La Tela di Carlotta
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Why I want my kids to disagree with me and prove me wrong

Apr 29, 2019

This morning Oliver had an idea: he decided to rollerblade to school.

Even so, we both tried, because “he’s still not capable” to rollerblades on difficult terrains and going uphill and downhill by himself—and the way to school is all either uphill or downhill. I was so convinced he couldn’t do it that I even told him “You’re not good enough yet, you first need to practice with daddy and then you can do it”. I tried to scare him “It’s very difficult to rollerblade to school, it’s all uphill and downhill, and you still can’t do it without help”.

If you know Oliver, you’ll also know that there was no convincing him otherwise. There was going to be a power struggle, so I looked at the time and decided: “Ok, Oliver. It’s still early. If we leave at 8am you can rollerblade. But you have to get dressed now, you won’t have time to play before leaving, and I won’t be able to help you. You have to do it all by yourself”.

Long story short, we left at 8am, it took 45 minutes to and maaany falls, but he did it, he rollerbladed to school!

He had to stop half way (it’s really all uphill!), and he moaned the last couple hundred meters, but Emily and I cheered him and he was so proud of himself every time he could go over an obstacle he thought it was too difficult and every time he refused my help, which I offered several times—he accepted my hand only to go down a steep downhill.

When I say that our kids teach us if we’re willing to learn, this is what I mean.

I’m sad that I believed so much that he couldn’t do it that I preferred trying to bring him down and tell him he’s not good enough to convince him not to do it. I tried to do to what many parents do: decide for him and tell him what he can or can’t do based on my own knowledge of him and judgment. All because it was more convenient for me if he biked, like always.

Luckily, we taught Oliver to contradict us, to disagree with us, to fight for what he wants. And to prove us wrong as much as he can. I struggle a lot with his stubbornness and he does’t always surprise me positively, but today he showed me that I’m struggling for a reason: the future Oliver, an independent thinker, a self motivated adult who doesn’t let others affect his decisions and his view of himself. He rocks!

We can’t always let our kids decide, I know that sometimes there’s not enough time or they don’t fully understand the big picture not matter how much we explain, and we have to make decisions for them. But we should always believe in them and let them decide as much as possible, because they’ll often prove us wrong.

Trust them, Carlotta, you know they always surprise you.

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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.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
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.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
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.

Podcast

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

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
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Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
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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.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.