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is this normal for a 3 year old

(23 Posts)
trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 20:40:26

my ds whos 3 next week worries me, he is always lining things up eg cars all his bikes in garden even his books , and they all have to be the same way, weather its upside down or not as long as they all go the same way.I think he is quite bright and he speaks very well

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 20:44:44

My ds went through a stage of doing this. I tihnk he was just interested in the shapes they maek and in grouping similar ones together - all part of exploring the world.

Does he do it for hours and hours - what you might call 'obsessively'? Can he be distracted from the activity at all?

dinny Thu 09-Jun-05 20:46:48

Trace, my dd went through a phase of doing this too. seems to have stopped it now (she's just 3)

csa Thu 09-Jun-05 20:47:28

oh yeah. same here with ds1. farm animals, pots, cups, chairs, etc. you name it, he lines them up. lined-up chairs usually represents trains and the rest sometimes represent him and his friends having to line up at nursery. it's when he talks aloud to himself "if you don't line up, you have to come and stand with me" (i.e. imitating the teacher), we hope he is repeating something he heard rather than something which was told to him. LOL

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 20:48:03

he does it for a long time,but yes you can get is attention when he wants

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 20:49:45

glad it sounds normal, just a little worried

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 20:50:25

csa - my ds does that too - imitating the nursery workers I mean. When they were practicing for a Xmas nativity play he was really funny. He would get some A4 paper and say things like 'Right now everyone, we're going to sing Whoops a Daisy Angel. Sam, behave yourself or you'll go to Daphne's Office...' Had us in stitches but then he flatly refused to have anything to do with the damn nativity when it came it performing it in front of the parents!

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 20:51:40

Trace - tbh I think they're all a bit 'weird' at that age. I wouldn't worry.

csa Thu 09-Jun-05 20:54:46

oh, and forgot to say, i think it was last month's edition of Junior magazine, but they had an article about how children learn through playing. they mentioned lining up stuff and apparently, sorting gives the child an initial sense of size, proportion and type. it also helps the child form the fundamental basis for later understanding of the primary notions of physics.

Gobbledigook Thu 09-Jun-05 20:54:55

My ds did this for a long time too but much earlier than age 3 - he was coming up to 2 I think. I can recall a photo we took and I'm trying to think how old he is - I think he's about 18 months-ish. He's 4 now and I've not noticed him do it for a long while but he does still have a very logical and ordered brain and I've been told by nursery that he is 'exceptionally good with numbers'.

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 20:55:22

thanks for your help girls thought he would end up a nytter like me.

magscat how old is your little ds

coppertop Thu 09-Jun-05 20:57:29

Lining things up is something that a lot of children do. The bigger picture is far more important. If they're generally fine and developing at the usual rate then it's unlikely that there's a problem tbh. I have 2 boys who are autistic. One loves to line things up but the other has never lined up anything in his life.

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 21:04:07

My DS is 4 next month. He really got into the imitating his nursery workers about a year ago I think.

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 21:07:13

the only other problem is he will not talk at nursery, they asked me if he could speak and he is a great talker, in fact he never shuts up at home

Lonelymum Thu 09-Jun-05 21:08:20

Perhaps he doesn't like them much?

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 21:10:43

Does he talk when there is just one other child about or in smaller groups?
Is he shy?

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 21:15:22

he talks to all the family and close friends but as far as nursery he dont speak at all, they say they could over look him because he is so quiet and just plays on his own. been there since january

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 21:20:13

Have you asked the nursery if they feel everything is ok? They must have seen plenty of different types of children before.

My ds is often playing on his own when I go to pick him up - it takes them ages to learn to properly play 'with' as opposed to 'alongside' other children and sometimes i've asked if he is in any way unusual and they say no he's fine, he just doesn't like joining in sometimes e.g. he refuses to do some games or exercises or anytihng that involves being in the spotlight. THis worried me for a while but then I realised he's just like his Dad. He needs a reason why he should do something otherwise he thinks it's a waste of time and won't do it! It's just his personality.

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 21:28:15

yes have asked them they just say he is so good hes no trouble they wish most was like him.

They have said he is a bright boy because he is so good at jigsaws and numbers, but maybe hes just like his dad.

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 21:29:26

Do you mean his Dad is good at numbers/jigsaws or he doesn't like groups/talk much either?

trace2 Thu 09-Jun-05 21:33:23

all of those things you said, only just relised how much he is like his dad, oh godddd i need help can not cope with two of them.

Magscat Fri 10-Jun-05 09:23:30

Hi Trace. Sorry I disappeared last night.
Yes, I remember the moment it dawned on me just how much our son's personality is like his Dad's.

I then chatted about it with my Mum and found out that my she was similar at school/nursery and so was my brother (headstrong, not wanting to join in activities they thought were daft etc...) so it's no wonder that my ds is like that!

Hopefully though this might reassure you that he does what he does for 'normal' reasons and it's nothing to worry about.

trace2 Fri 10-Jun-05 10:42:24

thanks magscat

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