The Four Planes of Development – A Tool for Parents
A Montessori childhood: from 0 – 24 years old
Have you ever thought, “I don’t understand my child any more?” It’s like they have completely changed.
Dr Montessori spoke about the four planes of development. A child passes from 0-6 to 6-12 to 12-18 and to 18-24. The child is almost like a new child in each of these planes.
As parents we observe our child, offer love, respect, acceptance and understanding at any age…but we need to adjust how we are with our children as they pass through each plane.
The four planes of development can be used as a beautiful tool for parenting our children. It helps us understand how our child is now viewing the world depending on their plane of development…and how we can support them at each stage.
- an absorbent mind – taking in everything around them
- learn with all the senses
- from dependence to collaboration to physical independence – being able to begin to care for their own needs
- they are constructing themselves from their experiences – becoming a child of their time, place and culture
- a volatile period of growth
- a reasoning mind – they don’t just accept things, they need a reason
- they are stronger, more stable, able to work for longer
- they need big work to challenge them + large empty space to stretch out
- they use their imagination to understand things not in front of them, to create, to solve problems
- seeking mental independence
- they need to explore into society
- huge physical and psychological changes; a volatile period (similar to the first plane)
- seeking social and economic independence
- constructing themselves as adults
- want to solve problems of the world, for example, developing social policy
- “a social newborn”
- more stable period (similar to the second plane)
- give back to society, eg, volunteer work, enter the workforce, choose a study that will give back
- being adults
- they have a specialised, reasoning, logical mind
- seeking financial, moral and spiritual independence