La Tela di Carlotta
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Montessori Peace table

Dec 20, 2020

If you know some Montessori blogs, you may have heard of the peace table.

It's simply a small table with two or three chairs (or a dedicated mat on the floor in a corner) where the members of the family meet after an argument. On the table, some parents keep an object that fits in one hand (like an anti-stress ball), an hourglass, and some books about emotions. Others add pictures on the walls with messages of peace or a relaxing musical instrument (such as the rain hose). I've even seen a photo of Maria Montessori, but I wouldn't go that far 😉

THis is what you do: after a conflict or an argument, the people involved meet at the peace table and speak in turn. Whoever has the object in their hands can speak, sure that everybody else will listen. When they're done, they pass the object to the other person who has a turn to speak. The hourglass is used so everyone gets the same amount of time to talk, but it also helps to focus the attention away from the emotions and on the falling sand, thus calming the "crocodile brain". Books about emotions can be used to help understand the emotions we're feeling and, if children want to, to talk about them after the conflict is resolved.

But as it happens in everything Montessori that is more fashion than essence, none of this is really necessary to create a peace table: what's important is the concept, it's to make it a habit after an argument to stop and meet. To talk and listen. And in order to do that you only need adults who lead by example, who learn to be mediators instead of judges, and are willing to take the time every time to resolve the conflict, consistently and coherently.

When we had a stable home, we didn't have a dedicated peace table: we often used the activity and a small stuffed toy as "the guardian of the word" which will ensure that nobody interrupts when you speak (with small children it helps to have a special "ritual", always the same, to resolve the conflict), and we called it"at the peace table". During a conflict, you would often hear me say, "I think we need a meeting at the peace table."

Today our peace table is purely imaginary, but the concept remains: to resolve conflicts we sit on the ground, in the car, on the beach, wherever we are, and we take turns talking. We no longer even need the guardian of the word, we have learned to wait and listen to each other patiently.

For me, the concept behind the peace table - and perhaps with the smallest children also the physical peace table - should find a place in every home: a corner where you can meet, calm down, talk and resolve conflicts in harmony. Not only between children, but also between parent and child.

If you want to learn more about conflict resolution, I invite you to listen to episode 21 of my podcast Educate with Calma. And in my online course Educating for the long term, you will find everything you need to start a personal evolution and face parenting with more serenity.

Finally, here are some tables or corners of peace that you can get inspired by.

Photo credit: www.montessoriencasa.com
Photo credit: www.springstonekids.com

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: www.zaragosaschoolhouse.com

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
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Montessori New Year's tradition
Montessori Peace table
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
10k on Instagram!
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Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
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I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

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On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
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