I was taught about the 3 basic human needs as a child- food, water, and shelter. There have since been updates and more added, but I often revert back to these three. Food and water are necessary for the body to function, but having a shelter, a place to call home and feel safe is just as important.
A shelter can take on any form imaginable, which is something that children do best. Insert the “fort”, they can be made of the most simple objects and materials. Sofa cushions can be propped up for a tent, blankets can be held in place by books, a hole in the ground can become a bunker. The options are endless and my son is an expert fort builder.
B started creating forts when he was around 4 years old. He began making them in daycare as a way to “protect” himself from the other children touching him all the time.
I’ve mentioned before about B’s sensory processing disorder, it was this age that it was the worst. He couldn’t bare to have his head touched, he would bite any child that tried to grab his hand or arm. In his mind touch equaled pain, so a fort gave him that security. The teachers were more than accommodating as they didn’t want to deal with the biting and paperwork that would follow. They would tell the children to let Ben have his away time and that he would join the group when he was ready.
This method worked as he would join the children when he came down from sensory overload and was much less inclined to bite. Some parents would say that the teachers were giving in, but their opinions were squashed when B’s occupational therapist agreed with this method. Children have to discover their own ways to self soothe, but the need for safety is common throughout all children.
The fort building hasn’t stopped. Even now that he is almost 9 he will build a fort with his cousin. They have special clips that S bought for them to clip the blankets to different objects to hold them up. My downstairs has turned into a humongous fort since the boys are now being homeschooled. This is where their imagination runs wild and I wouldn’t dream of making them take it down. (Plus they get along so well when they have it to play in.)
My theme for this year’s meme is ‘Lessons my son has taught me’. No matter our age we are never to old to learn something about ourselves. To read what other’s have written please click here.