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Do you (and/or others) actually trust/believe what your toddlers (under 4) say/tell you? And should you?

(6 Posts)
pipkin35 Tue 26-Jul-11 10:05:42

What do you all do/think?

At the wend, DD 2.3 fell off the buggy headfirst into a rockery, totally giving herself a shiner. I wasn't there. OH was. Am fine with it all.

But, at nursery, when I went to pick her up 3 different members of staff told me (1 jokingly, the other 2 were actually a bit odd about it) - that she'd be saying 'Daddy pushed me off buggy'!

It led me to thinking/wondering - do you - (should we?) - believe/trust anything (everything nothing?) that our toddlers (particularly under 4's I suppose I'm thinking of) tell us?
I'm not talking lies/stories/tall tales etc....but based on day to day events that may or may not have happened?
Interested to hear thoughts.

pozzled Tue 26-Jul-11 10:21:11

Hmmm an interesting question. DD is 2.11 and while I don't think she deliberately lies, she often gets the wrong end of the stick, or remembers things strangely. I wouldn't ever completely disbelieve her (or say 'don't be silly' or 'that didn't happen'). But I sometimes find myself asking whether something was real or pretend.

On the whole though, I do trust her and I think that with toddlers when they tell us something that 'didn't happen' it's usually more about the way they perceived it.

In your DD's case, it sounds to me as though she wasn't explaining it in a very adult way, to us 'pushed' sounds intentional, but to her it could have just meant 'Daddy was pushing when I came off'. Not blaming him, more trying to say how it happened.

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Jul-11 10:36:27

The things they say sometimes only have a sketchy similarity to "reality" - and even when what they say is literally true, it can be quite misleading. That doesn't mean we should discount everything they say, but anyone who spends time with small children should understand that when they say "Daddy pushed me off the buggy" that can cover anything from "Daddy was pushing me in my buggy and I did something daft and got hurt" up to "Daddy was negligent/abusive" and not assume the worst.

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Jul-11 10:39:31

I mean occasionally they will be telling you something serious and important, but most of the time it won't be, so you have to look at the overall picture. If the child was saying it often, or had a lot of unexplained injuries, then you'd worry, but not as a oneoff when you hadn't seen anything else to worry you.

Poledra Tue 26-Jul-11 10:44:36

I believe that something happened, but not necessarily exactly as the child says. So, if my 3-yo DD3 tells me something I am unhappy with at the childminder's, I will say to my CM "DD3 told me this - what really happened?"

And it's not just the 3-yo - sometimes the oolder ones (7 and 5 yo) can get the wrong end of the stick quite spectacularly too! DD1 told me during the winter that she was no longer allowed to wear her boots to school. She was quite insistent that the headteacher had told them this in assembly. When I spoke to the HT (he was in the playground at the time), what he had actually said was that unsuitable boots were not to be worn to school - a number of older girls had been wearing boots with a high heel (what the HT termed 'fashion boots') and that was not allowed, but DD1's flat black Clarks numbers were fine.

RitaMorgan Tue 26-Jul-11 10:46:10

I think in that situation, if I was the nursery nurse, I would have asked you about but also made a mental note of what was said just in case there are any subsequent incidents. As has been mentioned, a toddler could be telling the absolute truth, something that bears a passing resemblance to reality, or it could be a complete fantasy - the child themselves probably doesn't know what category it falls into grin

So, I wouldn't automatically believe them, or completely dismiss it either.

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