This is a common concern of parents nowadays, especially with social media displaying posts of well behaved orderly children playing harmoniously in an immaculate room adding pressure.
"What's wrong with my child? Why do they throw their toys instead of play with the toys?" Although we might ask ourselves this question, it's one that we would like for you to change in your mindset before your child pick up on it.
Here's why your child throws things and how you can better understand them.
Young children are born with a natural desire to explore. Think about it, they're on an entirely new planet, ready to discover everything around them. There is so much to see, so much for them to do. And for them to be able to explore, they need to move, move, move!
Their movement is not without purpose. Movement is the vehicle by which they learn. Movement is king. Movement is more important than still. Movement is vital.
Montessori is about letting children follow their natural desires to perfect their inner being. And, that cannot happen without a lot of movement.
"A child is a discoverer. He is an amorphous, splendid being in search of his own proper form." Maria Montessori
The problem is that movement can be inconvenient to us adults, especially when they discover throwing.
Most young children throw things at some point and they love doing it! And, it makes total sense. It's fun to throw things! Plus, there's often a great consequence -- something bangs, or breaks, or bounces. It becomes a need. Something they have to do. We just can't fight it.
So what can we do instead?
We look at where we need to draw the limits. For example, they can not be allowed to throw breakables, or throw things at others.
So how do we still allow them to fill their needs, without overstepping the limits?
When you see your child about the throw something, gently redirect. "You want to throw! Let's find a ball! We throw balls." And then immediately find an appropriate object to throw.
If they end up throwing something that you would rather they not throw, try not to make a big fuss, and remember to practice redirecting. Keep in mind that you need to do it on the spot!
Overtime, your child will understand, that balls are for throwing and they can throw a ball.
2. Offering opportunities for throwing
Offer your child plenty of opportunities for them to exert their need in a positive way. Take a ball to the park every time you head outside. Try other things they find in nature, like throwing sand on the beach, as long as it doesn't end up in someone else eyes!
If your child is throwing things, remember that they are not being difficult or unnecessarily testing limits. Your child is exerting a need, a vital and important, need. Respect it. And find a way to make it work for both of you!
Maria Montessori said, "this is the new education of movement, and in a child's home life the same principles should apply...the child whose life at home is strictly ordered according to the convenience of grown-ups without knowledge or consideration of the natural movement and active interest of childhood is in the worst possible state of mind and body, either for obedience or good manners."
These are harsh words for parents, but a good reminder.