To be concerned that DD hates structured activities so vehemently?

(15 Posts)
Whatatotalmess Wed 02-Mar-16 14:27:37

I suspect that I am being ridiculous. DD is 2.5. She has for the vast majority of her life been looked after by me or by a much-loved nanny and so most of her activities were DD-led. She has never been a fan of baby groups where the activities were structured, as opposed to just being able to wander around and look at things she found interesting. I thought it was just because she was young and didn't really worry.

However, she has recently started pre school and they are quite concerned that she is "stubborn", in the sense that if she doesn't want to engage in a suggested activity, she absolutely will not do so. Politely - her favoured response is "no, please" - but her refusal is absolute. I have also just returned from a toddler gym group where she point blank refused to engage in any of the activities the kids were doing. When I tried to pick her up to bring her to them she repeatedly screamed and clung to me. She has no other problems with social interaction; she has lots of friends at pre school and interacts with other children perfectly normally as far as we can see. Her speech is quite advanced and she is a bright child but at some point in the future she is obviously going to need to learn to engage with the activity that teachers etc put in front of her.

I don't know whether I am being silly in worrying about this when she's only 2, or whether anyone else has experienced something similar? The comments from pre school have alarmed me. Might anyone have any suggestions of children's books etc about trying new things despite being afraid of them that might have worked with your DC? Thanks very much in advance.

notagiraffe Wed 02-Mar-16 14:37:24

Yes she will need to learn that in the future, but not yet. Her nursery are being a bit precious being 'concerned' that she doesn't fit the docile, easy to control child mould. Maybe she's just strong willed, independent, determined, confident enough to stand her ground. If so, good for her.

Both my DC were like this. DS2s nursery notes were full of 'SmallGiraffe was asked to join in with singing/storytime/craft. SmallGiraffe declined.' He was especially resistant to learning to read and write. he's now top set English. Did it in his own time, his own way. I think we push children to early to tick all sorts of boxes.

When she's old enough to reason with, you can start to explain why it's important to join in group activities and be helpful to teachers by listening and doing what they ask, or by trying to understand why they ask it. But not at 2 1/2!

Mistigri Wed 02-Mar-16 14:42:41

She's 2!

My DS as a toddler always needed a long period of observation before he would join in anything. He also wasn't especially keen on pre-school generally - he doesn't like messy, dirty activities or big, noisy groups. He was much happier once in formal education.

enderwoman Wed 02-Mar-16 14:43:26

Yabu to worry now. She's only 2.5!

If she doesn't like organised activities why are you sending her to a structured pre-school. She has plenty of time to nail listening to a teacher before she starts school. Don't worry!

I didn't do any baby/pre-school groups with my kids as they are not the right temperament for them and they are totally fine at school.

VoldysGoneMouldy Wed 02-Mar-16 14:45:20

She's two. This is normal two year old behaviour. I'd be looking for a different nursery based on their attitude.

SmashingBumpkins Wed 02-Mar-16 14:49:08

My DD was exactly like this and is now fine at 5 years old. She has a huge vocabulary and uses it well to give some absolutely withering reviews of school and/or activities. Last week they were doing some kind of art stuff which she described as 'tedious' shock Not sure where she picks these words up from.

She's still not keen on structured activities and would prefer to do her own thing or do things in her own time but she knows that she has to join in and does as she's told.

She's too young to be worrying about this smile

Whatatotalmess Wed 02-Mar-16 18:47:10

Thanks very much, all - I feel a good but calmer now! We live in a rural area so there isn't another pre school but I take the point completely - perhaps it's just the wrong environment for her.

Mrsfrumble Wed 02-Mar-16 19:04:07

5 YO DS sounds just like SmashingBumpkins DD. Between the ages of 2 and 4 he would not engage at all in any structured activities, despite me taking him to art classes, story time at the library and various toddler sing-a-longs. He started preschool just after his 4th birthday and has been fine. He uses his impressive vocabulary to complain to me about how boring and frustrating he finds some of the activities they do at school, but he understands he needs to do them.

Some people never enjoyed structured activities; I'm 37 and I'm not too keen on them! And no 2 year old will have the maturity (and diplomacy) to comprehend that they sometimes must be endured.

DawnOfTheDoggers Wed 02-Mar-16 19:12:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vvviola Wed 02-Mar-16 19:15:16

I spent an inordinate amount of time doing toddler ballet when DD2 was 2. Partly because she was the only child in the class for a while, and partly because she refused point blank to do it unless I was joining in also.

She is now almost 5 and very biddable for everyone but me

PicaK Wed 02-Mar-16 19:49:33

I always felt a certain amount of respect for my DC's refusal to do stiff they weren't interested in. Unfortunately in their case it did go hand in hand with some SEN challenges.
What i'd advise is to contact your HV and get a check done. It'll prob take 6 months to schedule this in!
The worst that comes of having aby potential problems assessed now is that they roll their eyes at you afterwards. The best is that if help or intervention is needed your DC accesses it asap. Read anything and it stresses the earlier the better.
Don't feel bad about asking for help. Do feel bad if you sit on these worries and do nothing about them. At this age your gut instinct is worth listening to.

hiddenhome2 Wed 02-Mar-16 19:52:10

Poor soul. She's obviously an individual who knows her own mind. That's got to be better than being a mindless drone smile

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 02-Mar-16 20:00:44

She's two. Don't worry. Two year olds are contrary little buggers!

Honestly so far away from anything you need to worry about at her age.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Wed 02-Mar-16 20:38:27

At least she's polite! So she knows that she has to have manners, and recognises that she's making a choice. When she's a bit older she'll grasp that sometimes you just have to go along with other people, even if it's not what you really want to do. Or work out that refusing for the sake of it is just as boring as taking part for the sake of it.

cariadlet Wed 02-Mar-16 21:01:47

I'd be a bit concerned about a 4 year old who couldn't cope with being part of a group, following instructions etc.

But a 2.5 year old? Certainly not. At that age she should be following her own interests and carrying out the activities that she chooses and enjoys. She has friends, is polite to adults and has good speech.

Nothing to be worried about and plenty to be proud of.

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