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3.6 trouble maker

(7 Posts)
MamaM76 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:22:50

Hi, I am posting here because I don't know where to turn. My dd, 3.6 years old is having issues at her nursery. Did any of your smart offsprings have similar issues? She is very active, chatty, intense, and curious, perfectionist type, but is having a social problem. For this reason she is going to be refered to ed psy. I also think she may have higher learning potential (but I can be wrong. ) but this is not strongly highlighted at nursery as her issues are more apparent than her strength.

So this is the situation, here we go (sorry for a long post):

The nursery teacher told me she has difficulty switching between the tasks (say from her working on one task to say, a group time), and not interested in other children but rather play on her own or with teachers. Can not sit through the circle time or a group activity (ok it's 30min and I think that's too long for 3-4 years old) especially if it is a passive learning.
My view is as for switching the tasks, i always encouraged focusing as much as she can so that she can indulge concenrating and i try not to interfere until she is done. The latter for sure, I can confirm, she always had an adult to keep her entertained, she loves playing some elaborate role play going in a rocket to Jupitor or just having a tea party of some sort and she can ask questions or read her a book and talk about it( not story books but fact books)

The nursery group is super small and mostly boys , and I just think they are on different wavelength. She keeps on asking me if she can play on her own in nursery and said other children are boring.
I think she is reasonably ahead of her age in terms of reading and math. She loves rhyming, making her own songs, spelling words like elephant and numberjacks, reading first readers (but more than a cat sat on a mat), math wise, she is comfortable up to hundreds, and can do simple sums and subtractions. Extremely good memories, happy to learn how to count in 5 languages and learn few foreign words. More into facts books like space, trains, animal encyclopaedia, periodic table than fantasy stories. Can sit 45 minutes for Lego and doing arty things, or 25 piece puzzle under 5 minutes, but when uninterested her focus is short. She knew the colours and shapes by 1 and half. Learned to count to 20 and most of alphabet by 2.

She does like to approach other girls in a park, who are much older, and try's to play, and most of the time they would run off as they are not interested in playing with a preschooler. When she approaches other girls of her own age in a park, she asks them if they would like to play with her, and asks their name, and usually get a blank stare... Just on rare occasions she can click with somebody and they run around with each other holding hands and play pretend play.

I am losing sleep over 1)she might not be enjoying nursery (they are not pushing her too hard on intellectual stuffs as they are focusing in keeping up the social side of things like learning rules and turn taking, social conversation), 2) teachers are having tough time controlling her, and constantly being told off affecting her self esteem 3) whether she will cope once she goes to a reception, 4) she might be "labeled" with ADHD, or asperger 5) not sure if NHS ed psy will pick up on her learning potential.

I feel worried that I might not giving her the environment she needs and enjoys outside the home, although I recognise that social training is essential. I do my best at home to keep her stimulated with whatever she wants to learn and give her a lot of reassurance and love.

What can I do? Is this the right way to go? Would she grow out of it? Do i need to arrange a special tutor to help her train socially? I feel really lost.
Your wise advice or help is much appreciated! Thank you.

harticus Wed 09-Oct-13 19:26:10

Train her socially? What? Stop!

When my son was 3 I enrolled him in a highly rated nursery. It was staffed by massively over-qualified women (all child psych grads.)
I suddenly started hearing all this crap about how DS was invading other children's space by holding hands with them.
He was 3.
He was accused of being destructive because he scribbled on his writing book.
He was 3.
They wanted to encourage him to explore his emotions with puppets. I told them where they could stick their puppets and to get their freaky hands off my perfect normal 3 year old.
I had the sense to remove him to a plain and simple nursery where the children could be themselves without judgement, prejudice and downright bullshit.

My son is now 6 and on the G&T register (doesn't seem to mean much in real terms but hey ...) After some clingy teething troubles earlier this term he is happy, confident, sociable, well behaved and has some lovely friends.

Your daughter is still a baby - give her time. If I were you I would find a different nursery. One person's "trouble maker" is another person's bright spark.
When she gets to primary school she will have plenty of playmates - the pre-schooler years can be awkward.
Good luck.

wearingatinhat Wed 09-Oct-13 22:39:31

Agree with harticus - I still have n't quite recovered from seeing in DS's EYFS profile that he invaded his best friend's personal space by sitting down very close to him on the carpet. He was 4 and we had brought him up with lots of hugs and endless hours sitting on our knees (and those of close relatives) listening to stories. It was quite natural (to him) to sit really close to his best friend - a sign of affection!

I think some teachers naturally think Aspergers when they see an incredibly bright child but do not worry about her being labelled wrongly, she would be IQ tested as part of any type of assessment, so they would have to think HLP also.

I think 3 is a tricky age; DS was incredibly strong willed at this age and like your daughter, did not like being disturbed if he was totally engrossed in an activity. We would have a king sized tantrum every time we had to leave the park. I think we nearly got banned from Gymboree because he preferred to do the activities he wanted rather than what he was directed to do. Like you, I was worried.

Fast forward a few years and now I see this was all part of his HLP and his love of independence. He is popular, with excellent social skills and we are told that he is a 'pleasure to teach', 'not the type that would ever be any trouble,' said his teacher. So things can change quite rapidly and DS loved his nursery and was totally engaged in all their activities.

You can help with the social skills yourself; she does not need a tutor. A bright child will pick it up very quickly. From what you are saying she does approach children her own age but at this stage, perhaps they do not know what to do with a formal approach. In a different environment or in a couple of years she could be a totally different girl.

coppertop Thu 10-Oct-13 10:49:54

It's good that the nursery have realised that they may need more help and advice.

The usefulness of Ed Psychs can vary. I've seen one whose report was very detailed and accurate, and another who didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know. An Ed Psych does not diagnose things like AS or ADHD, so there is no need to worry about labels.

The Ed Psych will probably visit the nursery and spend some time observing your dd. They will usually talk with her and look at some activities with her. The Ed Psych did some very informal IQ testing with my child but not a full test. It was mainly things like looking at pictures and making patterns with blocks.

You will usually be told when the Ed Psych will be visiting, and they may also want to speak to you too. They will then be able to advise the nursery on how best to help your dd.

Sometimes there can be a problem with social skills because the child finds it difficult to relate to other children. In the same way that older children aren't keen on playing with your dd because she is much younger, your dd may be finding it hard to get on with the other nursery children because to her they will seem younger.

There is a lot that can be done to help with social skills, and the Ed.Psych may be able to advise on this. If they haven't done so already, the nursery may also be asking a SENCO for help too. This will usually mean things like having your dd work with an adult to build on things like turn-taking and conversational skills. Gradually they may involve one or two other children so that your dd becomes more used to working in a group situation.

With advice and support, the nursery may be able to try new strategies to help your dd. It may be that they can incorporate your dd's interests into activities, eg working on a puzzle with an adult and taking turns with each piece.

I would look at the Ed Psych visit as a potentially useful information-gathering exercise for you and the nursery. You will also be able to pass that information on to your dd's school next year.

MamaM76 Fri 11-Oct-13 10:54:24

Hi, thank you so much for your reply. It was very reassuring hearing your views and yes, you are totally right, my dd is only 3! Because she talks a lot of sense and is very independent I do often forget she is still a little person and she has a whole lot of things she still needs to learn.
Awkward 3, is a new concept to me, but it is so true!

What a scary nursery! Explore emotions with puppets?! Glad to hear your lil boy has grown into a fine young man with brilliant skills, sounds like a he is a all rounder.

Invading personal space... It is strange how some nusery sees it that way.
My dd is very string willed too, and independent, and yes she goes off doing her own thing during the ballet class she joined. I am watching her and sweating... I am only hoping she won't be banned!
I am also reassured your boy acquired a good social skill to go with his bright mind. I am hoping in a bigger school, she will have more opportunities she can try different approach...

Spot on advice on ed psy. Thank you. When I contacted the hospital, they said it will be mainly assessing her in the consultation room, no nursery visit. The nursery has started one to one on more social games, and with a couple of other kids to learn about social chit chat. They are trying, and I guess all the effort will help her before she starts a big school. I think the nursery is trying to get an external help to, exactly to your point, strategise the training the bring the best out in her. You are right about seeing herself as bit older, and probably has difficulty relating herself with other kids of her own age.

I spoke to the Hv yesterday and they said not to worry too much. She is not socially withdrawn as such, if anything a complete opposite. She just loves having a conversation with an adult, and probably has not found anybody she finds interesting in the nursery. I know there are some kids in the nursery who are bright, and at play date with him, they were trying to figure out a how to spell the names of the tv programme so they can watch bbciplayer together.

harticus Sat 12-Oct-13 13:01:32

Glad to hear all is ok Mama - it is lovely when you see them interacting well with other children.
My DS's social diary is ridiculous now as various chums want to come over to play. You'll soon be up to your ears in a house full of noisy happy kids.
If your DD is an only child then the "relating better to adults than children" thing is pretty common. (I am an OC, so is my mother and son). I much preferred the company of adults when I was a child and felt uncomfortable in large gangs of children. It isn't a weakness or a flaw it is just the way some people are.
Good luck.

MamaM76 Mon 14-Oct-13 11:04:31


You are right she is OC. She would rather talk to her friends's mums than their kids. Having said that, this weekend while we waited in a queue she was interacting with two sisters one around the same Age and one a bit older, asking their names, their birthdays, their parents names, etc. Also she joined in with random kids running around, so I am really confused about what the nursery's issue is... ?!

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