I had to speak to Martina's mother the other day regarding her recent behaviour deterioration at Nursery. She is starting to behave in a very, for want of a better phrase, attention seeking manner - pushing the other children, occassionally hitting them, complaining frequently that they are hurting her (on one occasion, she said that a little boy had hit her - impossible, he was sitting with me at the time) and most upsetting for me, destroying her own work. Her mum is expecting another baby in May, and Martina is apparently being equally attention seeking at home, demanding that Mum does all her bedtimes, reads to her constantly, cuddles her, carries her, feeds her, everything. She is also starting to "act up" a bit in public, something she's never done before.
I wanted to talk with Mum to let her know what is happening at Nursery and to discuss her behaviour generally, and whether there was anything that we could do to help with her behaviour at home. We all acknowledge that this is a difficult time for her, and we all need to show her that she is loved and valued despite the new baby coming. I talked to Mum about the ways I had handled the transition from only child to sibling and tried to reassure her that this phase would pass. It is very difficult for us to explain these concepts to Martina; not only is she three, and therefore only just becoming able to understand that Mum will still be the same when the baby comes, but she is also Polish, with a fairly limited understanding of English.
As examples of good practise, we will all monitor Martina's behaviour and help her make good choices at home and at Nursery. At Nursery, we will be on hand to make Martina feel special and loved when the baby arrives - hopefully we can provide some familiarity and normality for her - her world is about to be completely turned upside.
I don't think this is really in my remit, but I think it's important for everyone concerned. All names changed. Obviously.