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Two year old doing herself down

(5 Posts)
Felakuti Tue 18-Feb-14 20:04:26

Our dd is two years and eight months. She is a bright little button, picks up things easily, was talking, learning numbers etc. earlier than most. She started nursery 6 months ago for two mornings a week and the staff have also said she is very bright. However, they told me not to do too much 'educational' stuff with her to hold her concentration at nursery. I was slightly alarmed as I know that if she is not using her mind actively she gets pretty grumpy. Now, if we do a numbers game or alphabet jigsaw etc. at home, she has started 'acting up'. She suggests the activity but will put on a silly voice and guess the answers some of the time or, what is more concerning, say "you do it, I'm not very good at letters/ numbers". It's worrying me as I know that she does know the answers and has done for ages but for some reason is pretending she doesn't and exhibiting a real lack of enthusiasm when before she was naturally very keen to learn. It's horrible to hear such a young child putting themselves down and has made me wonder what on earth is going on at her nursery!
Any advice please?

grants1000 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:49:34

Umm, trying to to sound harsh, but maybe back off. Most of their learning at this age is done through play, play being the main focus, which in itself is educational, not as it sounds from your post like you are continually testing her to get the 'answers right' Maybe your reaction to her not getting the answers correct and the pressure you are creating to get them right is putting her off and making her behave this way, nothing to do with nursery. Make light of getting it wrong, have fun and play. Also remember a full day a nursery or even just a morning is a full on experience for a child of her age as she grows and develops and at home she just wants to relax and have fun without being out to the test. She has years and years ahead of learning so please back off a bit and enhoy this precious care free time. Get messy with paints, get muddy, do craft!

Felakuti Tue 18-Feb-14 21:19:51

I agree with you, with and without me she does all sorts of varied play, that is more important than the other stuff at their age. I have never tested her on anything- but I have been surprised by what she does know; she offers the information, I don't ask her for it. I don't ever initiate playing educational games but I certainly won't say no if she wants to! It is easy to assume that if a child wants to do writing, puzzles, counting etc. that parents are forcing them into it and I haven't. My experience of bright kids generally is that they seek out those sorts of activities. That said, I think you are right, I need to make sure that she isn't picking up on my tenseness even though I still am not happy about her thinking she can't do things when she can. I have just remembered, it's also with drawing and other things too that she has been saying she's not very good. Her lack of confidence is a recent change as she has been very outgoing up until now.

FredFredGeorge Tue 18-Feb-14 22:55:38

I imagine she is pretty bad at drawing, she's honest enough and bright enough to know that what she's put down on the paper is not what was in her head, struggling with these skills is normal surely. That's not to say you should agree with her conclusion that she's rubbish, you shouldn't, you should encourage her and praise etc. but she's not stupid she knows it doesn't look a lot like a cow.

If she wants to change the rules of the game (and that's what doing an alphabet puzzle or anything is - a game) and do things different, play along, her creating the rules and how she plays with guesses and jokes and silly voices is perfectly reasonable.

You see it as a lack of confidence, why not see it as the confidence of a mastered skill that she can now subvert and have some fun with?

Felakuti Wed 19-Feb-14 08:18:21

Thanks for the messages. After sleeping on it I think I have been taking it far too seriously! Good advice, Fredfred George, yes, it is all play isn't it? I guess if I stop her from having fun and challenging the rules of the game, I will probably be undermining her confidence in thinking for herself...thanks, your comments have helped me see it from a perspective I was missing.

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