Toddler not speaking much at nursery but chatterbox at home!

(19 Posts)
lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 19:15:08

My DD is 29 months and has always been very chatty and home and with other people we know. She started talking not especially early I don't think but seem to pick up language more and more quickly and easily and can now speak in sentences and make herself understood. I think her speech is quite clear from what other friends and mums have told me.

She's had a 2.5 year review at nursery and i knew that she was still quite shy there but it seems as though they don't feel that she is attaining what she should be in terms of speaking and understanding of language for her age and she has been marked in the 16-26 month bracket for both of these.

When I spoke to the nursery before they seemed surprised that i described her language as so good at home because she hardly spoke at nursery and they had to really encourage her to get her to talk to them but they felt that as her confidence improved she would speak to them more.

So I am just wondering if there is anything I could/ should do in this situation? I am not sure if there is anything else I can expect the nursery to do and I am not at all concerned about DD being at some level above where she is meant to be but she started nursery in Nov last year so I thought that she would have settled and come out of her shell by now. Anything I can do to help her confidence with that? Thanks for any ideas

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 19:49:40

I should add, DD comes home and sings all of the songs she has learnt talks about her little friends, the teachers and what she did that day so I dont think that she is unhappy at all.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 19:52:56

I would just not worry about it. You know her speech is good, she doesn't need to perform for nursery.

If she had never gone to nursery this would never have arisen, so don't sweat it.

Some humans are quieter than others in big group settings?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 19:55:17

Just to clarify - I mean if she hadn't gone to nursery you wld never have been aware of the difference in different settings, so the worry about it would never have arisen.

Kneedeepinshittynappies Fri 12-Apr-13 19:55:46

Sounds exactly my ds, I think so long as you're happy with her at home then she'll come round in time. My dm always regales me with the story of how I said not a word for over 3 months when I first went to nursery! She was totally floored when they called her in for a chat about it as id quite merrily told her all about my day on the way home! Apparantly even when I needed a wee I used to just wait till someone else went and follow wish I had that kind if bladder control now

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 19:56:24

Thanks Swish (love your name by the way!)

Yes thats true. Hadn't felt the whole nursery guilt thing until now!

Yes I suppose thats true and am at least comforted by the fact that she does come home happy, tells me all about it & like to "perform" her little songs as kids do.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing, either working in a nursery or with their own kids?

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 20:01:16

Yes I see what you mean Swish, thanks for that.

Kneedeep - another great name, ha! Glad to hear its not just my DD. The nurser did also mention that once she becomes one of the older ones in her room that she will be likely to come up of her shell and play mother hen to some of the smaller ones. She'll prob be moving up rooms in about Sept so if that does happen hope she doesnt hide back in her shell again!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 20:10:42

It is vey common. A huge number of children are a bit less or a lot less verbal with non family at this age. Your dd is still under 3.

I am glad I added my clarification as I don't think nursery has caused the issue, just caused the worry by having a check, so don't feel guilty! I dn't think it is a reflection on her happiness levels in nursery.

APipkinOfPepper Fri 12-Apr-13 20:12:42

When my son moved rooms at nursery (from age 2-3 to the pre-school room) he hardly talked, although he had been before so they knew his speech was ok. Once he had settled into the new room and got to know the staff, he was chatty again - I remember a couple of months in, one of the staff coming up to me at pick up really pleased because he'd finally been chatting to her! By Christmas, he managed to convince all the staff we were taking him to Lapland (we weren't, hadn't even mentioned it to him)!!

So I wouldn't worry too much. What is she like in other social situations? DS tends to hang back for a bit and stay with me at parties or groups until he's sussed what is going on. Once he's comfortable though, thete's no stopping him!

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 20:40:00

grin @ swish

Thanks for your reassurance too Pip- ha ha, I like the sound of your DS's Lapland story!

I think the fact she came home at Christmas knowing all the words to rodoulph the red nose reindeer & 2 other little Christmas songs reminds me that she was taking it all in from early on & happy to talk about it.

In group situations with friends/ relatives we see regularly she is very at home & chatty. Like your DS she does hang back a bit to just check things out before wading in but she will still be quieter than usual if that makes sense. I guess it's all part if growing up & I wonder if really other than the normal things you do with them whether there is anything else I could/ should do to boost her confidence.

You all know what it's like, you could do a different toddler group/ class every day of the week if you wanted to but I worry about doing too much stuff like that with dd & her not having enough time to just hang out, play, poke ants in the garden that kind of thing.

Kneedeepinshittynappies Fri 12-Apr-13 20:43:48

Thanks, need to name change now though. Finally got ds toilet trained so only ankle deep now! grin

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 20:44:54

Ha ha! grin I think it's a great name!

takeaway2 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:47:23

Sounds exactly like my daughter who is similar aged. She doesn't speak alot at nursery, walks in with her head down but has started to speak more there. At home she's competing with her brother who's 5 and chats with him, to him, tells on him and generally speaks lots.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 20:48:54

I'd really just let her be. It is your interpretation that not speaking = lack of confidence, she may feel perfectly happy but just not be the most chatty. I bet her confidence is fine.

I tell you what, some of the people I most admire in life are not the most chatty. A lot of chatty people talk a lot of crap grin. Some quiet people actually say the important stuff and don't just drivel on.

If she seems not to be enjoying things or learning or doing stuff at home, then worry.

lizardqueenie Fri 12-Apr-13 21:15:34

Takeaway & Swish & everyone else - thank you. You really have helped ease my mind on this thanks

insancerre Sat 13-Apr-13 12:55:49

I am an early years professional and what you describe is really common. Some children even stop speaking at all in a nursery setting (selective mutism) but as soon as a parent comes they chat away.
It is all down to confidence and hardly to do with actual speech and language.
I have a couple of children at the moment who are exactly as you describe your daughter. i know they will speak, they just need careful and skillful encouragement
in defence of the nurssery, they can only assess what they see but they can take your comments on board too and make note of how she is at home
did they give you the option of writing anything on the report? I have just done the 2 year checks in my setting and we have a box for parents to write in ther comments.
I wouldn't worry but I would check thet they are handling her sensitivly and not putting her under any pressure to speak as that could have the opposite effect.

lizardqueenie Sat 13-Apr-13 20:41:49

insancerre, thanks for your comments & i really value your professional opinion too.

Coming on here has confirmed that this can be quite common and the nursery didn't seem worried or concerned about her speech, either when I spoke to them at a little "parents evening" back in Feb or in the comments they have made on her development report. They also said that when she becomes one of the older ones in the class her confidence will grow which they had seen happen to other children before and didnt say this was unusual at all but did say that she needed encouraging to join in and that she was quite shy.

I love the nursery and so does my DD as far as I can tell, she is full of stories, and very happy to go in and full of beans when she comes home and i find all of the staff really experienced & good in communication with us and also with each other so I couldn't be happier in that respect and of course only expect them to report what they see, they can only provide the picture of DD as they see her. Yes there is a space for my comments so I am thinking about what to write. I really don't want it to seem as though I am unhappy with their report.

I just wondered if there was something else i should be doing to try to encourage her but like you say, without pushing her or pressurising her. She is my first DC so as with all of these things, each new stage or development is a whole new world and you aren't sure what to do for the best! I trust the nursery in doing the right thing but you mention checking that they aren't putting her under any pressure & sensitive handling, can you give me any advice what kind of thing should I ask them to do?

Thanks thanks

insancerre Sun 14-Apr-13 10:57:49

Just check with them that they don't ask her questions all the time and don't put her in situations where she is expected to speak, such as at register time.
I have seen some practitioners be quite brutal in demandng that children speak which obviously has the opposite effect- it makes them even more anxious and less inclined to speak.
Ask them if they have helped children like this and how they did it. Ask them to review her progress in a few weeks and ask them what strategies they are going to use to help her develop. This is the whole point of 2 yr checks- it's to identify any areas of concern and identify how the setting is going to address them.
What has helped in the past is the child seeing their parent build up a relationship with their key person and discuss lots of other things and not talk about the child in front of them. So they become more of a familiar and trusted adult.
I have also done home visits in these situations too, just a quick 10 minute visit to the child's home to have a play with the family dog or just chat with the parents. This is like unlocking a key for some children and givs them to confidence to accept new people.
I don't really think there is anything else you should be doing, she will get there in her own time but just be aware that it may happen again whn she starts school but hopefully the school will be used to dealing with all sorts of children.
I am sure she will develop her confidence and this time next year you will be looking back at this thread and wondering what you were worried about.

lizardqueenie Sun 14-Apr-13 20:42:30

Thanks for that, very helpful. I might add that to the comments then to see what they can do to help the situation.

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