Table cabins are a fort, a spare room, a playhouse, a get-away, a safe space, a me space…
…and it beats hiding out in the bathroom or under our beds.
To children, the world is big and uncontrollable right now, but a fort is just the right amount of big and just the right amount of freedom while still being safe.
The Washington Post picked up on it this week, and psychologist are saying that it may be just what the kids need.
Fort building is a primal activity where children literally gain shelter for themselves. They claim a space and decorate it, often packed full of pillows and blankets and the toys that make them feel secure. It can get really tight in there, or it could be super organised. Either way, your child, if you let them be, will create a space that suites what they need right now.
The science says that biologically children start to want to develop their own sense of themselves by around 4 years old and forts are the perfect start to this. This need reflects your child’s growth, becoming their own person and starting to test out the skills you have imparted to them. But you have to stay away. If you follow them into this space, you may be creating more problems. Monitor their use of the fort from a distance and help them to use it in a healthy way. (See important FORT RULES below.)
Today, encourage your children to make a fort and play in it. Kids make sense of the world through play so now is the time to let that happen, even ask that it happens.
The world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to even us at the moment, let alone to our children. Playing in the fort will give them the time to process what is going on around them and to find some control for themselves. The more in control kids feel, the more effective they feel in their ability to reach for goals and this sense of competence boosts well-being.
Our advice, leave the fort up, fully constructed. Encourage them to add blankets and pillows and even their device charger. Allow more than one fort for more than one mood or activity if they need it. In the Washington Post article one little girl set up her ‘office’ and called her mom in for meetings. A boy created his fort when online school started and now uses it to take a break and sleeps there some nights.
This month I, Lauren, started a new business that sells Table Cabins. I started it with a friend of mine who has complimentary skills to me. I started it because I could see this need and I wanted to produce something special. It’s like a get-away spot much like a “place by the lake” where you would escape to when things get overwhelming.
But Table Cabins was started from an innate need to help kids to get away, safely. It was also a way to help parents to make space for their children in their homes. The business, Table Cabins, will be supporting good parenting ideas because multi-faceted businesses and people intrigue me. I hope you follow us here at Omatas and here at Table Cabins.
- Do not dismantle their fort! It is theirs.
- Ask for permission to enter.
- Reserve all comments or even suggestions.
- Stay away. This is not your time to get into their space, it is your time to go and find your own space.
- If they invite you in enter with respect, much like you would love them to do when coming into the bathroom when you are there.
- Treat it as their space! They need it!