Last time, we had a conversation about funk moods. I mentioned that my theory about these instances were that they are kids ways of "re-grouping" before some new developmental spurt.
It seems that I am not the only one with this theory. In her book Your Child's Growing Mind, author Jane M. Healy discusses her concept of mental "hooks." Her premise is built on the groundbreaking work of Jean Piaget and his studies of the cognitive development of children.
It has been a long time since I formally studied Piaget's work. In her book, Ms. Healy uses the term "mental hooks" to describe that which Piaget called "schemas." No need to explain what a schema is since there is a well written explanation here. Check it out and come back.
Are you back? Okay, so if you understand the concept of a schema, you see that it really is something that is in process. Kids are trying to figure out their world, but do not yet have all the necessary information. Have you ever tried making sound decisions with limited information or knowledge on a subject? I have and it sucks. It is frustrating and anxiety producing and often leads to an undesired outcome.
I try to stay on top of the research on brain development. I do this not only for work, but for myself. As a parent, I find that I often am expecting more from my kids than is developmentally appropriate. I am expecting them to understand things when they are still working on developing their "mental hooks." Knowing this enables me to modify my approach, e.g., educating, clarifying, providing information, etc. While this not only helps them continue to develop their schema, it often enables us to avoid conflict based on misperceptions.
So given all this, could it be that the "funk moods" I describe are a result of their undeveloped "mental hooks" or "schemas?" I'd love to know your thoughts on this matter! Post your responses.