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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Two Montessori Toddlers at 18-Months

I was just thinking the other day about how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to witness four little humans walk through this world. At one point, a doctor told me I might never have another child and just the amazing people who have been born since then really just blow me away. But, having a few kids has really opened my eyes to how different they all are from each other, even with the exact same parents, the exact same parenting approach, environment and more. 

I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison between Gus and Teddy at 18-months just to illustrate this point. Nearly everything has been the same for these two, and yet, they are completely different little people. 

Play

Going through pictures, I noticed some of the same things on their shelves, but not a ton. The things Gus loved, are not the same as the things Teddy is frequently using right now. But, even looking a bit deeper, how they play is very different. Gus was often sitting still and working at the table. The work was often being used as I had shown him. Teddy is more movement focused. He is almost always standing to work. Sometimes the work is modified so he can complete it (like in this picture the tower is tipped down to make it easier for him.) 

Practical Life 

Looking back on Gus, he loved getting dressed and undressed at this age, something Teddy has never shown interest in. Teddy tends to like anything with water and big movements, something Gus hardly ever did because he didn't like being wet. 

Other things, like self feeding and basic kitchen work were similar for these two. They were/are both interested in cleaning the floors at this age! Lots of sweeping and vacuuming. 

Temperament 

Teddy and Gus are very different personalities. Gus is chill where Teddy is more particular. Where Teddy is more relaxed and free, Gus is more reserved. One thing I found interesting was their frustration tolerance. Gus pouts and doubles down on the lock and key work when he was feeling frustrated. Ted on the other hand, shows a lot of frustration and probably threw the pieces shortly after this picture was taken. 

Environment 

This was one thing that was virtually the same. Same rooms, same shelves, same plants (although more mature!) We don't have that big dome out for Ted but a Pikler instead, but otherwise, really similar. Many of the same materials were out but not all (that would make another interesting post!) Really they were different because of the differences I've noticed between them. 

Now, I could go on here between Gus and Ted. They have a lot of similarities too. They both loved being outside. They both were working on potty learning. They both spent a lot of time wandering around. 

But, what I really wanted to show with this post was that there is no one way for a Montessori toddler to be or act. There is room for every child to be exactly who they are. There is no one set of materials you need. No one specific way they should respond. Every child gets to be exactly who they are supposed to be. 

Do you notice any similarities or differences in your children?

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