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AIBU to allow this to continue? And for how long?

(22 Posts)
PaintedLady2014 Fri 02-May-14 20:49:01

I have a 3 yr old DD. She used to be very shy and has recently found her confidence with people.

She will quite literally now talk to anyone. She wants to be everyone's friend and thinks that people in the street were just put there for her to be friends with.

Part of me loves her innocence - If we are standing somewhere she will talk to work-men, ask them what they're doing and why. If she encounters children she immediately waves and says hello and wants to be friends with them. She even says people are her "best friend" after talking to them for a minute or so (the best friend thing is recent, she must have heard it somewhere).

Another part of me feels I must shatter her innocence at some point. At the park recently she talked to a girl and proclaimed "you're my best friend" with a big cheesy grin. Said child responded with a "No I'm not!" and blew a raspberry at her before running off. Luckily she didn't seem too upset and just said to me "That's NAUGHTY!"

I know that she needs to learn not everyone wants to be her best friend....and also that some people may find an inquisitive 3 year old rather annoying and unwelcome...I also want to teach her a certain wariness of strangers....but I don't know how. Is her behaviour unreasonable? Should I be correcting her?

tripecity Fri 02-May-14 20:53:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Fri 02-May-14 20:55:07


Your providing boundaries. She explores within those.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 02-May-14 20:55:27

All normal. No need to teach her anything regarding this.

PaintedLady2014 Fri 02-May-14 20:57:38

It sounds awful but I felt so angry when that child rejected her...She was only trying to be friendly. I know I shouldn't let it annoy me and I remained composed but I felt this primal mummy instinct rise up in me grin

CorporateRockWhore Fri 02-May-14 21:00:34

DD was like this around the time she turned 3. She is a little more cautious at nearly 4. Just try not to beat any other children who are mean to her for now and it will pass. Bloody hard though!

PurplePidjin Fri 02-May-14 21:03:03

My 17mo does this, he stops and stares at people walking past us in the street blush

I tell him, gently, that not everyone has time to make friends today. There are a fair amount of older people in my area who do like to stop and chat which encourages him somewhat hmm Like you I don't know how else to handle it (teenagers on benches in the park are the worst because they don't know how to react either. Older folk tend to either have the confidence to breeze on by or stop to say something kind)

I guess they have to make their own way? I haven't got the whole Verbal thing to deal with yet, just a bit of nonsense babbling, but I'd like to think when he's older I'll try and let him get on with finding his own friendships in the park, and just dole out the cuddles when/if it goes wrong confused

Sorry, not much use I'm afraid!

WorraLiberty Fri 02-May-14 21:03:31

It's totally normal

You dont have to 'shatter her innocence' though

She'll soon learn to adapt her behaviour to suit her surroundings, like we all do.

bellybuttonfairy Fri 02-May-14 21:07:00

Completely normal.

blackcurrentjuice Fri 02-May-14 21:07:41

Rather normal at this stage and she will develop her own boundaries at school. So you don't need to shatter her innocence - let other children teach her.

Also don't take her friendships personally for the first few years - they are best friends one minute, enemies the next and then friends again - all within a five minute space.

Btw I completely loved this stage with my DD -their innocence is rather beautiful and precious. Enjoy this time with her (feeling slightly sad that my DC's are past this stage sad )

WorraLiberty Fri 02-May-14 21:07:52

Sorry, what I meant by 'to suit her surroundings', is that she'll learn eventually to read the faces/body language of others around her.

squoosh Fri 02-May-14 21:09:19

Please don't 'shatter her innocence'. She sounds lovely and sweet and engaging and will learn soon enough that not everyone is her best friend nor will she want everyone as a best friend.

WorraLiberty Fri 02-May-14 21:10:03

I've just had an amusing thought grin

When it comes to talking to strangers, I find the most chatty people are young children and OAPs.

So no doubt this phase will return, but not until she retires grin

facedontfit Fri 02-May-14 21:10:17

My daughter was exactly the same, would chat to any random stranger and then invite them to her upcoming birthday party. smile

PaintedLady2014 Fri 02-May-14 21:12:17

Yes, I suppose I was more worried about my own view of her innocence being shattered rather than me having to do it. She's just so friendly and expects everyone to be the same it's sad when other people aren't like that. But it's all a learning curve I guess.

The other day we walked past a man with his bonnet open and he was tinkering in his car and she shouted "MAN!! MAN!!! ................What are you doing?......Oooooh I see....what are you doing THAT for then?"

He looked rather perplexed. I don't know whether to laugh or to bluster on saying "You shouldn't bother people blah blah blah"

It is very sweet to watch, when she sees groups of children she looks so excited and shout "Wow! All of my FRIENDS!!"

WorraLiberty Fri 02-May-14 21:12:32

My DS 3 used to chat to next door's cat when everyone else was fed up of listening to him grin

PaintedLady2014 Fri 02-May-14 21:15:29

Oh yes she'll chat to animals...insects....trees....She really has no fear of creepy crawlies (which is great as I'm terrified of spiders and I have to suck it up when she's around).

WorraLiberty Fri 02-May-14 21:15:53

Her innocence won't be shattered though

It's far more likely to be a very slow process and who knows, she may hit a shy phase soon enough anyway.

Think if it as her just growing into society because if she remained that way as a much older child/teenager, that would make her very vulnerable IYSWIM.

DoJo Fri 02-May-14 21:32:01

Also, bear in mind that some of it is a language thing - calling someone your 'best friend' is just a three year old's way of complimenting someone, it doesn't mean that she really expects to have a close relationship with them, or even that she cares whether or not she sees them again. She won't necessarily need to have a bad experience in order to develop an understanding of the nuances of relationships and the vocabulary to express her feelings, she will probably just pick it up through small incidents such as this which don't bother her, but add a little piece to the puzzle every time they happen.

deakymom Sat 03-May-14 17:23:28

normal! i tried to explain to my daughter she shouldn't talk to strangers when we were going to birmingham (in our town we trip over people we know all the time so its not too bad) she told the shop assistant all about it the ticket man the man on the train (you get the idea) luckily they were all charmed by this little girl telling them you shouldn't talk to strangers it didn't stop when she was older i took her to cadbury world on her 6th birthday a chap got on the train google gangster he fits the profile gold teeth and everything she watched and stared then asked what's with the teeth? i was mortified fortunately looks were deceiving he was very polite and well spoken i really am glad she grew out of that one! (one down two to go)

Marylou62 Sat 03-May-14 18:49:28

This 'talking to strangers' bit is quite difficult but I always told my DCs that it was ok to talk to anyone when they were with me (or another adult) and only when they got older and were on their own (and a lot older) were they to be careful. I have many a conversation with a toddler with M or D watching over us. Am a nanny and love children.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 03-May-14 19:19:21

When DS was three he would talk to anyone. I remember we were walking round our local park when he encountered two teenage lads on a bench. He sauntered up to them and proclaimed 'Now then! What are you two up to then?'.. They were smoking and both leapt about six foot in the air looking very, very guilty!

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