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Can anyone help with this cringe-inducing behaviour in my language-delayed 3.10 DS2?

(4 Posts)
lingle Wed 24-Jun-09 17:29:10

DS2 (3.10, very late talking and understanding language, used to be great on the traintrack with other boys - admiring the play of the other child and playing himself. It was a pleasure to watch at a time when his language was horrendously behind and progressing much slower than it is now. But as he's becoming more assertive with his peers (he has a best friend now, that sort of thing)he's horrible. He wants to have his train on one track and his friend's train on another part of the track without them meeting and he can't understand that the friend wants to go on all the tracks including "his" chosen bit. So he cries and screams (doesn't hit thank god) and issues screechy instructions to the other child to move his train (which of course he doesn't do). He gets quite upset and cried for about 10 more minutes after I insisted on lifting his trains out of the way today so the other boy's train could pass.

He used to be too passive and "hero-worshippy" with other kids so I'm sure it's a good developmental sign that he's hit this problem. But is there anything I can do to accelerate him leaving this stage as it is pretty mortifying, particularly with kids whose mums I don't know well?

He's absolutely brilliant at taking turns on, say, an interactive toy that only one person can use at a time, provided that the length of the "turns" is really clear. He's great at turns on things like slides/playgrounds - always has been. I think he is playing with his trains in a slightly different way to the other kids (he holds them at the station for ages saying "people have to get out of the train").

Should I avoid playing trains with others or keep doing until he grows beyond it. If the latter, will he have any friends left by then or is he not that unusual?

FattipuffsandThinnifers Wed 24-Jun-09 20:51:39

I don't have advice from experience I'm afraid, but thought could you try playing with trains at home with him to 'practice' the turn-taking aspect.

You say his understanding is delayed (?) but would he understand your explanation or reasoning?

Also, are there any books (ones he can read with you) that illustrate this kind of thing? For example, I know there are books which help teach 'social skills' for children.

thisisyesterday Wed 24-Jun-09 20:56:53

lingle, i would say, from my experience, that this behaviour has nothing to do with his language delay, and absolutely everything to do with him being 3.10! grin

it is a phase, and they do grow out of it, but it can take a while.
ds1 is 4.4 and still struggles with this exact same issue

lingle Wed 24-Jun-09 21:24:01

How nice of you to reply. Thank you!

Yes, we will increase the train-play at home - and will insist that our trains get a turn.....

Nice to hear that other kids without delays haven't all outgrown this by 3.10.

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