One of the great discoveries made by Dr. Montessori was that all humans have certain tendencies or behavior patterns. No matter where we live, no matter our culture or ethnicity, we all follow the same natural laws that lead us to act or react in a specific manner. We are all driven to:
Explore (we are curious)
Realize perfection/Control errors/Improve ourselves
Control ourselves (physically, intellectually, emotionally)
And I would add to this list the human tendency to act compassionately, to show care and concern for other living beings. These are the ways in which we are all similar. They unite us as a species.
These tendencies are present at all ages of our lives but some are stronger than others during different developmental periods. The tendencies also vary in the way and strength in which they appear in different people but they all exist in some form in every person. And it is these tendencies which guide our development; which direct us to take or not to take a given action.
In the child between the ages of 3 and 6, all of these tendencies can be readily witnessed. Children of this age are interested in talking, in using the new words they learn. They want to be with other children, to socialize. They imitate the actions of those around them (so if you eat standing up in the kitchen rather than sitting at a table, your children will too). They want you to do things the same way every time (they are precise) and they want to do the same things again and again and again (they repeat). You can go through the list of human tendencies and easily find examples for how each manifests in the young child.
These tendencies are not simply part of the young child, they are the child's master. The child is a slave to these tendencies. She must follow them because they are her nature. But that is not a problem...
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