I often present Montessori books to young parents, even to grandparents. Rather than me making suggestions, reading Dr. Montessori’s books will create a greater awareness about children and help us realise our unfamiliarity with the needs of children. My first choice of gift is always The Child in the Family. This book has a lot of stories that reflect our everyday life with children. Some people have actually come back to me within a few hours of receiving my gift to tell me that as the book constantly accuses adults of wrongdoing they do not want to read any further! One young mother said “Oh my god! This book depicts us adults as villainous, it is so scary!” She actually returned the book to me!
A few weeks ago a grandfather, a resident of our apartment building, talked to me about his newborn granddaughter. He asked me for suggestions on helping her. After speaking to him for some time I gave him The Child in the Family and told him to try reading it. One morning when I went down for a walk he was waiting to meet me. Contrary to my expectation of asking to return the book to me, he started talking about the content of every chapter in great detail. He said strongly that adults commit mistakes because they do not understand children. He had recommended the book to his son-in-law and to his son. This was such a pleasant surprise, the first time that my gift had found a home with a person who enjoyed the book and felt that it had helped him to change his approach towards his grandchildren. Now the newly aware grandfather reads each chapter and advises others!