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Fostering emotional development

(12 Posts)
BeeMom Thu 02-May-13 13:44:30

Bee is 7y8mo, but emotionally (and in social skills, play skills etc.) seems more like a 4 or 5 year old. While I personally feel that children (girls especially) are forced to "grow up" far too early, the crack in development between Bee and her peers is becoming more of a chasm.

I know that some of it comes from the frontal lobe damage she has sustained as a result of her strokes, but wonder if I might be contributing to the rest, in not pushing her to redirect her interests. This morning, before school, she was playing with Fisher Price Little People, and very happy making up stories, but I am curious if I might be doing her a disservice by not pushing her toward more "age appropriate" toys. Admittedly, I am none too fond of the body styles of the toys marketed to girls of her age - too thin, too shapely, and dressed in a way you would NEVER find me dressing her. She is a child who is at risk for body image issues - I don't want to contribute to it.

Am I overthinking this because of the assessments she is undergoing right now, or might there be some merit to me guiding her toward older interests? This is definitely more about "me" right now, but with her beginning transition to MS school next year, I want her to have as few barriers as possible...

zzzzz Thu 02-May-13 15:16:39

Personally, and based on absolutely nothing but my gut feeling, I would steer clear of the "sexualised" toys and stick with what she enjoys playing with. These are choices you make as a parent and for your family. If she didn't have the sn would you be shopping for

http://www.bratz.com/en-us/section/product/dolls/style-starz/515579/Style_Starz_Yasmin

Or for

http://www.gameseek.co.uk/pd/Toysfvbg9vm79gt/#.UYJzrXy9KSM

Let her play with the toys that are appropriate to HER developmental age, faking it or pushing her on will only confuse everyone.

FWIW my very able nt 10 year old plays with lots of plastic ponies, starwars and harrypotter figures and doesn't have any sexy dolls or particularly glitzy stuff. We are quite square as a family though.

My feeling is the slower they grow the stronger they grow.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 02-May-13 17:26:51

My 15yo DD is at her happiest and calmest when sitting with a colouring book and a pack of felt tips.

Not what most 15yo's would spend their spare time doing.

It's difficult - DD tries to fit in by acting like other 15yo's, but it makes her anxious and stressed as she isn't at that stage developmentally.

So she comes home and does colouring in!

BeeMom Thu 02-May-13 18:02:48

Couthy, when things get particularly stressful while Bee is in the hospital, I am known to grab the felt tips and colouring books grin

zzzzz thanks for the reassurance - as a family, we are "square", too. Our children address adults by Mr/Mrs and their surname, or ma'am/sir, dress respectfully and mind their manners to the best of their abilities. We have "old fashioned" toys and values - and apparently, it catches peoples' eyes, as I hear comments about their manners more often than I should (as, to me, this is something that we should try to teach all children). I guess since I am not a "cool" parent who wants to be a friend instead of a role model, I am an odd duck.

I actually brought up this specific issue with the neuro-psych today, and he says that we are not doing her a disservice by trying to push her toward older things... play is important, and children will gravitate toward that which is most appropriate to their developmental age when left to their own devices, and that a lot can be learned both by and about children by watching them play.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 03-May-13 09:46:11

Hi beemom I am another parent with a Dd with social/emotional delay.

My Dd3 (10) plays with playmobil alot, other than it being rather stereotypical it is harmless and non sexualised (thank goodness). She also likes Gogo's as she loves to sort them and catagorise them.

I think you should always buy toys that you feel comfortable with.

I agree with what you are saying about girls growing up to fast. Luckily I have a group of friends who are like me in the way they raise their daughters.

Good luck smile
We dont have any barbie type dolls in the house.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 03-May-13 09:47:36

Lol, that last sentence moved itself. How funny. Its turned itself into a mantra!grin

zzzzz Fri 03-May-13 10:24:29

We have Barbies but bratz make me shudder!

Toys should reflect where you are. I think launch pad, so I want them to grow out of them not be pulled or ward IYKWIM.

anxiousmotherDOTnet Fri 03-May-13 14:21:35

I believe the whole 'age appropriate' idea is just guff from marketers to con us into buying new toys every year.

MareeyaDolores Fri 03-May-13 21:57:05

They'll play in their development-age style whatever you give them, though. Mine do 'advanced container play' with everything (get it out, set it up, wander off). Drives me insane. Then they do imaginative repetitive scripted play with the kitchen equipment and some sticks in the garden grin.

The little one never really had any toys. He did all the mouthing, throwing, sensory-stuff stages with nicked big-kid sibling toys blush.

MareeyaDolores Fri 03-May-13 21:59:01

Bratz are awful though. If there's a bright side to developmental delay parenting, it surely has to be being spared from that tripe.

BeeMom Fri 03-May-13 22:54:25

Bratz are beyond awful, and they are making "spin-offs" from the main collection of junior prostitutes dolls. I am happy to let Bee be her own person... I guess that with all the assessment going on right now, I am saving the "professionals" some time by playing the "blame the parent" game all on my own.

MummytoMog Fri 03-May-13 23:41:49

Mogling (3.8) plays with toys more appropriate to her brother's age, so about twelve months below her actual age. Her CM has been known to draw attention to this in a slightly caring carrot way, but I don't see that pushing her towards older toys is going to help her development along, hanging round the more developed/older kids at nursery will do more to help her than any toys iykwim. Her favourite thing right now is dressing up/playing with her Little People Disney castle, which is also what her two year old brother enjoys doing most in the world. Handy.

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