“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
Dear Monti Kids family,
This month, Monti Kids turns 2 years old! Actually, before our official launch on March 28, 2017, we spent three years developing our program. When I first had the idea for Monti Kids, I was told by the best safety testing companies and several consultants that it was impossible to achieve. Only 4 percent of all toys in the U.S. are certified safe for children under 3, and they are mostly plastic and plush toys with little educational value. The safety experts assured me there was no way to redesign the traditional infant toddler Montessori materials, used in classrooms around the world for over 100 years, to comply with U.S. safety standards.
After a few days of feeling disappointed, I became even more motivated to bring Monti Kids to life. It was clear that babies needed safe, high-quality learning tools even more than I had realized. So I decided to become a safety expert. I turned my garage into a safety lab and worked for three years with our amazing designer to make the Monti Kids dream a reality.
We now serve families and schools around the world. As I reflect on how far we have come in the past two years, I am so grateful that I ignored that word “impossible,” and I think about how we can raise our children to do the same. Like every important lesson, it is best instilled from a young age. When we offer a baby a rattle just out of their reach and they stretch to grasp it, we can pass it to them immediately, sending the message that they could not have reached it on their own. Or we can pause, observe, and give them the time they need to work towards it.
These small accomplishments, whether it’s a 3-month-old grasping a rattle or a 2-year-old rolling out dough, are what build up their confidence, independence and will. Self-esteem does not come from telling a child how wonderful they are. It comes from giving them opportunities to succeed on their own so they internalize how capable they are. It’s these experiences that will help our children grow up to truly understand that “Impossible is nothing.”