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is this normal for a 3-4 year old. Strange behaviours worrying me!

(5 Posts)
sammyjayneex Thu 11-Feb-16 09:49:53

So my daughter is going to be 4 next week. She's had some strange behaviours since she was about 2/3 and it's really getting me concerned. She can't be her own self! She copies her 5 year old sister for EVERYTHING!
If her sister is wearing a skirt for school/nursery she has to! She has to wear the same cardigan everyday (one with a school logo) and gets upset if it's in the wash and has to wear a different one. She has to wear certain shoes/ boots and if you say no you can't wear them for nursery she will get really upset and refuse to leave the house. She is really difficult to soothe because if something has upset her she will just cry and winge and it's difficult to get her to calm down. I have to cover up her every night with her blanket, if I say no Mummy is busy right now can you please put on your own cover she will kick off and will not go to sleep, she has to have this routine every night!!!
When I ask the kids to choose a treat ( usually some chocolate) she will look after her 5 year old sister first to see what she's choosing and will the choose exact same as her! I have 4 daughters and I have noticed how different my 4 year old is to them with these funny behaviours. It's worrying me. She couldn't socialise with other kids on our street before she started nursery and really struggled with it and would hide away from visitors in our house. Since being in nursery she has improved on this and has made about 2 friends in nursery but isn't very talkative. She's beer reserved and quite in class and only speaks to the teacher 'on occasion' and usually she has to be encourage to take during group time ect.
I've seen the GP who referred her to the community Paediatrician and she's said that her development is on track so no concerns there but she will get a report from nursery to see how she is. I've not heard anything else from them and nursery hasn't mentioned anything to me.
It's just getting me stressed. I'm normally very patient with her because I know she's a bit 'different' and i can clearly see it's not her fault and she's not naughty, she's a lovely very well behaved girl but she just has these little anxieties and I don't know what's causing it but I don't think it's normal. I did get stressed the other say though before nursery because she was struggling with the straps in her shoes so I asked her to let me help but she REFUSED to let me help her even though she was clearly struggling so became quite a battle

Would be grateful if anyone could give me advise

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 11-Feb-16 10:44:51

This sounds very normal to me. It sounds like you're very anxious about these behaviors, which could mess the kid up more than anything she's currently doing. At her age, trying to control her world and imitate an older sibling is profoundly normal.

Diddlydokey Thu 11-Feb-16 10:50:02

DS is a similar age and he sounds very similar. All pretty normal, I think!

She is really difficult to soothe because if something has upset her she will just cry and winge and it's difficult to get her to calm down.

I cope with this by saying, 'okay, that's enough crying over that now. If you want to carry on crying you can do it on your own in your room'

I saw it on the 3 day nanny programme and it works a treat. If he ends up going to his room, I go up after 2 minutes and say shall we have a cuddle and go downstairs now or would you like to stay up here crying.

mummytime Thu 11-Feb-16 12:42:36

It may be normal - it may not.
Arrange to go in and talk to nursery, and find out their opinion.
Can you get back to the Paediatrician for feedback?

Do you spend much time with just her?

If she is insistent on being independent then maybe you need to make sure you allow lots of extra time?

You are on the right track, in recognising that some of the problems are more yours than hers.
With her anxiety can you think about what kind of a routine/situation would reduce it the most, then as far as possible try to give that to her. Then work towards your goal by baby steps.
So you want her to play with other children? First you let her be alone. Then maybe arrange a friend from playgroup to drop in for 5 minutes. See how she reacts. Then if it goes well gradually add more time.

VagueIdeas Thu 11-Feb-16 12:50:02

It doesn't sound too concerning. A lot of what you're describing sounds exactly like my DD at 3/4. She hated new things like shoes and coats and would refuse to wear them. Serious controlling behaviour all day long. Everything on her terms. Refusing to do things for herself when asked. Actually, she had a screaming tantrum over being asked to remove her own socks just last week, and she's nearly four and a half now.

I don't think copying her sister is cause for concern. It could be, in her mind, that she wants the same as her sister because she wants things to be fair and equal, and not choose a potentially inferior chocolate treat wink

Shyness, being reserved, not talking much at nursery - all normal.

She's not yet four, so lots of time to grow and mature. It sounds as if her personality is very different to your other children, but what you've described sounds really similar to my DD.

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