The Power of Silence

September 25, 2023

When I am with a child or children a question I often ask myself is, can I be silent?

As I have said to the hundreds of children I have had the joy to be with over the years, "It is easy to make noise, with our bodies and our words......yet it is a harder thing to bring our bodies into stillness."

And we practice this as a game together. It is a challenge to settle, to feel what parts of us move, to sense where noise comes from within us. To expand out with our breath and to listen. Of course if you are familiar with Maria Montessori, this game may be familiar to you.

As adults I feel that we have a harder time with quiet, with stillness, yet we may expect our child to become so. In reality the sounds of us can become background noise in the lives of our children.

I have observed this often over the years, within myself, and as I am with parents, grandparents, and caregivers, with children. It is as if talking and movement is a habit of how we feel we need to be with others. Yet as I look more deeply, my sense is that this unsettling is a response to the silent presence of the child.

If you can come into quiet in your body, sit, breathe, and observe, your child will have more freedom in the space you are in. Because words and actions fill space, don't they?

So I bring this reflection to you with an invitation to listen more, speak less. Be more, do less. In a soft way just practice doing the opposite of what is habit.

What you might notice is that all of the words spoken are more past and future based, and that silence is in the here and now.

If you are not sure what this might look like, sit quietly and observe your child. They help us to remember.

Pamela Green is a Montessori parent and Grandparent, as well as the owner of Ananda Montessori, a Montessori Playgroup in North East, Pa. She has been teaching and administrating in Montessori as a credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I & II, Parent-Infant Facilitator Training), and Positive Discipline Parent Educator, for over 35 years. Since 1989, she has served as a birth doula, midwife assistant, and childbirth educator. Pamela is a consultant and mentor to teachers, staff, schools, and parents, worldwide