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Questionable13

Normal 6.5 year old behaviour?

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Questionable13

I'm curious if the below is normal for this age group (6-7yo) and how do you deal with it?

- DD often comes home with little toys/headbands/keyrings that she claims her friends have gifted her, or thrown away and said they don't want.

My husband and I don't feel comfortable with this for some reason..so we ask that she return them to her friends, which she does. How else do you deal with this?

- DD is going through a phase of telling us  stories (of her day at school etc) however the more she talks, the more  elaborate her stories become! After a while we know she's making up half of the story. How do you respond? We sometimes say "wow, that's a very interesting story" and she'll swear she's telling the truth. We've spoken about how she doesn't need to exaggerate her story to impress us, and that we prefer the truth..any other suggestions? I'm all for her using her imagination but I'm talking every single story becoming a very elaborate farfetched tale! 

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seayork2002

I hqve no idea if it is normal but ds did this a bit when he was younger but also wrote great stories i am sure he gave his friends small things as much as they gave him things so nothing really stood out much

He is nearly 13 and doesn't do it any more

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Lou-bags
Posted (edited)

I have a 6.5yo DS in year one.

I think it sounds normal to me. DS1 takes things to school from time to time to give to his friends (as well as writes notes and cards for them). And he occasionally comes home with things too. He came home with stickers last week, and an eraser on Monday. 
 

If the toy/object was substantial I’d either contact the parent (we have a messenger group so I can message any of them in private if I needed to), or contact the teacher. Just to red flag it as I think a parent would want to know if their kid was giving away all their expensive toys or belongings. And the teacher might want to make a rule about toys from home or something. I don’t allow DS1 to take anything to school beyond something small and trinket-ish (and with the express understanding that if it’s broken, lost or given away then that’s it). 

Why does it bother you that she gets little gifts from her friends?

 

On the story telling. DS1 has been yelling elaborate fanciful stories since before he was 4yo in kindy. He still does it now. We talk about how it’s ok to have imagination and to tell stories but that the truth is important and there are times when you just can’t tell stories. I think it’s developmentally appropriate behaviour (that some kids do more than others) and it doesn’t bother me. No one (teachers etc) have ever raised it as an issue. 
 

I don’t call him out on the stories, just say ‘oh, is that right?’ or ‘hmm that’s interesting’ without making a fuss either way. If I question it he’ll dig his heels in and really what does it matter? He will tell me at a later time ‘that didn’t really happen, Mum’ most of the time anyway. 

Edited by Lou-bags
Was going to change the auto correct error that has DS1 ‘yelling’ instead of ‘telling’ stories but he is actually quite a loud child so I’m leaving it, it makes me chuckle.
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PuddingPlease

You could be describing my daughter and she is exactly the same age.

I share your discomfort with the fanciful storytelling but I think, unless what she is alleging is something that could get someone into trouble, that it's better to downplay rather than make her needlessly defensive and hurt. I tend to follow the 'what an interesting story/that sounds very dramatic/it sounds like you all had a fun day' type approach.

She did bring home an old piece of dolls clothing at the start of the year that she said a friend gave her. When I followed up with her it turned out that it was something she found in the playground that she (quite correctly) did not think I would let her keep. 

I suspect kids do gift each other small items from time to time but I think it is reasonable to ask her to give it back. I suspect (hope) they'll grow out of the tall tales soon enough.

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FuzzyChocolateToes

My dd is the same age. She loves to embellish her stories. She's pretty creative so I think it is due to that. 

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Lou-bags
Just now, FuzzyChocolateToes said:

My dd is the same age. She loves to embellish her stories. She's pretty creative so I think it is due to that. 

I keep thinking I should write some of DS1’s stories down. I’ve been told he’d make a good fiction writer one day, or politician 😂

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FuzzyChocolateToes
3 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

I keep thinking I should write some of DS1’s stories down. I’ve been told he’d make a good fiction writer one day, or politician 😂

Same! The stuff she comes up with! 😆

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Questionable13
8 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Why does it bother you that she gets little gifts from her friends?

I am fine with little gifts, and think stickers and loom bands are fine! But recently it has been - a pretty headband, a bow for her hair, a personalised keyring (of the child who it originally belonged too). It just makes us feel awkward that our daughter is coming home with other kids possessions! 

 

I'm glad to hear the elaborate tales are normal for this age! I really should write some of them down, as they can often be amazing. They'd be great to read back to her in years to come *giggle*

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CallMeFeral

It's pretty hard to tell re the gifts. At that age kids don't always have the communication skills to be clear between lending and borrowing and taking. When DD at 5yo would come home with other kids gifts, it seemed that often the other child wasn't aware that letting her play with the gift had been interpreted as giving her the gift. In another episode, my kindy child snuck our coin collector to school, and her friend took it, and told her mum my DD gave it to her. Truth is very indeterminate at that age, and I'd be uncomfortable with it too. I'd let her keep them if you know the parents well enough to contact them and just check in that the child in question really meant to give it FOREVER, but otherwise send them back. 

With the stories it's hard. DD (also 6.5) was doing that maybe 6-12 months ago. I would sort of listen and go "oh that's a very cool story" and she'd go "it's not a story it really happened!" and I'd go "I really love hearing your stories, they are really imaginative, but I'd prefer it if you didn't pretend they were real, I like to listen to them as stories". If she kept protesting I'd just go "ok" and let her continue, but I would say something similar each separate time it happened. Sometimes I'd ask "could you tell me a made up story?". I think there was an aspect there of her enjoying making up stories but feeling like it HAD to be 'real' for me to listen, so once I framed it as me listening regardless she eventually dropped the pretence. Now she pretends to read books and makes up her elaborate stories while 'reading' a book instead. 

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Lou-bags

Can I ask why it bothered you if your DD pretended the stories she told you were real, CMF?

I ask in part because I can see that DS1’s story telling sometimes bothers DH and I don’t really understand why. 

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lizzzard

The 'gifting' thing was a big thing with both my kids at that age, and I remember feeling really awkward about it too OP! We had some chats about how to not accept things in a polite way (eg 'My mum doesn't let me accept gifts unless its my birthday or a gift for everyone'). It was a phase that passed by year 2 or 3 from memory.

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Ellie bean
20 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Can I ask why it bothered you if your DD pretended the stories she told you were real, CMF?

I ask in part because I can see that DS1’s story telling sometimes bothers DH and I don’t really understand why. 

Because you don’t want them to think it’s ok to lie and it won’t be cute in a couple more years 

it all sounds really normal OP, my 6 and 7yo both do similar things.

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Lou-bags
Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Ellie bean said:

Because you don’t want them to think it’s ok to lie and it won’t be cute in a couple more years 

it all sounds really normal OP, my 6 and 7yo both do similar things.

Yeh I can see that. I guess my feeling has been that it’s a normal exploration of truth and lying, and I’ve not wanted to give it any ‘power’ by making a thing of it. I don’t think playing along or not pulling them up is teaching them it’s ok to lie. For the most part I feel he knows that I know he’s telling stories, he knows I’m playing along. 

The story telling feels a different thing to me to when he outright lies, and I treat those instances differently. I most definitely pull him up when he lies to me. There’s a clear distinction there for me. 
 

But I guess maybe there isn’t for DH and that’s why it bothers him sometimes. He’s also a bit less tolerant of little kid silliness in general so I have put it down to that too- especially as it’s only sometimes it seems to bug him.

DS1 doesn’t do it as quite as much anymore anyway- seems he used up much of his best material in kindy and PP 😆

Edited by Lou-bags
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CallMeFeral
Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Lou-bags said:

Can I ask why it bothered you if your DD pretended the stories she told you were real, CMF?

I ask in part because I can see that DS1’s story telling sometimes bothers DH and I don’t really understand why. 

I think at the core of it, I've always felt pretty strongly about honesty/lying, since childhood and pre kids. I know it's a developmental phase to lie,  but I don't like it when it's happening. It's like a phase of nose picking, I know it's normal but I'll do what I can to hurry it on.  

And then there's the practical implications for my life. I really like being able to trust my kids, it matters a lot to me, and I don't like those stages they go through where I can't rely on their word.  It means I need to put more limits on their technology, keep more tabs on them - whereas when I can trust them I can allow them a lot more freedom, and that is a lot less work for me.  

In DD's case, at the same time as all the creative storytelling was going on, she would also tell stories of her brother and sister doing terrible things to her, people at daycare, etc. And frankly, if someone HAD done something terrible to her at daycare, I'd never know, because I had to second guess everything she said and take it with a pinch of salt. Not all the storytelling was evident as such  - some of it was realistic and could have been true. If I dismissed it as a story, I could miss something big, but I couldn't realistically act on anything either. It's cognitively cumbersome to have to constantly have the filter on.  So I was eager for the creativity to continue but for a firm delineation to be made between fact and fiction. 

 

That's the long answer, but I guess the core of it is I don't think lying is ok ,  I don't want my kids to think lying is ok, and I don't want to lie or be lied to by people I'm close to.

 

ETA. I avoided lying to my kids about Santa, that's how much lying bugs me

 

 

Edited by CallMeFeral
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Lou-bags
Posted (edited)

Thanks, appreciate your answer CMF.

I think if my DS1 was telling the kinds of stories your DD was I’d feel quite differently too. His are not those kinds of stories. 

We do appear to have a difference of opinion over what lying is, too, though. Not wanting to open the Santa can of worms, but for me personally I think fairy tales and stories and a bit of magical thinking is ok and I don’t think it’s lying. I have never outright lied when questioned though, which is why DS1 was writing the tooth fairy letter to ‘dear mum’ tonight. 
We tell those things as stories and play along but when they ask and really want to know the answer- I explain they are stories and traditions. 
 

Santa will be the big test for me though. I think he knows, but doesn’t want to know. So this xmas may be the last and maybe he’ll be really upset and I’ll have to concede I got it wrong 🤷🏻‍♀️

Edited by Lou-bags
Corrected transitions (wtf) to traditions.
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Jenflea

I regret telling DD the whole Santa thing.  I bowed to pressure from relatives and my childhood, but now she's 10 I think it's time to break it to her gently before Christmas this year. 

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Riotproof

@Jenflea she totally knows. She’s probably just worried she won’t get presents if you do it all from Santa. 

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Jenflea

Nope, Santa only gives one gift. 

He's not getting all the credit!

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Questionable13
10 hours ago, CallMeFeral said:

I think at the core of it, I've always felt pretty strongly about honesty/lying, since childhood and pre kids. I know it's a developmental phase to lie,  but I don't like it when it's happening. It's like a phase of nose picking, I know it's normal but I'll do what I can to hurry it on.  

And then there's the practical implications for my life. I really like being able to trust my kids, it matters a lot to me, and I don't like those stages they go through where I can't rely on their word.  It means I need to put more limits on their technology, keep more tabs on them - whereas when I can trust them I can allow them a lot more freedom, and that is a lot less work for me.  

In DD's case, at the same time as all the creative storytelling was going on, she would also tell stories of her brother and sister doing terrible things to her, people at daycare, etc. And frankly, if someone HAD done something terrible to her at daycare, I'd never know, because I had to second guess everything she said and take it with a pinch of salt. Not all the storytelling was evident as such  - some of it was realistic and could have been true. If I dismissed it as a story, I could miss something big, but I couldn't realistically act on anything either. It's cognitively cumbersome to have to constantly have the filter on.  So I was eager for the creativity to continue but for a firm delineation to be made between fact and fiction. 

 

That's the long answer, but I guess the core of it is I don't think lying is ok ,  I don't want my kids to think lying is ok, and I don't want to lie or be lied to by people I'm close to.

 

ETA. I avoided lying to my kids about Santa, that's how much lying bugs me

 

 

Yes this is exactly our stance on it too! It's really exhausting to try and figure out what is real and not real. My DD can also tell some pretty convincing stories, and then when we 'catch her out' and realise it's not at all the truth, it is then hard to trust her next tale is anything but a lie. We've spoken to her a fair bit about lying and that we don't want to be lied to. Also told her the story of The Boy who cried Wolf. 

 

I'm glad to hear that it's pretty normal for storytelling at this age, and Im grateful for some suggestions made on here for how to deal with it!

 

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Riotproof

I don’t give him any. He brings little things in the stocking. 
 

She still knows. They talk about it at school. 

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AllyK81

My DD is nearly 5 and her stories often veer into the fanciful.

I often say 'is that really what happened, or are you tricking me?' in a playful voice to let her know that I know that she is embellishing and that whilst I don't mind I need to know which parts are not embellished.

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Questionable13
11 hours ago, lizzzard said:

The 'gifting' thing was a big thing with both my kids at that age, and I remember feeling really awkward about it too OP! We had some chats about how to not accept things in a polite way (eg 'My mum doesn't let me accept gifts unless its my birthday or a gift for everyone'). It was a phase that passed by year 2 or 3 from memory.

Thanks! That's a great idea on what to tell DD!

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seayork2002

Ds likes fiction books and as far as I am aware not had any issues knowing real and make believe

If he has a real issue he tells us so if he wants to tell us stories when he was younger it was no  big deal.

He knew Santa internet shopped and he negotiated $10 a tooth for the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny brought his chocolate eggs so he did not have to eat his Greek red ones and they had review meetings where the team had their KPI's assessed .

He still goes along with it but no he does not believe he just worked it out and moved on.

I just find thinking too much about  it hurts my head 

 

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Ellie bean
4 hours ago, AllyK81 said:

My DD is nearly 5 and her stories often veer into the fanciful.

I often say 'is that really what happened, or are you tricking me?' in a playful voice to let her know that I know that she is embellishing and that whilst I don't mind I need to know which parts are not embellished.

That’s pretty much what I do too. I don’t mind the stories, I just want them to know the difference between truth and make believe because it’s important later.

DS was coming home and believing all the ridiculous stories his friends tell too so we had chats about “isn’t it fun listening to little Matthew even though it’s probably not true” and about how stories can be entertaining like a tv show but to question if it’s actually likely to be true, etc.

DS now tells great stories of what happened in his dream- clearly made up like “I dreamed I farted and landed on the moon”- he has a lot of dreams for a kid who otherwise insists he never sleeps and just lies there all night lol

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