To tell DD off for copying(11 Posts)
My DD is 4 and at play school. There are a few kids there with very challenging behaviour and also a few with ADHD and speech issues. My daughter (who is normally bright, quite articulate, fairly confident) has taken to copying, particularly the dominant kids with problems. If we see one of the kids who cannot speak very well in the park she will run around copying everything they do and mimicking their speech. I find it very embarrassing, and also infuriating.
I even noticed she did it when we went to the park with one of her old friends the other day, someone she is very much on par with. She followed the other little girl almost step for step, copying what she did exactly, even climbing things she could not climb without really looking because she was so closely trying to follow her friend. Even when her friend swung on the monkey bars and shouted 'I can do this!' my daughter, who had not heard what she said, swung on them too and shouted 'ba ba baaa ba' to mimic the sound of her speech.
AIBU to tell her to stop.
4 is really young but I think it might be worthwhile to have a discussion with her about mimicking people who perhaps can't speak well as it might be hurtful to them. Positive reinforcement may lessen her copying her friends. its a tough one as she's still very very young
I would be having a chat - tell her it's not nice to copy other people and she might hurt their feelings. if some positive chats and reminders don't work I would be putting consequences in place, esp if she's mimicking children with speech disorders as that could get her into real trouble in reception.
My dd copies her friends a lot too, there's one friend in particular she plays with and I always know if they have spent a lot of time together in a given day - baby talk galore and a weird sulky whine she doesn't normally do! Irritates the hell out of me but quite normal. Maybe talk to her about how copying is sometimes not kind but I wouldn't make too big a thing of it.
Of course you should explain why the other child(ren) might not like it. It doesn't sound like she was doing it to upset the other child.
Can you not see the middle ground between telling her off and ignoring it?
I'm a little shocked you didn't step in immediately. How long were you planning on letting this behaviour continue as you clearly aren't describing a single incident. I know parenting doesn't come as naturally to some as others but surely this is more to do with being a good person? The mimicked child may not even have noticed but how do you think the parents would have felt?
To the last poster, yes I have told her to stop it constantly, and in front of the parents. Mind you don't catch your tights on your high horse as you climb down now.
Thanks everyone else, for the useful and supportive comments.
In fairness, you didn't mention telling her to stop and have described a number of incidents. Then you have asked what you should do about it. So people are going to give you advice. It does come across as you haven't told her to stop.
I wonder if she feels left out at preschool? Naturally there will be children who take up more of the staff's time and these will be the children who need extra support. Even little ones swiftly see this and her copying could be a way of getting some attention herself rather than deliberately mocking.
As an example, I had to speak to my own dts preschool as dtd gets star of the day a lot more than her twin brother. But he is placid and compliant whereas she is demanding and much less cooperative, so gets rewarded when she does what comes naturally to her brother. However, he did notice and his behaviour did take a dive. He got SOTD and his behaviour picked up again...
Of course yanbu to tell her to stop the copying. But she needs to know and hopefully understand why it's not a nice thing to do. Ie it hurts her friends feelings when she copies something that they can't help doing. It is a part of growing up and how you deal with it now will help or hinder her empathy for others as she gets older.
Ds is 5 and has started mimicking. Just constantly repeating what someone else has said. Not copying A disability.
Personally I wouldn't tell her off. I would talk to her about why it's annoying (in my case) or hurtful (in your case).
Telling her off may just lead to her doing it at school when you aren't there.
I find kids need teaching empathy sometimes. They don't get the complexity sometimes.
The copying game is something Ds has picked up at school. It could be that your dd has picked it up at school and doesn't realise there is a difference between copying her NT friends and copying someone who has additional needs.
Thank you Velvet.
I'm not sure where you got the attitude from OP as from your post it sounded as though you'd simply let it continue.
Assuming you have "told her to stop it constantly" and she's continuing, it's time to explain to her, away from the situation, why it isn't nice to mimic. If carries on ignoring you then rather than allowing the other children to be upset by her, I'd keep her away from them after school (at the park you mentioned). I'd also mention it to their teacher / playschool leader; a class discussion re. feelings, mimicking etc can do wonders.
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