The Fraser Family Standard
There is no current gold standard upon which products for children are evaluated against and 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 and that the items 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. All content and products created for or shared on our community meet and/or do not go against any of the following criteria:
Develops sustained focus
Builds emotional regulation
Indulges the child's natural desire for order
Is repeatable and based on a reliable pattern (of behaviour or according to the laws of the universe)
Encourages independence appropriate to the age and abilities of the child
Is sustainable (for all inputs: from the earth, your time, your energy, your emotions)
Builds a deeper bond with and understanding of nature
Honours the past and has hope for the future
Discourages consumerism or any kind of overconsumption
Increases and encourages mindfulness
Promotes imagination over fantasy*
Celebrates diversity and inclusion
As well as encourages and models:
Eating and drinking healthy, whole foods
Respectful interactions between everyone
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 so that they become well-known. We imagine a future where these are the criteria and are prioritized when creating products for children and families.
* 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? :)