Montessori Schools Help Children Exposed to Trauma

Most of us think of trauma as singular, horrifying events like natural disasters, school shootings, or catastrophic accidents. But chronic traumatic situations are much more common: domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, or imprisonment of adult household members. 

Ongoing, unaddressed trauma triggers multiple stress-related networks, which activates the flight/fight/freeze safety response. When these stress-related networks become hypersensitive, the child enters a state of arousal even when no threat is present.

In these moments, it is important to remember that the child is not “thinking.” Rather, she is reacting automatically, so more important than talking is a physical means of calming down.

With their emphasis on movement, purposeful exploration, self-correction, and mindfulness, Montessori environments turn out to be ideal settings for developing long-term capacities for resilience and self-reliance.

Thanks to White Paper Press, The Montessori White Papers (August 2015), Vol 2.