4 year old-tying up toys

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by robinesk, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. robinesk

    robinesk New Member

    My 4 year old was an early talker but I have suspected that she might have a learning disability. She is extremely social and can be very dramatic. I have discovered a sugar sensitivity. If she has any at all in the morning she will freak out for no reason. (later in the day wouldn't effect her as much but she does better without it)
    The thing that really concerns me is that she is always tying up her toys. All of her stuffed animals have strings tied around their necks. I often find Barbie tied to chairs or tied together. The theme of her dramatic play often involves someone being captured. Maybe it's nothing but if it's a sign of some problem or something she is trying to tell me I wish I knew what it was.

    Any ideas?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't post here very often since the children are all grown but the topic caught my interest. Have you ever just asked her? The answer could be really childlike, for example, "I am so good at tying my shoelaces that I like to practice." It could be she want to make sure none of her friends take her stuff. It could be she like the comfort of knowing exactly where her things are. I'd be curious but not overly worried about it. Chances are the answer is not frightening. Hugs. DDD
  3. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    My daughter ties things up, but not as much as yours. She often finds ribbons, strings and scraps of fabric and uses them more as decoration on her barbies. But she definitly overdoes the tying thing, I think she just likes the stimulation with her fingers. Last night one of her barbies had to go in the bath with her, I had to untie a string that was around her waist, knotted three times, then undo the hair ties around each wrist and ankle. I agree, just ask her. But you might want to find more fine motor skill type toys for her, beading or finger knitting.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I would suspect abuse. Kids who have been abused often re-enact their experiences with toys. I was a classic case of that as a child. Yet everyone rationalized it to mean "nothing". Please have her evaluated by a psychiatrist and think back to anyone or anything that could have harmed her.

    Hugs and support.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A number of possibilities are there, from the innocent ones to the concerns of abuse. I'd keep an open mind but certainly check things out.

    However, other things you've said make me wonder about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form. I also have a nephew (I think borderline Aspie) whose favourite toy was a ball of string, because with string and his ability to tie things up, he could make any toy he wanted. He later became a mechanic. When he was a little kid, you could be sitting there having a cup of coffee with his mother, then go to move and find your leg had become part of something complex he had created with string. There were cobweb-like constructions appearing all round the house.

    difficult child 3 was a very early reader also, but didn't understand much of what he was reading. It's called hyperlexia and can ofgten be found with autism-like symptoms. High-functioning, plus they do learn to adapt a great deal as they get older, but there can be problems.

    Also to come back to Steely's concerns of abuse - a child who is 'different' in any way is much more a target for abuse than a 'normal' kid, even from people in positions of trust. These kids are less likely to be believed if/when they try to tell someone about abuse, at least that's how abusers think.

    So keep an open mind but I would definitely get her evaluated by a neuropsychologist and perhaps talk to a therapist who can investigate why she ties things up like this. it could be innocwnt, but it may not be. And whether she needs therapy or needs a diagnosis, the earlier she can get the right sort of intervention, the better she will do.

  6. jennifer

    jennifer New Member

    I've just found this because I've been wondering for years why I tied up my dolls, teddies, little sister (who has just reminded me of my weird behaviour on Facebook!). I was quite old as well - about 7 - 13yrs. I remember feeling very ashamed about it, but sometimes getting caught out because I'd forget I had a doll hanging upside down in the wardrobe, or tied to the back of a chair, or even caught trying to drown them. I also felt very guilty about hurting the dolls. I could differentiate between role playing damsels in distress normal games, and doing this other thing. My mother tended to deny anything was wrong with her children. I didn't know why I was treating my dolls like this. I only think it was punishing myself for my stupidity, clumsiness, slowness, and lack of social skills. maybe it was all I could think of to do to switch off from feeling like I didn't fit in. Although I was a child never in trouble, always wanting to please, and took things very literally even jokes. I never got it when someone was teasing me, sometimes taking it very personally. I was very very sensitive and related to babies and older people better than peers. I took things literally. I've always felt 'different' and that my family 'are in the know' about why I was 'different'. My mother said it was because I nearly died of measles when I was 6 months old. I'm not sure this gives you any insight as to why your child ties up dolls... or myself! I was probably just a disturbed child but I still don't know why I was disturbed...
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I did the cobwebby thing, too. It was cool. Used to drive my Mom nuts. I just liked the way it looked.

    Still, I'd have her evaluated. If she is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)... It could be this simple. Or it might not be.