Spoiler Alert: Maria Montessori Wasn't Perfect

Dr. Maria Montessori and her son, Mario, in the 1920s

Dr. Maria Montessori and her son, Mario, in the 1920s

Because I know many of you don't know this and assume that being a Montessori-inspired parent means following Maria's exact advice and being 100% perfect, please let me shatter a myth.

Maria Montessori was many things - Brilliant. Revolutionary. Brave. But a PERFECT PARENT? No.

Rather, she was a normal, flawed, loving, imperfect parent. Just like the rest of us.

Maria Montessori had one child, a son named Mario. She loved her child very, very much. And he, her. But for the first many years of his life, their relationship was strained.

Soon after his birth, Mario went to live on a farm with a different family. Though Maria would visit her son, she did not reveal that she his birth mother until he was a teenager.

They say that during adolescence, after he realized that she was his real mom, he never, EVER left her side again.

I wonder sometimes how she must have felt, swollen and hormone-flooded after birth. Was she vulnerable and anxious, or numb or determined? Undoubtedly it was intense, the social pressure to let her baby live away from her, raised in secret so that no one would know he was the child of an unwed mother.

Her life and choices in parenting were different from most of ours. She did her best, just like we do. But we don't "parent like Maria" - we learn from her insights about child development and human nature and apply it to our parenting.

What Members Had to Say

Samantha Violet Parker Thank you. When I first began learning I felt an internal pressure to do this 'right.' I quickly realized that was unrealistic and not the intention. I let it go and do things with an open mind to the fact that nothing will be perfect. I'm just doing my best. ❤️

Laura Young Yep! We see her as inspiration and appreciate her insight and willingness to be different. We also appreciate her story and her journey ❤️❤️❤️

Frances Kithcart Omg so beautifully put. I never knew this about Maria Montessori but now I feel like this is party why I deeply respond to her. I am a single parent and was an unwed mother.

Alex Kross Thank you. I know when i started reading into Montessori i wanted to follow it to the letter. I soon found out that taking bits and pieces were better for me and my son.

Emma Hartley Love this! To often I read on here people getting anxious about parenting 100% the Montessori way. But for our son, we just love about the principals and apply what works for our family. Every child and every family is different.

CommunityAubrey Hargis