Montessori Alliance


Common Behavioural Problems


YES and NO are words children learn the meaning of early in life. As they explore their environment, they hear the words, ‘No! don’t do that!‘, ‘That’s a NO NO!‘ ‘NO! don’t touch!‘ The young child learns by imitating adults and will consequently respond to anything the adult asks by saying NO, even when they mean yes!

The best way to avoid this behaviour is to limit the use of the word NO. Change they way you talk to the child by limiting the amount of commands you give, instead of saying, ‘put your coat on’ use ‘. Let’s put your coat on.’ Sometimes children are asked to choose between too many options and end up saying no to everything. If this is the case the adult should limit the choices offered.


Swearing can or cannot be seen as a problem as it is dependent on whether swearing is commonplace in the child’s environment. It becomes a problem when the child leaves that environment and is required to behave in an acceptable manner in order to socialize with a wider community. Some children use swearing to shock adults and provoke a reaction. How it is dealt with will depend largely on the child’s stage of development. For the young child clear boundaries on what is and is acceptable and gently timely reminders of what is appropriate behaviour may be all that is needed. For older children, swearing may be a way of venting frustrations and as the adult you have to look beyond the offensive language and get to the reason the child is presenting in this way.


Children under the age of 4 years don’t really know the difference between what is theirs and what belongs to someone else. Ownership lines are generally blurred when it comes to someone else’s possessions ,but the young child will fight fiercely for what he believes to belong to him exclusively. It is therefore important to ask the child before giving away any of his possessions and to encourage the child not to take anything that belongs to others. Most children will bring things home from school they shouldn’t, it is counterproductive to sit a four year old down and lecture him about the consequences of stealing. As the adult, using age appropriate language, discuss with the child how sad the teacher will be when she realises she is missing a piece of material and work out with the child what you could do together to make the teacher happy again. Using empathy to explore how others feel will help the child become aware of the consequences of their actions.

Why should I send my child to Montessori School?

It can be very hard for you as a parent to put your trust in something you’ve probably had no personal experience of. This short video from Montessori Madness should help you make that important leap of faith.


Montessori Madness

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