy without sacrificing safety. Kids who have the skills they need to handle the responsibility."
"Autonomy has oodles of benefits for kids of all ages. Studies have linked autonomy to long-term motivation, independence, confidence and better executive function. As a child gets older, autonomy is associated with better performance in school and a decreased risk of drug and alcohol abuse. "Like exercise and sleep, it appears to be good for virtually everything," neuropsychologist William Stixrud and educator Ned Johnson write in their book The Self-Driven Child."
"The biggest gift parents can give their children is the opportunity to make their own decisions," psychologist Holly Schiffrin wrote in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. "Parents who 'help' their children too much stress themselves out and leave their kids ill-prepared to be adults."