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Help, 4 yr old dd behaviour a sign of something worrying going on?

(6 Posts)
Youngharriet Tue 25-Feb-14 01:08:07

My dd who is 4.5 has started saying things like "mummy, I hit someone today at school" or "mummy, I touched the light switch with wet hands" or "mummy, I told someone I didn't like their picture - is that a mean thing to say?". She comes out with these comments or similar every single day, and honestly, probably at lease once an hour. When she told me she'd poked someone in the eye with a pen at school I went straight to her teachers (dd was there with me) and asked them about it, they were shocked, said that she was well behaved and well liked and she never behaved like that. We asked dd why she said it and she just ignored us, she wouldn't respond at all.

I'm starting to worry that this is a sign that there's something wrong/something really troubling her. I've tried asking her if she can explain why she says it but she won't answer, it's like she hasn't heard me. I've also tried just continuing with her story to see how that goes, but it doesn't get us anywhere, she just changes the subject. I've tried to just ignore her when she says these things and sometimes I just get angry and tell her to stop making up stories (which also doesn't seem to have any effect!). I have definitely been a bit snappy and short of patience lately (I honestly don't know which came first, my behaviour or hers) but generally she and I have a great relationship, at least I think we do! so I'm not sure what to do about this or what's causing it. Should I get professional help? Is there something I should/shouldn't be doing?

I'm am totally beating myself up about this, I go to bed every night promising that I will be a better mum the next day but come the morning this starts again and I revert to cranky, impatient mummy!

Sorry for the long post and thank you for taking the time to read it x

catkind Tue 25-Feb-14 03:00:03

Hmm, this is puzzling isn't it. Could this be her way of working through the concept of bad behaviour? Or reinforcing her understanding of the rules? Perhaps a response along the lines of "I don't think that really happened did it? You should never do xxx because yyy." Or turning it round into a question - "why do you think it's dangerous to do xxx?"

catsofa Tue 25-Feb-14 04:27:43

Don't know if this helps but my first thought on reading is that it sounds like maybe what she's really saying is "mummy what would happen if I hit someone at school?" etc.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 25-Feb-14 06:29:35

Sometimes I turn this sort of thing into a story/ joke with my 4 year old DD. I know she knows it would be wrong to do these things so I don't feel like I'm encouraging her or anything.

So I might say 'Oh, did you? And did he turn into a squirrel and fly to the moon?' or some such nonsense, and we continue in this vein for a while. Then I can turn the conversation round to the point I really want to make, which is what would really happen if she did xyz.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 25-Feb-14 06:31:57

DD also likes to play games where imaginary children are doing lots of 'bad' things, usually with her cast in teacher role. I play along with this as another useful way of working through 4 year old moral dilemmas.

Youngharriet Tue 25-Feb-14 13:09:11

Thank you everyone! I will definitely try the story/joke approach, thank you. I did wonder if she was looking for some reinforcement as we've witnessed some children hitting or throwing things in anger with no repercussions so maybe that's more confusing to her than I thought? I hope it's something like that!

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