When I opened my school three years ago, I not only had a passion for children and the Montessori Method, but also for families. I so appreciate the hard work of parents and the deep love they feel for their children. I feel as a parent myself and see in our world/culture, the pressures families feel hearing so much advice on everything from potty training, education, discipline, religion, etc. One of the values we hold near and dear to our hearts at Community Montessori, is inviting and encouraging families to figure out what they care about. Knowing what is best for your family and your children is the first defense to falling into the trap of trying to 'do it all' when it comes to raising children. The challenging part to this is that often times, we have formed our thoughts and beliefs prior to even having children. We have so many ideas and dreams and times when we think, " I will definitely do this, this way" and "I will never do this, that way"...then...welcome our precious little cherub (s). They have needs, they have opinions, they have thoughts. They don't always line up with ours-what is a parent to do?? I have said many times during parent workshops and conversations with families, choose the relationship with your child over everything else. Respect who they are and what they need-children are so intuitive and they understand far more than we give them credit for. They understand the dilemma we're in as parents. They appreciate us KNOWING them and respecting where they are in their development. I know that parents are bombarded with messages from the world that says there is one way to do things, or one path to walk down, or one school to go to, or one way to discipline, but I disagree. Each of our paths with our own families and our children is unique/individual and will look different than anyone elses. We are on a journey with our children-we don't get to decide too many things along the way without taking into account the here and now. Looking too far ahead can make us miss the obvious in the moment. Thinking/worrying about next month, or next year, can cause us to be disconnected to the moment we're in. Enjoy your children-get to know them and base your decisions on what they are showing you they need now. Taking care of today will no doubt help take care of tomorrow. But, skipping today and tomorrow to move into next month or next year, will possibly result in a decision that disregards a need for now. Wives and Husbands-have these conversations....what do you really want for your children? Who do you want influencing their lives? What values do you hold as a family? How are those values best supported outside of your home? Do not fear who your children are-their gifts, their strengths will take them far in life. If we can walk along side our children, support and love them where they are and for who they are, they will be successful in life. There is freedom in waiting and watching...the age group we serve at Community Montessori (2 1/2-7) is a magical time full of such growth and learning. These little babies are amazing, capable, gifted, passionate.....as parents and teachers, we are blessed to have an opportunity to watch these kiddos unfold. I encourage you to not worry about the 'what ifs' when it comes to our children, but maybe ask instead, 'wow, what is next?'......enjoy this walk with parenthood...it goes by so quickly...that is so cliche, but true. Each day with our children (as parents and in the classroom as teachers) is a gift to us. I want to be patient, enjoy, and anticipate what else they have to show us and teach us.