Advanced search

3 year old DS, wont stop role-play.

(24 Posts)
needacoffee Wed 12-Sep-12 17:32:54

Hello everyone, Not sure If I being a drama-queen but a bit concerned with my son and looking for some advice! He has had a bit of a stressful month as I have returned to work and he has started nursery and has a childminder that picks him up and looks after him until mid afternoon (in our house, so he has his things around him).
He has always been big into this cartoon character, but now he is begining to only answer to that characters name and I am finding it hard to bring him out of role play and just have a normal conversation. Also he won't let other people use his normal name, he insists they call his by this cartoon character's name. Do you think this is an anxiety thing or just a normal toddler phase? I have no other children so have no reference as to whether this is normal. Any help would be really appreciated.

lljkk Wed 12-Sep-12 18:59:06

It's lovely & a sign of high playdrive, intelligence, even. Just play along. Let him have the freedom to try being different characters.

My nephew had a few years of insisting he be called Herbie from The Love Bug.

Virgil Wed 12-Sep-12 19:01:14

DS1 refused to answer to anything but Virgil (Virgil Tracy from thunderbirds) when he was three and four. Just enjoy it

Goldmandra Wed 12-Sep-12 19:01:49

Lots of children go through phases of doing this. I've childminded one who had to be a superhero every waking moment and my cousin's DD even choose a pair of shoes by licking them and barking when she was going through her 'I'm a dog' phase.

It may be that this is a way of maintaining some control over one aspect of his life when other aspects are turned upside down.

I would try to allow him lots of time to be in character but let him know in advance if there are things he needs to do as himself now and then.

PeggyCarter Wed 12-Sep-12 19:02:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Wed 12-Sep-12 19:08:59

He sounds brilliant. smile

Get lots of different dressing up clothes for him, and be prepared to join in. (Doctors was always my favorite, as I could be the patient and just lie there grin)

Queenofthehill Wed 12-Sep-12 19:12:04

I did this aged 3 and was Princess Diana for months. Drove my mum potty! Promise i'm ok now. Ahem ;-)

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Sep-12 19:12:51

He sounds fabulous.

My 4yo often only answers to Captain Barnacles, and the rest of us also have assigned roles and have to respond when spoken to.

Shows a great imagination and level of intelligence to keep all the 'pretend' running alongside reality.

Don't worry, just enjoy it smile

exoticfruits Wed 12-Sep-12 19:15:44

I would say he had a great imagination-enjoy it while it lasts!

PeggyCarter Wed 12-Sep-12 19:15:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NCForNow Wed 12-Sep-12 19:44:34

My DD is a baby dragon an AWFUL lot of the time. She is 4. It's wearing because I ave to bloody "hatch" her egg every morning!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Sep-12 20:04:48

Puddle I am Peso too grin DH is Kwazi, DS2 is Dashi. Even my parents are involved grin

Lately I also have to be Penfold to DS1's Dangermouse!

Littlefish Wed 12-Sep-12 20:06:53

Think yourselves lucky! I had to be all 7 brothers from "Seven brides for seven brothers" for about a year!

Littlefish Wed 12-Sep-12 20:07:29

posted too soon...

While dd was Millie, the wife!

rhetorician Wed 12-Sep-12 20:10:11

my dd is 3.7 and we spend a lot of time role-playing - often Shrek and Fiona (if I'm very good I get to be Fiona), sometimes the smelly troll (from the freaky frog book) sometimes other things. It can be quite wearing and hard to keep up - but it's great fun and I'm sure it's normal!

Indith Wed 12-Sep-12 20:13:48

Dd takes on various guises rather than a consistant one but she is always pretending. She'll talk in story too so she might run up to us and say " 'Hello Daddy' said the girl as she rushed busily up to her daddy." I love it smile

She has done the dog thing, been a cat, Twigs from tree fu annoying child and so on. We are frequently in trouble for getting things wrong.

teacherlikesapples Wed 12-Sep-12 20:17:33

It can be normal, some children go through phases where they are fascinated with one thing or another and it can feel never ending! Role play can also be a powerful interest particularly during times of change or transition, as it gives children a feeling of control over "their world" A chance to explore theories & feelings about life.

Being a super hero or cartoon character is a common choice- as they are not only in complete control but is adored and loved by everyone (people always have time for superheroes!)

If you are just returning to work, there is a good chance that he is feeling the need to attention seek. So don't make this into a bigger issue than it needs to be.

A few questions to ponder:

* How much time does he spend watching tv shows (with this character or similar)? A constant stream of influence won't help things. Reduce this to an absolute minimum if you can.
* Is any of the behaviour aggressive or destructive? (If so this needs urgent & serious attention before it escalates. I can help you with this in more detail if this is the case.)
* Will he let you use this interest to extend his skills in either areas?
Making props to extend his play (Does this character wear an item of clothing that you could make like Ben10 wears a watch for example- so small lids, scissors, glue, pens, paper, sticky tape...
E.g Make a storybook together (staple some paper together) He can draw the pictures & you write the words, then read it together. Using this as a vehicle can be a really valuable way of starting an interest & skill in other things.
* To acknowledge the fact that he might be craving a bit of attention- if you were to say something like " I have really been missing you! I really want us to play ___ whatever fun activity together (maybe a board game or something) "
If he starts to act in role ask him "Just for this game, can I play just with Bobby (or whatever his name is) Then we can play a game with Ben10 (or whatever character he is being) soon." Letting him know you accept his need to Ben10, but that you really love spending time with Bobby.

Hope that makes sense. It has been a long day :p
Good luck!

needacoffee Thu 13-Sep-12 04:03:55

Wow, thanks for all your amazing responses, teacherlikesapples, thank you for all the details and everyone else thanks for making me laugh out loud at all your funny stories.

tushar Fri 23-Nov-12 05:07:40

Hello All, My daughter is currently going through the same role-play phase. The entire thread has put most of my queries to rest like the fact that she keeps watching barbie a lot and picks up different characters from the movies like barbie or torie or chelsea..
Recently, she has been picking up her cousins names and acting as if she is her cousin and we (as in her mom - dad) are her cousins family. She refuses to accept her real name and keeps adopting her cousins name as her real name. Hope this should also be taken in the same stride as the other role-plays and that there is nothing to really worry about..

ZuleikaD Fri 23-Nov-12 08:02:06

Perfectly normal. DD only answers to Ivor the Engine at the moment. I am Jones the Steam and DH is Dai Station. She won't call us anything else, even her friends at nursery call her Ivor.

nocakeformeplease Fri 23-Nov-12 21:18:24

My 3.9 year old DS spends 90% of his life pretending to be a dinosaur/superhero/lion etc. I would find it very sweet except he insists on me being a mummy dinosaur/superhero/lion too. Even DD (6 months) has to be a baby dinosaur/superhero/'s bloody exhausting!

I have just this week started taking him to a drama group. It's all role play based and unsurprisingly he LOVED it. And I had 50 mins off from it too smile

ConstantCraving Fri 23-Nov-12 21:30:12

Hmmm - mummy dinosaur sounds ok to me. Apparently I am mummy pig grin.

Marzipanface Mon 26-Nov-12 00:45:14

My 2 yr old DD is a cat ninety per cent of the time. I occasionally stroke her and give her tasty morsels to eat.

Maeday74 Sat 30-Apr-16 04:00:30

So grateful I found this four year old thread. My little one insists that I'm Sarah while she's Duck for hours on end, I'm Rocky while she's Chase (Paw Patrol) or, if I'm really lucky, she's Bitzer and I'm Farmer (Shaun the Sheep). That one makes it difficult to communicate, to say the least. Fun, but challenging. Other people get sucked in... My husband is usually Shaun, no one but me is allowed to be the Farmer. She insists on being called by her role play name, we get scolded if we do it incorrectly or forget names. These posts made me laugh out loud. Thanks for this!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now