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3 year old - Childminder is worrying me!

(37 Posts)
Persephone76 Thu 05-Jan-17 21:50:40

My son turned 3 in November and my childminder has made me a little concerned about his development.

He can't yet put his own shoes on, although this is partly because his shoes are boot style and quite tight to get on - before he outgrew them he had some shoes that he was learning to put on and he can put wellies on. She was asking me to buy him new shoes so he can learn, but we can't afford new shoes.

He can't take himself to the toilet yet as he can't manage to stand on the stool backwards, take trousers etc down and lower himself. He can go to the potty on his own.

He can't draw a stick man properly yet - he can do a circle and a straight line downwards and 2 eyes. This is apparently behind?

He still holds his spoon more in his fist than like a pen, although he can do it if I prompt him.

She's always saying "He won't be able to do this at school....", though he won't start until Sept 2018 so he has plenty of time.

Is he behind?! He's always been a little slower at the physical side of things, didn't crawl properly until 11 months, walked at 15 months, when he runs he flails his arms and he's generally a laid back little chap who needs a lot of encouragement as he is prone to let us do it all. He's very very chatty and has a great imagination and memory, knows all his colours, can count and knows lots of letters. "Reads" his books to himself and is interested in learning to read. Very curious about the world around him. But is he physically behind? Most days when I go to pick him up I get a lecture from the childminder (today's was the stickmen and how I need to be doing more at home with him) and she makes me worry that he's behind and I'm a crap mother/it's my fault. Does he sound normal?

DuckWaddle Thu 05-Jan-17 21:52:29

From memory that sounds completely normal!

drinkyourmilk Thu 05-Jan-17 21:55:57

Your son sounds normal, your childminder sounds a little enthusiastic! Just tell her he's had his hv checks and you aren't worried about his development. All children develop at different rates, and concentrate on different skills at different times. I was a nanny for 17 years. Honestly- his development sounds normal from what you've described.

Persephone76 Thu 05-Jan-17 21:57:14

Thank you! It's tricky, as he can be a little, erm...shall we say, lazy?! And I do have to give him lots of encouragement, but I don't want to be too pushy, he's only 3 and he's got plenty of time.

CactusFred Thu 05-Jan-17 21:57:31

Take no notice!
Mine turns 4 next week and still struggles with boot style shoes and wasn't potty trained until after 3. He cannot- or will not - draw a stick man.

Was not aware that there is a stick man milestone!

He sounds normal to me and he will get the when he gets there!

Irritatedmama Thu 05-Jan-17 21:58:00

My 3 year old can't draw a stick man.
He can do his own shoes of a fashion. He struggles with getting the right foot though.

He can take himself to the loo, but it's trousers down, climb up frontways and then somehow turn himself when at the top. I doubt he could climb up backwards.

So all sounds normal to me!

Sleeperandthespindle Thu 05-Jan-17 21:59:08

Your childminder sounds awful. Can you find one who is more in tune with the vast range of children's development. My Ds is four, at school, and can't always manage his shoes (if he's got the tongue bent over or something). As for the stick man...?! He should be allowed to draw however he wants! Two eyes and a line is great. She shouldn't be telling you to 'do more' at home!

Cel982 Thu 05-Jan-17 21:59:22

All sounds completely normal! My daughter's exactly the same age and still needs help putting on shoes and going to the toilet. And she certainly can't draw a stick man! She's very bright and definitely not behind her peers at all.
Your childminder is way off in her assessment; your son has 20 months before he'll need to be 'ready for school' hmm

Persephone76 Thu 05-Jan-17 21:59:30

Thank you, drinkyourmilk, - childminder has 2 children of her own but son is her first mindee - she seems to be following the checklists from the early years framework to the letter and also comparing him unfavourably with her own children. It's taken him a few months since toilet training in the summer to tell us when he needs the loo, and she was all for not taking him at all and forcing him to tell her when he'd only been trained a month!

ShouldHaveListenedInBiology Thu 05-Jan-17 22:00:19

Blimey. My son can't do all that and he's 4. I am not worried. I have a friend whose daughter can draw intricate and elaborate pictures, my boy shows zero interest in any drawing/colouring/writing. He can do wellies and can sort of do his shoes but he definitely couldn't do that at 3. They all have different strengths, I really wouldn't worry.

Persephone76 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:01:39

Thanks everyone, very reassuring! I always feel really defensive and then worry that perhaps I'm not seeing things clearly. But she has a very set way of doing things. She is lovely and caring and genuinely wants to help him, but I am far more laid back about development.

Lovelilies Thu 05-Jan-17 22:04:24

My son is 3 next week.
He's still in nappies. Can't put his shoes on. Can only just draw a circle of sorts. Eats with his hands when I'm not feeding him.
I never for a moment thought he was behind!
He's much more articulate than his peers and has been throwing and catching balls for a good while.
Tell your CM he's just fine as he is thankyouverymuch.
Silly woman

Persephone76 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:07:39

Lovelillies grin Thank you! They're all so different aren't they? I hate the rush for perfection and the pushiness

lorelairoryemily Thu 05-Jan-17 22:09:34

My niece wasn't potty trained til she was 4&1/2, he sounds totally normal, he'll get there in his own time, my friends ds is 4 days younger than mine, last time we saw them her ds was crawling mine wasn't, my ds is babbling, mama dada baba hiya and has 9 teeth, her ds had no teeth and wasn't trying to talk, they could both hold and slightly throw a ball, they were 8 months. Every child reaches every milestone in their own time😊 don't worry!!

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 05-Jan-17 22:15:56

My nearly 4 year old can't draw a stick man and can't reliably get his shoes on. He's very articulate with an extensive vocabulary and I don't think there's anything wrong with him.

Your CM sound like a bit of an ass and also quite insensitive.

glenthebattleostrich Thu 05-Jan-17 22:18:52

I'm a childminder and wouldn't be too concerned.

Your son sounds normal.

The toilet thing, lots of children struggle with coordinating steps and getting clothes down, solved this by leaving a potty by the loo and a wide IKEA step.

Shoes, every kid tries it on over something. I have a 3 year old who regularly claims to be unable to put on wellies. He'll get used to them.

Pencil grip she should be encouraging the tripod grip but again it should be emerging, which it sounds like it is. Drawing, they do it when they do it but enclosing a circle and adding lines is fine.

She sounds inexperienced and needs reminded that children develop differently. If he is needing a little extra support in some areas she needs to find ways to give that and help him develop his independence.

nuttyknitter Thu 05-Jan-17 22:21:44

My DGD is the same age. I have a background in early years education and am confident that she has reached a number of milestones quite early but she sounds just like your DS OP. Your childminder has very unrealistic expectations of the normal range of development.

FatOldBag Thu 05-Jan-17 22:24:15

Ofsted tell childminders they have to do this, they even have a framework to measure progress against. When ofsted visit she'll have to show she's doing it, otherwise she won't get a good ofsted rating. Just nod along and ignore it.

Lindy2 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:31:02

I'm a childminder and your son sounds absolutely fine. There is definitely no stick man check tick box in development goals.
All children learn at different rates. Your son is only just 3 and is toilet trained, can draw/mark make to form recognisable shapes, can put on his own wellies, can feed himself - all that sounds absolutely fine and normal. He sounds like he is doing well in fact.
I wouldn't be buying different shoes for him (summer shoes might be easier anyway when the weather is better) or changing what you do at home. I would be asking the childminder to stop pushing and allow him to play and develop at his own rate. All learning should be play based at this age and very relaxed.
I aim for children to be school ready for when they start reception. Some of these main areas are using a school toilet independently (reception toilets are often child sized so no need for a step), taking school shoes on and off, putting own coat on and off, managing most of changing for PE, using cutlery for eating, having 5 minutes + of concentration, recognising own name written down. Recognising letters, writing own name etc are just nice extras.
Your son has nearly 2 years to go before he starts school. He sounds like he will have no problem being ready.

Ames33 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:31:35

My child is 3.5 and definitely can't do shoes, go to the toilet (as he refuses to potty train!) or draw a stick man!! I'm lucky if he draws a squiggly line and calls it a snake!!

Lindy2 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:35:07

Oh, and forcing him to draw stickmen to someone elses specific standard is very likely going to put him off drawing altogether. Just let him use his imagination and draw/scribble what he wants and when he wants. That is how a 3 year old learns best!

MistyMinge Thu 05-Jan-17 22:36:10

All sounds completely normal to me.

I would say my 4yr old DS was exactly the same at that age. In fact some things he still is. I have no concerns and none have been flagged to me by his nursery. He will start school this year though, so I'm going to concentrate on a few areas.

amazonianwoman Thu 05-Jan-17 22:59:08

My son didn't walk until he was 17 mths, couldn't write his name or colour in without making holes in the paper when he started reception, took ages to potty train, still hates drawing, was late to potty train... and has been told he should have no problem passing the entrance exam to one of the country's best state grammar schools this year.

Not to boast, just that they develop at different rates. Don't let your childminder make you feel inadequate, I'm sure he's doing fine flowers

amazonianwoman Thu 05-Jan-17 23:01:03

Oops repetition on the potty training! He really did take a while!!

Hissy Thu 05-Jan-17 23:02:42

Please find another childminder, she's really not very nice, and isn't going to be able to provide a safe, healthy caring environment for your (totally normal) ds.

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