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2 year old making up stories

(7 Posts)
MamaLaMoo Wed 16-Feb-11 13:51:51

DD got tearful on the way home from childminder yesterday and when I asked her why she said she was sad about a toy that got broken. Further probing about this led to the following tale (she is very verbally fluent so this is almost verbatim minus my occasional question)

"The shaker maker (rattle) got broken, it broke in half. It was purple. There was a purple one and a blue one and they broke. There was a butterfly inside that made it shake. they broke in half and the butterfly came out on the floor. In the toy room with the hard floor. I hit them and they got broken."

Now she was tearful all the way home expressing remorse for the broken toy, and then related the tale to her father when we got home and again while trying to settle her to sleep (she was unusually unsettled). I asked the childminder about it today and none of this happened confused. They don't even have a rattle or maracas that fits this description. Childminder is lovely, DD was happy to go there today, no problems there.

I don't think she is lying, she has no concept of deliberate falsehood, when she has spilt drinks or broken things for real she immediately comes and tells us, I think it is more imagination. She has very vivid dreams and plays little people games with different voices for each character etc. She has recently started copying speech patterns she hears so when me or DH talk about what we did when we were children she says something like "when daddy was little I was a farmer and looked after sheep" which she obviously didn't but she is joining in with the style of conversation. I am just gobsmacked that she could invent such an elaborate story and get emotional about it.

Is this normal? Should I have a word with her about telling lies or is this just a facet of imaginative play? How do you begin to tell a 2yr 3mo old about the difference between dreams/imagining and real life?

bebemooneedsabreak Wed 16-Feb-11 13:57:42

I've noticed similar things with my dd 22.5 months...she started apologising for things (she's not done) and talking about this and that which has also not happened...I was wondering what to do.
When she apologises I always accept her apology and tell her the same thing, 'it's ok, thank you for saying sorry, mommy loves you.'
I don't know if it's alright/ the right thing to do...I just want to make sure she knows I'll always listen.

Davsmum Wed 16-Feb-11 15:16:48

Did she see it on a childs TV programme ? My grandson is now 4 but he has come up with elaborate stories since he was 2.
He once said a Fox had come into the house and had sat staring at him - and then it hit him with its 'hand' - He told this story to several people and he seems to remember it as an actual event. He also said he was a bird before he was a baby, amongst other things.
When he tells an elaborate tale now I usually say 'Thats a good story, Is that true ? or did you make it up?' - He will think for a second and often says he made it up but sometimes he says it is true.

I think its vivid imagination and will only become a problem if he cannot separate fact from fiction in a year or so ( he has already started to realise himself that he is making it up !)

bebemooneedsabreak Wed 16-Feb-11 15:56:57

Ah that's an interesting point abt something on tv or maybe a book she's been paging thru and made up a story for the pictures... I will have to watch more closely and see.

bcmummy Wed 16-Feb-11 19:21:48

I think it's just the start of her using her imagination - I don't think at this age they have any real concept of lying as such. My DS is 2.5 and has also started doing this recently. Sometimes when I collect him from nursery and ask him if he had fun he will tell me that he did something naughty, like throwing sand on the floor or hitting the other children (eek!). But when I ask the nursery staff about it they say it didn't happen. Like your DD, if he has actually done something that he shouldn't then he will immediately tell me the truth if I ask him about it (ie Me: "Did you go in the cupboard and take a biscuit without asking mummy?" DS: "Yes! Can I have another one?").

He has also started saying things about monsters coming in the night time and telling me there are animals in the garden like elephants and hippos. This morning in the car he was adamant that there was a sheep with wings flying in the sky above us! I'm not concerned about any of it. As I say, I think it's just the start of imaginative play.

Twolittleboys13 Wed 01-May-13 03:49:32

My ds is nearly three....he has just woke me up (3am) screaming that he floated up to the sky. I tried my hardest to console him but he wouldn't calm down. He kept crying, begging me to take him into my moms room next he is fast asleep with my mom and dad sad I feel really bad that I couldn't calm him...any body have any idea what this dream means or why it scared him so much x

ipanicked Wed 01-May-13 13:50:30

This reminded me of DS when he was just 2 when he told me an elaborate story about how my mum had stamped on his hand and that's why it hurt! (DM was mortified!!!)

I agree I don't think they do have the concept of lying at that age. DS just has a vivid imagination, which I think is a wonderful thing. We've done lots of story telling with and without books to encourage it and help explain fact from fiction and now he definitely gets it. Though that doesn't stop him from making up the most extraordinary stories!

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