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Story telling 7yr old..

(7 Posts)
tanith Fri 25-May-12 22:02:26

We've had such a fright tonight and I'm still wondering what I should of done in my panic.
My 7yr old granddaughter rang me (she has been shown how in case of an emergency or just to chat now and then), she said hello Nanny I'm lost , where are you says I confused, on the Estate (where she lives) but I'm lost and can't find Mummy and home, we had a long conversation about where was Mummy , why was she out on her own and what she was doing with Mummy's phone and she gave very reasonable answers to all my questions but where she was wasn't familiar (her words) and she couldn't find her way home . I was getting quite panicky by this time and was signalling to OH to try ringing my daughter on his mobile as I tried to keep her talking, she isn't allowed out on her own and I just couldn't fathom out where she was or what she was doing wandering alone. My daughters home phone was engaged and in my panic I couldn't figure out her mobile no to give OH.. OH was about to run out the house in the car to see if he could find her as they only live 5mins away I was trying to figure out how to phone the police whilst keeping her on the phone.. when she says calm as you like , only joking Nanny I'm home already... I eventually got her to go inside and hand the phone to Mummy who had been in the house watching Eastenders , granddaughter had been in the garden on the trampoline all this time... well it seemed like an hour but was probably 6/7 minutes...

I was in a state although calm , and my daughter was furious.. the little monkey had really gotten us upset , she was just so calm and plausible.. I really don't know how to make her understand how upsetting what she did was without stifling her imagination or frightening her . I can't stop thinking about it.. any advice would be welcome..

nanaej Fri 25-May-12 22:18:16

Oh what a little monkey but how scary for you! Glad it was all just a hoax.

I once , aged 7, gave a graphic account to my friends about seeing a child being killed by her nanny(carer not grandma). One friend went home and told her shocked parents! Police called to speak to my parents blush My father had to apologise and tell them it was just his daughter's over active imagination. I think I was told the story of the boy who cried wolf and not allowed to look at my father's books of real life crime anymore (he was a lawyer!

I think that she needs to talk about the potential danger of playing tricks like that but encouraged to keep her imagination going. Perhaps she could record stories she makes up, if she is a good writer put them down on paper or make a photo story usinga camera and writing captions..another outlet for her imagination!

Anagram Fri 25-May-12 22:20:24

Oh, tanith, I had to laugh! I know it was desperately worrying for you at the time, but your post brought back memories for me. One of my GDs would regularly phone 999 and claim that she wanted an ambulance, as her sister had fallen down the stairs. She would also tell me a tale about her and her sister being left alone in the house, mum having gone to a club and her dad to the pub! She was a bit younger than 7 (probably about 4) but I think you have to just put it down to imagination and possibly a bit of attention-seeking.

Try not to worry - she'll grow out of it - mine did!

tanith Fri 25-May-12 22:40:24

Thanks both of you I've calmed down now and can see the funny side , indeed, what a little monkey.. she does tell a good story and maybe I'll buy the book 'The boy who cried wolf' for her to read , I hope Mum wasn't too mad with her , she's never done anything like that before but at least now I'm alerted to her tricks, if she ever does it again.

Anagram Fri 25-May-12 22:50:27

That's the main thing - you know, and she knows you know, that it was just a story. Children have such great imaginations and it would be a shame if her mum was too hard on her.

tanith Fri 25-May-12 23:03:07

I agree Anagram, I did dumb down my panic when I spoke to my daughter in the hopes that she wouldn't be too hard on the little monkey.. but I couldn't not say something..

JessM Sat 26-May-12 18:46:25

Quite right Tanith, her mum needs to tell her. But the boundaries between stories and reality is a very fuzzy at that age. That is partly why kids make such poor witnesses. Think about the problems they have in understanding which things on TV are real and which are stories performed by actors. So not exactly naughty - just playing around with what is real. We tease children by saying things that are not true and she was probably giving some back.
My Nana used to tell us the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
Hilare Belloc did a fine line in cautionary tales for children - rather scary. Matilda shouted Fire! Fire! etc. So next time you spend time with her you could run a few of those past her grin
My niece, grown up now, when 4 years old used to call me - international rate (more expensive 20 yrs ago), from Ireland. She also used to call my mum. She had memorised the 12 digit numbers, which had the same area code, and knew exactly which one of us she was calling. After having a lovely long chat sometimes I would think to ask "Does mummy know you're on the phone..?" . Apparently not. smile