Let’s meet Maëlys Le Levreur, founder of My Little Coaching
FROM MONTESSORI TO DAYCARE NURSERY
When you hear the word “coach,” you sometimes get scared. “I can understand, because this expression didn’t exist 12 years ago, when I chose it. Today, it is used indiscriminately. I prefer the term ‘companion‘. Maëlys tells us about her journey between her specialized studies and the discovery of Montessori pedagogy: “At the beginning, Montessori schools were establishments in the poor suburbs in Italy.”
The pedagogy initiated by Maria Montessori consists in observing the child and proposing activities according to his evolution and his desires, because each child is different. We set up workshops to help them become autonomous, to do things alone.
Before founding My Little Coaching, Maëlys was a daycare director in Paris. Three weeks before the Covid, which no one could have foreseen, she decided to focus full-time on her coaching project. “I created it for parents who didn’t have a place in daycare”.
THERE IS NO MIRACLE RECIPE
Today, Maëlys intervenes in companies and with families with a strong message: there is no miracle recipe, because each child is unique. “I’m not here to judge, I’m not going to tell parents if their methods are good or bad.” Okay, but what do you do when you’re overwhelmed and need help?
According to Maëlys, you have to observe, listen to your child and learn as you go along, all while letting go of preconceived notions. “I bought every education book imaginable. What bothered me was this injunction to perfect parenting that makes parents feel lost. That famous parental doubt that creeps up on you can be quite sneaky, especially when you look at all those perfect parents on Instagram. It’s okay to have doubts, but the toddler needs to have a parent there with them. I think parents should trust each other. They are already the experts on their own child, not the books.” The educator continues her reasoning, “Before, when we wanted to plant a fruit tree, we asked our grandfather. Now we ask our grandfather, our friends, youtube, Instagram and we end up doubting. “
Far from being anti-social networks or against parenting books, she rather advocates knowing your own child, to adapt to his own needs… Without forgetting yourself, the parent. “In the end, we talk a lot about the child and little about the parent. With the Covid that has arrived, many adults think that they have to be even more with their children. Family was almost all that was left during that time. Yet forcing yourself to play when you don’t want to won’t be a quality time for either of you.“
TRUST AND LEARNING
Thanks to these reassuring words, Maëlys explains that she conceived her book as a practical collection to accompany future and young parents in their new role. The one who is whispering in the ears of families, confides that she understands children better than adults. In her book, she explains things in a concrete way and draws parallels: “If someone ordered you to go to your room, how would you react? “. She also breaks down what goes on in our children’s heads. “When we tell them not to do such and such a thing, they understand the opposite” and for each problematic situation, she suggests keys to test, advice from books or useful websites.
HELP, MAËLYS !
Post-partum, sleep, tantrums… Maëlys came back to us on the questions she is most often asked.
How to deal with tantrums?
After having made room for your baby in your own body, you have to make room for him in your life and in your family’s life. It is quite normal that this takes time! Above all, you must accept without feeling guilty that there is a time of trial and error to get to know your child. This time depends on each one and can go from a few weeks to a few years.
When will my baby sleep through the night?
This question is not really relevant until the baby is 8 months old. It is necessary to know some concepts like the circadian cycle (the difference between the day and the night). It starts around 4 months, so you have to be patient! Sleeping through the night is a myth and… an exception. On the other hand, it is important to set up rituals for children, like bedtime stories. We adults have our rituals too! Children and babies often need a decompression chamber.
How to deal with tantrums?
“When angry, the child is in an emotion that overwhelms them and if you put them in their room, they won’t be able to move on… and sometimes they do. Some children need time alone, or arms, and that’s when you have to find the right solution for them. When he is in the peak of emotion, the child does not hear us. You have to test and find what works for your child.”
How do you prepare for the arrival of the second child?
“ We adults, when we know we’re expecting a new child, we’re overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. It’s the same with our children. And then once the baby is here, the grown-up finds himself doing things that we didn’t ask him to do before… He no longer has the exclusivity of his parents whereas before, he had the arms all to himself. And on the parent’s side, we feel like we have to apologize and compensate with gifts, but it’s our decision as adults to assume. You have to explain what a family is from the start. In the beginning, there is a bubble of love formed by the two parents. And then they decide to expand it with a first child. And then the parents love each other so much that they want to create an even bigger bubble. You have to explain to the first one why you love him. We love our children because they are different and throughout life. That’s important so we don’t create competition.”