What are you doing inside that? Why schemas are important in understanding our children.
"Why are you in the cupboard reading a book?" I ask my 11 year old with a slight exasperated air of a busy mum. He looks at me with big blue eyes and shrugs. "This is good for my enveloping schema mum". Laughing I shake my head at his witty retort. From an early age son no 2 loved being inside things, one day I even found him in the cereal cupboard. I saw these urges again and again in his play. I wanted to find out what was going on. I now find it hilarious that he now knows about his needs in such depth that he can use them as a brush off!
When I first heard about schemas (when son no 2 was just 2 years old) I thought they were a made up thing. Until the head of a nursery school invited me in to meet her children and experience their free flow nursery activities and how they planned for children's schemas. I found it fascinating.
Schemas are patterns of repeated behaviour that happen during play which allow children to explore and express developing ideas and thoughts.
Knowledge and understanding of schemas can help you understanding what you are seeing in children movement and behaviour
This can in turn can support your development of that child. They can also help you talk to parents about a child's behaviour and learning if you find that, like son no 2, they have a dominant schema.
Parents can be worried sometimes that their child "always does the same thing" or "can't seem to move on"
or in my case - seems to be obsessed with being enclosed inside something.
For example joining train tracks, clicking together pieces of lego, running a string from one thing to another is the urge of Connection.
This can mean connecting and disconnecting too, building followed by destruction, and that can mean other peoples buildings and sandcastles get destructed when the urge gets hold.
It's important to get to grips with what each 'urge' is all about, we may already be able to recognise some of the different ways they can appear in your children.
I now find it hilarious that son no 2 now knows about his needs in such depth that he can use them as a brush off.... he's not weird for wanting to get inside the suitcase or the wrapping himself in an exercise mat.. he's just learning....
Next week: more schemas.