Teaching Children to Love

Santa Cruz Montessori Wavecrest Jr High at Live Earth Farm

The purpose of the adult of the species, any species, is to ensure the success of the next generation. From bees to bears, from hyenas to humans, every adult’s job is to provide for the young. Someone did it for us. Now it is our turn to give back, ideally giving more than we were given. We assure the success of future generations by teaching our children to love. . . Wherever we are, whoever we are, our job is to help others view life through eyes of love.

When we lose that connection to love, that is the moment that things start to go downhill, sometimes quickly, and other times so slowly that we don’t realize anything has changed until it is too late to avoid the consequences of broken relationships, feelings of isolation, anger and hateful behavior. It is in our families that we learn to love and to express love. Our families are also where we can learn to be fearful of the world, and learn to express fear in many damaging ways. . . How quickly we lose our way when we choose not to use the energy of love.

We show our love through our actions, through our work and through our words. As Shakespeare said it in the play Two Gentlemen from Verona, “They do not know love that do not show their love.” To teach our children to love, we must show our love. We must learn how to express our love in all its billions of variations. To have love, teach love.

The above words and thoughts come from Maren Schmidt, author of Building Cathedrals Not Walls and are presented with her permission. She wrote these words in 2009, but they resonate strongly in 2017.

As Montessori teachers, we are grounded in a deep respect, appreciation and love for the child. We express our love through our commitment to the children in our care and to the principles we hold dear. We show this commitment “through our actions, through our work and through our words.” More about this next time!

(You may find more ideas from Maren Schmidt at www.MarenSchmidt.com.)