At Play Mountain, children are encouraged to express all their feelings. Teachers help them find safe outlets for anger, fear, jealousy and sadness.
Tending to the child’s heart, as well as the head, children are encouraged to express thoughts and feelings freely and without judgment. All feelings are seen as “OK.” Indeed, repression of feelings often leads to greater problems later, which further complicate the child’s education and interpersonal relationships. All feelings are treated as a healthy, necessary part of life. Teachers are trained to help children find safe physical, verbal and creative outlets for their emotions.
Teachers also use non-authoritarian methods for assisting children in the conflict resolution process and in finding their own solutions to problems.
A problem between children presents a teachable moment and an opportunity to experience both freedom and responsibility. By learning to “work it out,” children develop personal responsibility as well as respect for others. Many visitors to the school comment on the apparent “maturity” of the children, the confident ease with which they interact with each other and adults. Attention to one’s own feelings, learning to accept others feelings and limits, and learning to tolerate differences and resolve conflicts in a way in which everyone is heard and in agreement, are the keys to this dimension of education at Play Mountain Place.