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When did your DCs start writing out letters/their names?

(19 Posts)
MiaSparrow Wed 20-Feb-13 10:33:02

Just wondering because some of DD's 2nd birthday cards have been "signed" by older friends (say, 2.5 years) and I was quite shocked. Is this normal? Surely not?

DD has very suddenly improved her control of a pen and is drawing definite shapes now (albeit she decides what they are once she's drawn them!) Is it too soon to start guiding her hand to spell out letters, like it seems her friends' parents have done?


kelda Wed 20-Feb-13 10:36:34

This does seem the fashion in the UK, to get very young children writing and reading. I don't see the point in 'guiding their hands'.

Just carry on what you are doing - encourage your dd to draw, with different pens/chalk etc, and crafts - beads/play dough/paint. Everything that is good for their hands.

You will soon notice if there is a problem. My ds is aged four and a half, and cannot grip a pencil properly but it is noticable that there is a problem and he is being assesed by physiotherapists etc.

MiaSparrow Wed 20-Feb-13 10:43:07

Thanks Kelda. I'm being a paranoid first time mum, I'm sure!

kelda Wed 20-Feb-13 10:45:48

Nothing wrong with being paranoid! It's the sign of a caring parent.

Just do plenty of things with your child - crafts, swimming, playing, reading books etc. Plenty of time for writing when she is older.

Machadaynu Wed 20-Feb-13 10:53:42

The kid could write her name on her own at 2.6 but she doesn't seem much interested in writing anything else. Remember though that some names are much easier to write than others!

We did do hand-guiding with her at first because she asked to write her name, but we didn't think she would be able to - but she was really determined that she wanted to. It took her a few goes but she could do it herself in a week or two. I don't see the harm in helping if the kid wants to do it, but equally there is nothing at all unusual in the kid not wanting to do it at that age.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 20-Feb-13 10:54:54

DS surprised us all by writing his name for the first time aged 2.5. But he loves mark making, loves letters and was generally a bit obsessed by it. I think some kids do around that age if its something they've been interested by. He can't do other things that other 2.5 year olds can do instead!

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 11:04:04

My kids all did lots of craft and paint and fine motor skill stuff like lego, but non of them could really draw letters until around 4.

ds had a fist grip and scribbled at 3.9, and then suddenly at 4 he changed his grip and started to draw and write his name, all in about 2 months

dd1 was slightly better, I think she was 3/3,5

dd2 was unable to form the letters until at pre-school, her 4th birthday was nov, and in her thank you cards she wrote her initial. By christmas she wrote her whole name.

All of them are now at school, and they were well ahead in their peer group in reception.

I think dd2s friend could write her name around 3.

It is so unimportant if they are making letters. The skill they need is fine motor skill, that comes from playing with lego, playdough, crayons, picking up raisins, using pegs etc etc. Then when you do introduce their name, they will be able to do it.

MiaSparrow Wed 20-Feb-13 11:17:11

That's all brilliant advice. Thank you! Yes, I was surprised by DD's sudden change from scribbles to shapes so maybe it'll be the same for letters. Agree she has to show interest herself. Most important.

poozlepants Wed 20-Feb-13 11:21:05

Ds was able to write his name by himself just before he was 4 but I have noticed somewhere between 4 and 4.5 his grip and his confidence in writing seems to have taken a huge leap. Seems to be the same for his nursery peers.
I have found with my DS trying to get him to do things before he is ready is entirely fruitless and counterproductive.
I tried to get him to learn his alphabet and he just couldn't and then he must have had a developmental leap and a month later he learnt it in about a week. I could've saved myself a lot of angst.
Same with drawing he just wasn't interested and wouldn't even use the crayons. I angsted over that as well and then one day at about 3 he picked up a pencil and drew a man and he hasn't stopped.

BlueChampagne Wed 20-Feb-13 13:28:18

DS1 was able to write his name about 2.4. DS2 is 3.2 and can only just do it. DS1 much more interested in letters and numbers, and loves to draw. DS2 prefers to play with vehicles and lego. I'm sure he'll get there.

DeWe Wed 20-Feb-13 15:40:37

Depends on the child. Dd1 was very interested in letters. She was shown how to write her name after starting at preschool, and was doing it within the week, and within the month writing on her own sentences. She was 2.9yo.

Dd2 was writing her name from not long after 2yo. I know she wrote her Christmas cards at 2.1yo. (only about 3-4 though) However it is a very easy name to write with no difficult letters. She was determined and saw her sister doing it, so wanted to. She wasn't so interested in writing stories and other things though.

Ds still protests when I put a card under his nose to sign. He's in year 1. He could write his name from about age 3yo, but wasn't interested at all. I know he could because I'd asked the older two to sign their names in a card, and he picked it up and wrote his name too. However I don't think he did it again for ages, and he didn't have any interest in writing anything else-and still doesn't, unless it's typing a search item into google.

HorizonFocus Wed 20-Feb-13 15:47:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exexpat Wed 20-Feb-13 16:00:36

DD could just about write her name by about 3 years and 10 months (after she started preschool), DS was closer to 5, as far as I remember, but I did not do anything to push them. For what it's worth, they are now aged 10 and 14, and both on school G&T lists and doing extremely well academically.

I really don't understand the rush to get children doing school-type things (writing, learning alphabets etc) younger and younger - there doesn't seem to be any long-term advantage at all, and risks putting them off. Also there are much more useful things to be doing when you are two or three, like playing pretend games and building things with duplo.

Machadaynu Wed 20-Feb-13 16:11:31

exexpat If the child is interested in wanting to do something why discourage them? I tend to see things in terms of whether or not the child is interested, although obviously as they get older they have to learn to do some things that maybe don't interest them so much.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 20-Feb-13 16:14:50

Mine couldnt before school, and those that did had to relearn anyway with cursive writing so are all the same now anyway. I think it is good to get them used to holding a pen etc but drawing is just as good.

Francagoestohollywood Wed 20-Feb-13 16:23:17

It never occurred to me to "teach" my 2.5 yrs old children how to write. At 2, just give them plenty of crayons, pencils etc to draw and develop their fine motor skills.

Ds couldn't write his name at 4.5 when he started school in the UK, he wasn't into "writing" at all then.

Dd could write pretty much everything at 4, and she started school at 6, because by then we had moved back to Italy.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:56:10

I decided to try and teach my eldest and then DS2 to write their names and other letters and they both have dreadful handwriting now. With DS3 I left him to develop at his own pace, offered lots of pens and paper, playdough and other activities for developing fine motor control and left the formal teaching to school. His handwriting at six is easier to read than DS2’s at 15! Rushing them into it can do more harm than good in my experience.

exexpat Wed 20-Feb-13 18:19:38

Machadaynu -I never said I would discourage a child from learning to write (or do anything) if they were interested. I just don't see the point in pushing children to learn things like that when they are so little, which does seem to be very common here. In my experience, when they are ready to learn that sort of thing, they pick it up very quickly, but trying to drill them in that kind of skill before they are ready or interested can be counterproductive.

Loveleopardprint Thu 21-Feb-13 09:28:34

It's just another game of parent upmanship. Look how clever my child is they can write their name!!

If your child wants to write then you can always write it in a pale colour and let them make marks on top.

I agree that painting, cutting, sticking, play dough etc is just as important for developing early motor skills.

My ten year old still moans about writing cards!!!

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