How to Navigate Your Child’s Ever-Changing World

Understanding Montessori’s Developmental Phases

Susie Antonia
3 min readNov 13, 2023


Photo by Stories & Ink Tattoo Care on Unsplash

The Day I Met an Alien

I woke up one morning with a terrifying being standing by my bed, a neon orange mop plunked atop its head, extraterrestrial designs etched on its skin, and a three-stoned sapphire nose ring planted in the middle of its face, like a cherry garnishing an explosive tequila.

“Mom…” that creature speaks! Frozen, I wondered who it was talking to.

A set of keys tinkled, like wind chimes warning of a coming storm.

“I crashed the car.” Its face crumpled in defiance, hands crossed on its chest.

Wait a minute. I paused as my senses began to come back. I’m the one who should be angry. It’s my car that’s crashed and my money that’s trashed.

Resentment bubbled in my belly. I was always told I was going to have a baby; no one ever told me I was going to have a teenager.

“I want my child back,” I screamed. Whatever happened to my studious angel? She must have been abducted by this creature.

“Huh? Mom,” eyes rolled.

“I never signed up for this. Who are you?” I ranted. Hysterics broke loose. “What happened?”

The Nature of Childhood: A Montessori Perspective

Youngsters don’t stay young. They transform — literally. They’re like the butterflies of the human world, going through dramatic changes at each stage of development. As Maria Montessori says:

“The child is in a continual state of growth and metamorphosis, whereas the adult has reached the norm of the species.”

Let’s journey through these stages and see how they transform.

Stage 1A: The Early Brainiac Years: 0–3

Kids between the ages of 0 and 3 are like sponges — soaking up everything from languages to life skills. Montessori calls this the Absorbent Mind stage. Without even trying, they’re learning faster than a computer can download. Imagine learning five languages without breaking a sweat — kids do it all the time.



Susie Antonia

Susie Antonia. Educator. Avid storyteller. Parent. Artist. Photographer. Susie believes children are our future heroes.