Eps 184: The Montessori Toddler with Simone Davies


Today’s guest is Simone Davis. Simone is the author of the new book, The Montessori Toddler. Simone is an AMI Association Montessori International Montessori Educator. She lives in Amsterdam where she runs parent-child Montessori classes at Jacaranda Tree Montessori. Simone is the author of a popular blog, The Montessori Notebook. She is also mother to two young adults. We will be discussing toddlers. Join us!

“In Montessori it’s an alternative education system where we’re actually following each unique child on their own unique individual development.”

“We start to think that toddlers are giving us a hard time when actually it’s them having a hard time.”

“We help them as much as necessary and as little as possible.”

“Montessori is somewhere in between, we call it freedom within limits.”

“It’s really just how to communicate in an effective, respectful way.”

“it’s really about trusting your child that they’re on their own unique timeline and that they’re different to everybody else.”

“I think of us as planting that seed as well and nurturing it so that we really recognize that each child’s individual, how can I support and help them become the best version of themselves?”

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • What the Montessori philosophy is all about

  • The role of multi-age modeling in a Montessori environment

  • The importance of taking time for training

  • Preparing the environment and what that looks like

  • How Montessori builds community and independence

  • Teaching kids to care for things and each other: values-based learning

  • How breaking down steps reduces assumptions and frustration

  • The benefits of the Montessori approach

  • Applying Montessori principles to your home

  • What gets in the way of parents for seeing the gifts of the toddler years

  • Practicing neutral observation without assumption like a scientist

  • How the quest for Independence is similar in the teen and toddler years

  • Setting kind and clear limits

  • The value of a rich language environment with the space to try new things

  • Getting comfortable with repeating yourself

  • The role of making amends and modeling doing so yourself

  • The most important thing for parents of young children to know in order to shift into the Montessori mindset

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

I do think that you can bring joy back into parenting. Like when you think of parenting a toddler, like you mentioned, it can be hard work, but actually when you see the world through your child’s eyes and see that they’re not trying to give you a hard time, but they’re just kind of super curious, they grabbed that toy out of that child’s hand because they want to play with it right now. That’s as simple as it is. It’s not that they’re trying to be naughty and so the courage to follow your child, support them, like “I’m not going to let you take that toy. Let’s wait together.” But in a very kind and gentle way. And then you’ll just find you’re more relaxed as a parent and you’ll enjoy seeing what your toddler can show you because they have so much to show us about being in the present moment. They’ll spot those weeds growing up through the pavers as you walk down the street, they remind us to really slow down and to enjoy every bit of life because I’ve even just used to spend half an hour going to get the newspaper with my son and we’d walk across the road. It was a block, but it was such a delight to just slow down and enjoy all those little moments, those little toddling legs. I, just, yeah, I’m so grateful for that time and that I didn’t let it pass me by.


Dan Siegel hand model of the brain video

“The Montessori Toddler” book

Where to find Simone:









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Authentic Parenting Conference

Anna Seewald, host of the Authentic Parenting Podcast, and parent coach, has put together a steller day of learning and growing together in New Brunswick, NJ. I am so excited about it that I decided that I WANTED TO GO TOO!!


I am going to be there, Dr. Laura Markham will be delivering a keynote (ah-maze-ing), and the whole thing just looks like super soul care on fire.


If you are interested, click here https://authenticparenting.com/conference and use the discount code JOYFUL25 for $25 off the registration fee!!


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