Is this really a concern, and if so, how to 'work on it'?(20 Posts)
DD is normally a well-behaved if somewhat eccentric 3.5yo (IME most 3yos are, but there we are). Her key carer at nursery is about to move on and she now has a new carer, who is raising 'concerns about DD's behaviour which really need to be addressed at home'.
She seemed extremely concerned about DD's 'bad behaviour', to the extent that I was quite shocked that DD could be such a different person at home - or worse, that I could be spoiling DD to such an extent that I couldn't recognise bad behaviour when I saw it. When I asked for specifics, she said the main problem was DD 'making up stories about what she's done at the weekend'. Apparently DD was telling her class about how she broke her arm when she fell of her bike (she doesn't have one), had to wait in hospital for an X-ray, and eventually had to wear a cast which she would bring in for next week's Show and Tell. Needless to say, none of this had happened and I think it's the result of a book she and I read that weekend.
Normally I would shrug this off as fairly standard 3yo behaviour, and although she's done it for a while, her previous carer has never seen it as a concern and I've not paid it a great deal of attention either way ('oh, did you go to Mars today? That must have been interesting.. did you do any painting while you were there then?'). But the fact her new carer seems so concerned seems odd, and if she's asking me to 'address it' at home I'm really not sure what- if anything - I ought to do.
Is this normal, or should I be imposing consequences? A star for every time she tells a 'true story'? Very confused..
This is not bad behaviour. Is there anything else she's mentioned or just the stories? Is the new key worker relatively inexperienced? If anything your dd sounds like she has a good and vivid imagination which just needs focusing. Not bad at all unless there are other areas of concern.
i would say that that incident alone is not "bad behaviour" - as PP said it shows a wonderful imagination, she has read something in a book and incorporated it into real life, where's the harm in that. using imagination and making up harmless stories is all a part of growing up!! my brother when he was well little used to tell a neighbour that he has to swim for miles and miles across the sea just to get his football...no harm no foul just an active imagination.
don't take this too much to heart, have a chat with her new key worker and ask if there are any other problems that she construes as bad behaviour.
as long as your DD knows not to make up stories that could hurt people or get them into trouble then let her be and let her wonderful mind do what its supposed to.
Sounds like the new key carer knows little about children! Obviously when a child is off on an imaginative flight you go with them!
I would raise your concern with the nursery manager and ask for a different key worker because I think your DD will be miserable with someone who considers her imagination to be 'bad behaviour' and is so little in sympathy with her. I am perennially grateful to the staff at DD's school who go along with whatever character she is being today (I regularly hear them say "Goodbye Lightning McQueen" or whoever she's decided she is) and it is a key part of children's development to make up stories. Your DD isn't being naughty and she needs someone who understands that.
Sounds normal for that age - I would be more concerned if she showed no imagination.
My DS had two imaginary friends at about that age and the preschool teachers were fine with it & used to tell me what the three of them got up to!
Children do make up stories.
Dd2 (age 9yo) and ds both occasionally still tell me very tall stories about what's happened. So far fetched that I don't think they even expect me to believe it.
"We went out to lunch at school today. Mrs. X sent me to tell the fish and chip shop, but they'd run out of fish so we had to take a coach to the sea where we all caught a fish and cooked it on a fire..."
They have a particular tone in their voice that I know means they're on a flight of fancy. I only stop it if it is nasty or hurtful to someone (eg telling me someone did something naughty).
With dd2 it tends to be a small grain of truth, then inflated by her overactive imagination. So sometimes I burrow down to get the truth. Usually it doesn't matter.
And then you do get things from their prespective:
Dd2 told me at preschool Mrs. C had hit her and then shouted at her. What had actually happened was she'd been running round in the hallway after being told not to run, and run into Mrs. C's hand as she bent down to pick something up. Mrs. C had then told her off (not shouted-never heard her shout) for running.
It's totally normal
I would also go in to talk to the manager and try to get her key worker changed.
Thanks all, it does seem like tall stories rather than delusions (or telling tales on others like DN went through for a bit)
I do wonder how much experience her new carer has with this age group TBH. She's well qualified on paper but I wonder if she's used to younger children who don't talk
incessantly as much? I did ask if there were any other concerns and they all seemed like slightly annoying but not grave things that I'd expect from a 3yo - fidgeting, taking a long time to wash her hands 'properly'.. apparently DD 'will stop if I tell her not to fidget or that it's time to stop washing her hands, but I shouldn't have to tell her that'. I've taught 16 year olds who fidgeted all the time.
Yes, I'd definitely voice your concerns to the nursery manager.
She sounds an absolute joy and a child with a brilliant imagination. Should stand her in good stead when it comes to writing when she starts school. I am perplexed that someone who choses to work with young children thinks of this as bad behaviour. I would definitely have words with the manager.
Completely agree with CecilyP - your daughter's flights of fancy are an excellent sign of future creative writing ability! Far from stopping her, I would go further and say that this type of imaginative story-telling should be positively encouraged in young children. I certainly encouraged it in my children and they were both excellent at creative writing when they were older. Her key worker sounds very rigid and lacking in knowledge of child development. There is definitely a problem here but it does not lie with your daughter.
Well, apparently DD had a good day the day before yesterday and a 'bad day again' yesterday, so I asked for specifics on what exactly had gone wrong so that we could try to address them at home, as requested.
So it seems that DD's 'serious' shortcomings are:
- "not listening" - a bloody hard one to work on at home IME. I have my own techniques at home which work OK (ask once, then it's '<name>, I've asked you to do x. I want you to do x now, please' in serious voice), but aside from lots and lots of Simon Says I can't think of how else to approach it.
- 'some of her stories are frankly bizarre and it's not clear where they're coming from' - her head, primarily. She's 3. I'm not concerned.
Apparently there are other concerns, such as needing the toilet at tidy-up time (the words 'nice try but no dice, DD' are normally enough), but those are the two 'serious concerns'.
It's getting really dispiriting when all I've heard this past week is '<name> has not been behaving, not been listening and telling fibs again'.
I'm normally on the strict side (I think) but I felt like hugging DD after a particularly lengthy lecture yesterday. Decided to give it another week so the carer can settle in a bit, then I'll approach the nursery manager and ask for a few strategies. If it's a case of DD being constantly ticked off for having an imagination I'm not happy at all.
Ok I now think it's time to speak to the nursery manager. She sounds like a loon. And I don't mean your dd.
She's not telling fibs! What a horrible woman. I would speak to the nursery manager immediately.
This woman should not be working in Early Years.
Your DD is behaving perfectly reasonably for her age and, even if she weren't, you are not responsible for her behaviour while she is in their care. They are.
I normally present the alternative view of what the practitioner is up against but, on this occasion, I think you need to get her moved to a different setting PDQ. The incompetence and lack of understanding you are describing is staggering and will eventually have a negative effect on your DD.
Completely normal behaviour. Steer clear of dogmatic 'this is the way your child should be' childcare providers. Especially those who don't sound like they understand young children at all.
Take it from me, who as a 5yr old made up a very elaborate tale about falling off a ship, while emigrating to Australia, and told it to a friend's parents , she will grow out of it, but will probably write wonderful stories!
The key worker sounds dangerous to me.
Hi Op I have a dd same age and if I was hearing 'bad day' coming from nursery and them telling me she's 'not listening' and 'telling fibs' quite frankly I'd have a word with the manager....she sounds like a normal and lively 3yo with a wonderful imagination. I hope you get this sorted x
On reading this, it felt to me as if the keyworker was actually reflecting her own feelings about her capabilities onto your daughter. So when she's said your DD has had a bad day, I suspect she means that she (the keyworker) had a bad day as she doesn't know how to deal with normal 3 year old behaviour.
It's all very well her saying you should address this at home but the problems aren't at home! She needs to address any real issues at nursery by using whatever the usual tried and tested techniques there are. If she doesn't have any, then that's a worry frankly. She cannot expect a 3 year old to behave like a much older child, then blame the child for her own shortcomings as a caregiver.
Good luck when you talk to the manager!!
Hi all, thanks so much for your advice. Things have got a lot better over the last couple of weeks: aside from anything else, the children appear to be doing a lot more set activities than before, which I know DD likes a lot.
Also discovered that the nursery had an OFSTED inspection around the time that the complaints were coming in - probably fairly daunting to start on the week of the inspection I would imagine, and it would explain a lot. DD is still making up all sorts of things but it doesn't appear to worry anyone any more. This morning we speculated on where my voice could have gone and concluded that it must have got mixed up with someone else's in the night.. I think circle time may be even more surreal today!
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