The Fraser Family Standard
We have high expectations
There is no current gold standard upon which products for children are evaluated against. Where they are guaranteed to meet high educational and social standards. We believe that there is objective good example to set when it comes to raising our children. We believe that the objects and content that we expose our children to should be evaluated to ensure they are providing our children with access to the right types of materials and examples of behaviour to follow.
Raising amazing humans
It's in our reach. All content and products created for or shared on our community share these design principals:
Build the brain: Encourage sustained focus, increased emotional regulation, and heightened mindfulness.
Nurture Normalization: (in Montessori terms) Love of work, concentration, self-discipline, and Sociability
Respect and build on current abilities: observe, plan for skill building, and recognize progress.
Follow the child: (as Maria Montessori did) With patience, a prepared environment, and by respecting and celebrating the unique contributions each child is making to their community.
Work with sensitive periods/developmental leaps: learn them, recognize them and provide opportunities for repetition and problem solving during these windows of opportunity.
Grow the sense of self: encourage independence, respect individuality, nurture a growth mindset.
Operate sustainably: For all inputs; the earth, your time, your energy, your emotions
Bond with nature: when possible connect back to the story of our universe and within that our earth, plant and animal life.
Honour the past and respect the future: self, humans, the world, the universe.
Discourage consumerism and overconsumption: Focus on being more and needing less*
Promote reality, imagination and then fantasy**: Build a strong foundation in reality, give room for important imaginative play, and reserve fantasy until the brain can distinguish between fiction and reality.
Celebrate diversity and inclusion: Be shaped by the beauty and depth of life.
Be a model: Of good manners***, eating and drinking healthy + whole foods, respectful interactions, and appropriate uses of objects
These standards have helped guide us in the way we interact with our children and the materials and content we invite into our home that form so much of their world. It has provided a solid ground upon which to stand when we come across poor examples of this behaviour or product design in or outside of our home, allowing us to have productive discussions and develop a deeper understanding of what is "good" for us as a family.
It is our hope that we can work with and educate product designers and makers, shops, and families on these standards. We imagine a future where this design principals are prioritized when creating products and content for children and families.
* Thank you to the Pine Project for these words.
** For children in the first plane of development - the absorbent mind. Once children have developed into the second phase, where the learn through reasoning, and explore their imagination and develop logic, they have enough of a base in reality to begin exploring fantasy. The Montessori Notebook's Montessori and Play Pretend piece provides helpful additional reading on this.
***We understand and welcome the cultural nuances of manners. This makes for a richer discussion when introducing them to children as the manners appropriate for our house, for school, for other close friend and family households, for the broader community, and worldwide. Please and thank you is universal, right? :)