Freeflow with Jennie Mo': Schemas

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Tell me if any of these sound familiar. . .

You go to a restaurant for brunch, the high chair strap is either broken, doesn’t exist, or just serves zero purpose and all your child wants and attempts to do is stand in the high chair.

You make your toddler an impeccable dinner worthy of praise from Bobby Flay and after 3 bites your child throws the entire plate. As you scold, they proceed to throw the fork, any remnants, and their water bottle. 

You change your child’s diaper on the changing table, they’re laughing and smiling but proceed to kick you (very well may be in the stomach when you’re 33 weeks pregnant), and as you try and tell them calmly not to, they kick faster and kick everything else off the changing table. 

My two cents? These are all indicators of schemas. In other words, urges that children have that result in repetitive, often not ideal, behaviors as they are figuring out the world.

The first example indicates the schema of orientation, wanting to see the world from a different angle (of course it can also just mean they’re tired, sick of sitting, or a million other things.) The point is to stop and think about whether this behavior is repetitive. It may mean that an extra trip to the park where they can climb up a structure or a visit to Union Square Play is in order.

The second and third examples represent the trajectory schema, resulting in throwing and kicking. If you're experiencing a lot of flying objects, it may be time for an impromptu game of soccer or buying some toy balls to kick and throw around instead.

Understanding your child's schemas is about taking a moment to think, “Hmmmm, I've been seeing a lot of this annoying behavior and nothing seems to help” and realizing that it might just be your child trying to make sense and meaning of the world. If you think that’s the case, instead of fighting a battle that you won’t win, try finding ways in which they can exhibit the behavior that are less enraging to you :) 

My daughter turned over my parent’s dog’s bowl of water and food this morning. I know she’s been into dumping things so I told her she can’t do that, the dog needs to eat, but she can dump these bowls of water in the bath.

Good luck with your schematic schemer, and look here to find out more about it. 

Jennie MonnessComment