When parenting your preschooler doesn’t seem like the joyful experience you expected “BK” (Before Kids)…it might be too much of YOU and not enough of THEM.
Montessori certified parenting expert and early childhood teacher Jeanne-Marie Paynel joins me today with incredible encouragement for parents of preschoolers. We talk about children’s basic needs and how parents really can enjoy raising self-sufficient and independent children withOUT the overwhelm or comparison game…
In today’s interview you’ll learn:
- What a child-driven environment looks and feels like (and why it’s sooooo good for your kiddos!)
- How to stop yourself from interrupting your child’s development (flow)
- The joy of allowing children to be “with” us in mundane tasks
- How sitting on the floor for a while may change the way you parent
- What to focus on when we get our preschoolers involved in family chores (hint: it’s not the chore…or the chart)
- Why our child’s time before age 6 is so important!
- Why the kitchen is a perfect place to parent in a child-driven world
My favorite quote from Jeanne-Marie that I’ve thought of MANY times since recording this interview: “When children have a tantrum they are not GIVING you a hard time, they are HAVING a hard time.”
For wisdom from across the ages in many ways, please enjoy this recording!
Can’t see the video? Click to watch “Parenting Preschoolers with Intention” on YouTube.
No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!
Parenting Preschoolers Video Time Stamps
- 1:09: Jeanne-Marie is a parenting mentor to help guide parents who want to raise children in a gentle, peaceful, and supportive environment. She has two Montessori certifications covering childhood development from birth to age 6.
- 2:06: Jeanne-Marie had a multicultural upbringing and traveled from a young age. She shares how that impacted her life.
We want to enjoy raising self-sufficient and resilient children without the overwhelm. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 3:50: Children everywhere need connection and confidence.
- 4:31: Jeanne-Marie explains a bit about the Montessori education system. Maria Montessori was an Italian woman who was the first woman with permission to attend medical school.
- 5:57: What can we learn from this “force of nature” and her tenacity – how can we as parents be scientific observers?
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Characteristics of Montessori Education
- 6:32: The Montessori method is characterized by being child-driven. It guides kids from birth to 18 years old through the developmental stages of childhood rather than putting children in boxes determined by adults.
- 7:52: Many of Maria Montessori’s observations are now being proven with research and brain scans.
- 8:23: An important aspect of Montessori is preparing the environment for children. Children’s needs are different from ours. We want the environment to be welcoming to them.
We are there to facilitate our children’s adaptation to this world. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 9:59: Montessori schools have mixed ages. They will be in the same group for about 3 years.
- 10:48: The Montessori system uses manipulatives developed specifically to allow child-led exploration.
- 12:36: The philosophy of Montessori education is very different from our traditional education. It can be hard to imagine how it plays out in a classroom to have children choosing their own activities.
- 13:52: Montessori is about following individuals. The goal is not to have them memorize facts, it is to give them understanding.
Parenting Preschoolers with Montessori Principles
- 14:54: An important tenet of Montessori education that you can bring into your home is to not interrupt your child. This could look like asking “what are you doing?” or suggesting a redirect to another activity while they are still happily exploring something else.
We do not interrupt our children when they are in their flow. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 17:20: We get into applying the philosophy of Montessori to parenting. It’s about involving your children in the day-to-day tasks and allowing them to explore their world. Don’t wait until you think they are ready, that’s too late. When they show interest is when you share skills with them.
Parenting is about involving children in the mundane day-to-day tasks. -Jeanne-Maire Paynel
- 19:11: Some sociologists researching in other countries discovered some interesting differences in how the children viewed their chores.
- 19:57: American parents have the assumption that we need to entertain our children all day. We redirect them to play with toys when they want to be with us and help us around the house. Helping us is play to them.
- 21:54: We take the idea of preparing the environment to the home. There’s a simple tip to help you see the room from your child’s perspective.
Sit on the floor to see what your home feels like from your child’s perspective. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 23:07: Observe what your child continually wants to do and then figure out how to make that activity independent and self-sufficient for them. Jeanne-Marie includes a couple of examples.
- 24:54: Also note what items the child asks for repeatedly. Is that an item you can keep on their level?
- 27:47: Once you have set up the environment, you can be comfortable knowing you are not required to be your child’s servant. They can do more things on their own when the house is set up to facilitate that.
- 29:02: By allowing your child to do what they are capable of, you are allowing them to develop life skills that they will take into adulthood.
- 30:06: One difficulty I ran into was that we had everything set up at a child’s level for my son and then when my daughter began crawling, everything was a choking hazard! Jeanne-Marie has some suggestions.
Children are intelligent human beings. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
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Chores for Preschoolers
- 32:30: It’s all well and good to talk about philosophy, but now we get practical about getting preschoolers involved in chores. Kids have an “absorbent mind” until age 6. What do we want to be part of their being?
- 33:38: There’s a lot of self-development to be done on ourselves as the parents so that we don’t let our own frustrations get in the way of our children.
- 33:54: Parents of young children might not want to hear this but getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself is vitally important. You are not superhuman
Ask for support, you are not meant to do parenting alone. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 35:04: It takes some forethought and prep work to have your child help in the kitchen.
- 38:08: It can be helpful to practice new skills with children before it’s a time-crunched situation. For example, put out some clothes they can practice putting on at any time rather than teaching them to dress themselves when you’re trying to leave the house.
Repetition is the mother of all learning. -Jeanne-Marie Paynel
- 40:12: Community meals are the foundation of connection as a family. Again, mealtime will require some prep work. Make sure you have everything at the table so that you can all sit down and relax together to enjoy the meal.
- 45:09: We leave you with a mindset shift that will change your parenting.
Resources We Mention for Parenting Preschoolers
- Find Jeanne-Marie online
- 21 positive parenting tools – FREE download!
- Our online cooking course for kids
- Kid-friendly knife review
- Teaching your preschooler to carry a plate (it’s game-changing!)
- This is how our kids serve their own water
- Teaching life skills can be pretty hilarious!
- More on involving your child in daily chores
- Tips to make family dinners happen
- Setting kids up for success by setting the table
- Seven strategies for a stress-free home
- Prioritizing self-care as a parent
I’m an affiliate for Jeanne-Marie’s site, but that doesn’t change your price!
Families who work with Jeanne-Marie reap the benefit of her two AMI Montessori certifications covering childhood development from birth through age 6, extensive classroom experience, and first-hand parenting knowledge. Her mission is to help parents appreciate the true importance of their role – not as servants or teachers, but as supporters and guides of their children’s natural development.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector
2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids
Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.
3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:
About Katie Kimball
Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.
Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.
A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.