4yr old DS inventing stories about school... normal?(11 Posts)
DS has just started in reception, he's quite a young one (late June) and is finding the whole thing utterly exhausting. He's been full time since day one and is coming out at 3, flopping on the sofa and asleep by 630 every night. Quite a lot of unusually bad behaviour at home (mainly tantrums) but very willing to go to school in the mornings. I can't seem to get any information out of him about school but according to teacher he is doing fine, happy and well behaved, but on the quiet side and often found in the book corner. This doesn't really surprise me, he can be a very sociable child but he does take a while to warm up and integrate into a group.
Anyway, once in a while he'll come out with a really detailed story about something that happened at school - and then I'll discover its totally made up. First we had an entirely fictional boy complete with interesting name, siblings, and favourite toys. Then he told me about some toys he'd been playing with but TA told me they don't exist. There's been several other examples.
Is this in any way normal? clearly he has an amazing imagination! I haven mentioned it to the staff and they seem unconcerned, but it's worrying me! Especially combined with his general unsettledness around this time.
Any experience of this?
Could the child have been a character in a book that the teacher read?
My children often did the same. As long as it's harmless stuff I wouldn't worry. Harmful stuff would be fake stories like "the teacher hurt me" or "another child was mean to me" rather than exaggeration/wishful thinking like he saw a spider as big as his book bag.
My DD is 5 and has a host of imaginary siblings. She often tells me stories about them. I thought they might disappear when she started school, but they apparently go to school too. So I'd say 'perfectly normal', but I only have my DD to base that on.
Yes, absolutely normal. When I was 5-ish I remember telling my mother wilder and wilder stories about what happened at school each day until eventually she realised and said “Did that really happen?” and I said “not really”. Four year olds don’t yet have a clear distinction between fantasy and reality. You can gently remind him that it’s made up, and compliment him on his imagination.
Yes, it took me a week to realise that dd was making up loads of stories about school too! (Only when I asked my friend how her son's hand was - apparently he'd had an injury from scissors - and she was like 'what?'). We had a serious chat about how it was important to make sure people know whether you're telling a true story or a made up story. That seems to have been a success - several times since she's said 'I'm going to tell you a pretend story...'
I think my dd just got a bit carried away with the knowledge that I know nothing about school and she could tell me what she liked. She was also telling me what she thought I wanted to hear - this is less of a problem now she has made new friends and settled in properly.
My dd enjoys 'writing books' with me (she makes up a story, I write it down and she helps do the illustrations) - maybe your ds would too?
Totally normal for "intelligent children with vivid imaginations" according to my DS's Reception teacher....we've had some whoppers here before, but as he's my fourth (and is now in Y1 and less fanciful), I'm fairly used to suspending my disbelief and finding out what was true or not! My DD told the most horrendous story to the teacher the day after DS3 was born - said that I'd been blue lighted by ambulance to hospital with the baby because he'd been dropped on his head, and there was blood everywhere etc....she looked a bit confused when I turned up at pick up time, with a new baby obviously in one piece
It's completely normal.
My 5yo DS tells me tall tales, they're easier to spot though as they involve biting heads off snakes, jumping through waterfalls and avoiding crocodiles. His school lunch normally consists of roasted lion, giraffe etc when he's bored of saying he had chicken goujons with peas, carrots and potatoes.
I blame Bear Grylls
Dd was 4 at the end of august - she is adamant they had a live horse in their classroom and all got to groom it. Lunch last week was just a plate of biscuits! It's normal
Thank you for all the very reassuring Replies. Obviously DS is intelligent I am just finding all this school thing hard to watch. On one hand he's obviously doing fine but it's so new for him and I think he's struggling as well with it all. I can't get over how tired he is! Good to know his imagination is thriving though
Lying's an important developmental stage. Talking about real and pretend stories may very well help, but it may also need to wait a few months or a year--a child this age really doesn't always fully grasp the difference between fantasy and reality.
We had a lot of tall tales in Reception (5 yrs), but it has settled down a bit in year 1. I think the stories mainly had a basis in reality, but got more elaborate as she recounted them (stuff like the 4 storey bouncy castle at school, or the boys climbing trees with harnesses and ropes etc). The stories went both ways, and the teacher was told all about her non- existent baby brother, and her Dad who was just returning from a 6 month tour of duty with the army (this in spite of the fact that he was dropping her to school twice a week!). I nearly collapsed when the teacher took me aside and said child had made a 'disclosure' to an adult, and they had to check it out...apparently she had told them that she had been sent out to walk to a party by herself, and had nearly been run down by a Jeep. Luckily she was saved by her stuffed toy dog....they thought it was a fabrication but needed to check that we weren't sending her out alone. The extent and bizarreness of some of the stories amazed me! After school club also had to check our address after being told we had moved, they said to me its all pretty normal, and may just be the child trying to make life a bit more exciting!
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