The Montessori Approach to Behavior
One goal of Montessori education is to support children in developing self-control and self-discipline. While each adult will have their own unique way of addressing and supporting a variety of behaviors, their actions will always reflect respect for each child as well as an understanding of their developmental needs and characteristics.
Normal Peer Conflict
Normal peer conflict is a part of every child’s life experience. As children learn the give-and-take of social interaction and cooperation, conflict naturally occurs. Young children are still learning self-control and developing a sense of personal space.
Pushing and other unwanted physical acts, getting upset about not being first in line, taking an item from another child, disagreeing or saying, “I’m not going to be your friend anymore” are all examples of normal peer conflict. They do not mean that a bully/victim problem exists.
Bullying is a willful, conscious desire to hurt, frighten, or threaten. Bullying is usually a series of repeated, intentionally cruel incidents, or threat of harm, that involve the same children, in the same bully/victim roles. It involves an imbalance of power, either real or perceived. It can be physical or verbal and can include intimidation, inappropriate gestures or touching, and social exclusion. Due to the willful and conscious nature, younger children are not typically developmentally capable of carrying out bullying and are more often involved in normal peer conflict.
Each instance of peer conflict at Flossmoor Montessori School is assessed on a case-by-case basis, by professional and experienced staff/guides who are building a deep understanding of each student. FMS staff will respond with appropriate intervention as needed and keep parents informed of any major conflicts/incidents.
This Bullying Policy is created to meet the requirements of the Illinois State Board of Education.