How Does Montessori Compare to Gentle Parenting?

Montessori-style parenting and gentle parenting share many of the same values, such as empathy and respect. The two styles can work together to create a nurturing, harmonious environment at home, but they are not the same.

What Is the Montessori Parenting Method?

Montessori-style parenting emphasizes teaching rather than punishing children. It encourages parents to understand the “why” behind their child's behavior and explain the appropriate way to act to the child. By understanding their child's perspective, parents can teach from a place of empathy and love — not anger or frustration.

Crucial elements of Montessori parenting include:

  • Encouraging independence and responsibility.
  • Demonstrating appropriate behavior through role-playing and modeling.
  • Fostering respect, empathy, compassion, honesty, peace and harmony.
  • Helping the child develop and practice essential life skills.
  • Saving praise for effort, not outcome.
  • Avoiding using external rewards to motivate their child and teaching internal rewards instead.

How Is Gentle Parenting Similar to Montessori?

Like Montessori-style parenting, gentle parenting aims to understand a child's behavior. It involves explaining to a child how to handle a situation and demonstrating how to act rather than punishing them.

Other similarities include:

  • Nurturing respect and empathy between child and parent.
  • Encouraging internal motivation rather than focusing on an external prize.

How Is It Different?

Montessori parenting is different from gentle parenting in that it's influenced by the educational principles of the Montessori method, which was developed over 100 years ago by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori.

By contrast, gentle parenting is a term and parenting style introduced by Sarah Ockwell-Smith in her 2016 book, “The Gentle Parenting Book." Its four core values are parenting with respect, empathy, boundaries and understanding.

Since Montessori-style parenting incorporates educational principles, it's more comprehensive than gentle parenting.

For instance, in addition to emphasizing teaching over punishment, Montessori-style parenting focuses on building life skills like cleaning up and putting belongings back in their place. It also encourages parents to keep an organized, simple home, creating opportunities for children to practice organization skills.

Schedule a Tour at Sapientia Montessori

Raising Montessori children can work in harmony with applying gentle parenting techniques. Both Montessori and gentle parenting styles help shape happy, resilient children who love learning and aren't afraid to make mistakes.

Are you interested in sending your child to a Montessori school in Greater North Austin? Consider Sapientia. Sapientia Montessori School is recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale as a premier choice. For over three decades, we've been helping children blossom to their fullest potential.

Schedule a tour of Sapientia Montessori today, or contact us to learn more.