Apple Montessori Blog

Teaching the art of grace, courtesy, respectfulness, and kindness

Developing your child’s social skills:
Teaching the art of grace, courtesy, respectfulness, and kindness

“There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.”— Dr. Maria Montessori

Grace and courtesy play a critical role in the Montessori philosophy. At the foundation of child development and education are social harmony within our classrooms, families, communities, and ultimately, our society. Children develop these positive character qualities from watching the behavior of those around them, both at home and in the classroom.

Montessori lessons in grace and courtesy start at an early age when children are most influenced and open to learning how to interact with others in peaceful, meaningful ways.At Apple Montessori, we accomplish this daily based on a set of shared values and ideals that are practiced and reinforced to help develop the “whole child”.

Setting a good example

As teachers, parents, and caretakers, we are empowered to create the behavior we want our children to display by the way we speak, act, and treat others. Children mimic the behaviors they see. They learn by example. That’s why at Apple Montessori, we the standard for proper etiquette within our classroom and students learn how to behave appropriately in social settings, such as how to:

  • Say “thank you” and “please”
  • Greet and say goodbye to others
  • Welcome a visitor
  • Ask for help or assist someone kindly
  • Serve a snack or meal
  • Clean up after themselves
  • Speak in a low, quiet voice
  • Be patient while waiting their turn
  • Excuse themselves politely
  • Ask permission or interrupt cordially
  • Accept or decline an invitation graciously
  • Listen and participate respectfully in conversations
  • Hold a door for someone else
  • Walk quietly around the classroom
  • Resolve a conflict peacefully
  • Share an activity or toy
  • Compliment another person
  • Be kind and thoughtful
  • Avoid shouting or being disruptive

What’s practiced in the classroom is further reinforced by the examples and atmosphere established at home. These lessons and observances help your child build sound, respectful friendships and empathetic relationships with others – a skill that will benefit your child and family throughout a lifetime.

Teaching self-discipline

Developing grace and courtesy also involves helping your child nurture self-discipline and self-control. We can teach our children to act calmly, patiently, and thoughtfully with others by demonstrating the behavior we want them to emulate. Teaching children how to manage frustration or problems without tension or tantrums takes practice and patience. As teachers and guides, we can minimize potential stressful situations by remaining calm, cool, and collected ― showing children how to solve problems or address their discomfort with composure and constructive communication.

Reinforcing good behavior

Praising a child’s gracious and courteous behavior helps acknowledge their efforts and provides positive reinforcement for being a respectful, caring, and kind person. For example, if your child draws a “thank you” card for a holiday gift from a family member, you can praise them for their thoughtful effort that will be greatly appreciated: “Your card is so sweet and will be loved because you took the time and effort to make it yourself.” Acknowledging kind behavior and effort goes a long way in developing your child’s social skills and self-esteem.

Maintaining a respectful environment

At Apple Montessori, our warm, welcoming, multi-age classroom creates a stimulating environment for learning, self-discovery, and collaboration with others in a purposeful, meaningful, and respectful way. We help children develop and recognize their unique qualities and the gifts they have to offer in making the world a better place through the lives they touch and by appreciating the diversity of all people and cultures.

To learn more about Apple Montessori’s character development, public speaking, and grace and courtesy lessons, visit us and schedule a tour today: