“Why is it essential to foster grace and courtesy in children?”
Grace and courtesy are critical to the success of the Montessori method. We know that kids may not always do what we say, but they definitely “do what we do”. Your child will emulate your behavior, whether it’s manners, personal responsibility, or tidiness, and then self-govern agreeably. By modeling grace and courtesy, we help our children learn to act with other people politely.
The Montessori Method focuses on helping your child develop into an independent, responsible, and confident person. An essential component of that is having good manners. Self-governance is best taught hands-on; allowing them to role play with you first is essential to demonstrate good manners in the real world successfully.
Grace and courtesy lead to the most significant lesson in life – how to love. Love is the ability (and the desire) to put someone else’s needs before yours, i.e., wanting the best for them. Whether it be holding a door, letting them go first, or doing what pleases them, love is a valuable lesson, most often demonstrated in small actions and ways. Grace and courtesy are the doorways to love.
Grace and courtesy are the building blocks of self-respect. Interestingly, we like ourselves better when we are kind and courteous to others. Grace and courtesy contribute to the development of self-control. Grace and courtesy give children an external set of markers that they internalize and practice, leading them to change their own behavior. This is the first step to controlling themselves. Self-control will lead to focus; focus will lead to accomplishment; accomplishment will then lead to success.
At the heart of grace and courtesy is as follows: grace reflects our own dignity, and courtesy reflects the dignity of others. The result of graceful movements and courtesy for others is peace between the mind and body which is then paralleled between the individual and the community.
Grace and Courtesy is one of the foundations of the Montessori Method.