The Ultimate Superpower: LOVE!
“Of all things love is the most potent… it is the greatest of all forces… we must study it and use it, more than any of the other forces that surround us.”1
- Maria Montessori
Children are naturally loving. Maria Montessori viewed children as love incarnate and saw them as being guided by “the intelligence of love” to explore the world around them. Before the age of 6, during what Dr. Montessori described as “the period of the absorbent mind”, we must highlight, cultivate and celebrate their innate, natural connection to the most important tool at their disposition: their HEARTS and the superpower of LOVE. Dr. Montessori noted that during this period, “the child is an eager observer and particularly attracted by the actions of adults and wants to imitate them.”2 (SofC 93) Therefore, it is incumbent upon parents, caregivers and teachers to actively model and encourage loving exchanges.
I have found young children to be naturally heart-centered and eager participants in discussions about virtually anything related to the topic of LOVE! Their true natures are revealed! From the people and places they love, to the sounds, smells, tastes and touches that soothe, they are veritable experts! Sharing simple books, like last week’s: Love, I Love You All the Time , by Emma Dodd, are a wonderful platform from which to highlight love-connections. Creating a special “love-nest” in your home, or a special “love-fest” time of day, to simply breathe and “be” together can have a profound and positive lasting impact on both you and your child.
“When the children show their real natures, (the adult) understands perhaps for the first time, what love really is. And this revelation transforms (him or her) also. It is a thing that touches the heart, and little by little changes people.”3
- Maria Montessori
As the child develops and you are able to widen the scope of the discussion to include a range of social-emotional concepts: empathy, gratitude, kindness, appreciation, respect, compassion, cooperation, patience, forgiveness and peace... you will marvel at their innate basic goodness. By encouraging children to perceive the world, as they do naturally - through the lense of the heart - we enable them to build a strong social-emotional framework around it. In return, they offer us an extraordinary glimpse of the world through a child’s eyes and a powerful incentive to follow the trail of breadcrumbs back to our own hearts, and the Superpower of LOVE!
Montessori, Maria (1995). The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt & Company, New York, NY, p. 295.
Montessori, Maria (1966). The Secret of Childhood, The Random House Publishing Group, New York, NY, p. 93.
Montessori, Maria (1995). The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt & Company, New York, NY, p. 282.