7yr old daughter's weird behavior

Jessica - posted on 02/15/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 7 yr old has a habit of taking empty kleenex boxes and filling them with scraps of paper, making little nests and placing them in her desk. She does one at time and then brings it home and I tell her to put it in the burn bin (we burn paper recyclables).
I found out today that she has been getting these empty Kleenex boxes at school out of the classroom recycle bin and other kids are calling her a dumpster diver. She also sits during class and puts her hands in her desk, cutting up bits of paper for these nests.
Her teacher was told to not allow her to retrieve these boxes anymore. And to check on her to make sure she wasn't cutting paper at inappropriate times.

She has friends and does well socially and academically, with the occassional "you're not my friend anymore drama".

What are you thoughts? Should I be concerned?

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Shawnn - posted on 02/15/2013

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Have you talked to her about it, and why she's doing it? Some kids need to keep their hands occupied, and that may be what she's doing. Did the teacher notice it before you brought it up? If not, I'd say that it's not a disruptive problem at school.

If you're concerned about the behaviour, have your physician check into it. But, I'd say, if she's not disturbing her class, and she's not really causing any problems except that you have a little something extra in the burn bin, I don't see the big issue here. She's not emptying a full box to get her empty, she's pulling it out of the recycle bin.

Now, I'd be more concerned with the behaviour of the other kids calling her names. That's NEVER an acceptable behaviour, and I don't see why a teacher would allow that to continue.

Angie - posted on 03/05/2013

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Jessica your daughter sounds like a sweetheart.! Another suggestion for fairy items: my daughter won a book from the library called "How To Find A Flower Fairies" by Penguin Group (Frederick Warne ad Co) 2007 its from Australia. The address on the book says
Penguin Books Australia Ltd.
250 Camberwell Rd.
Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
It is the honestly the most beautiful Fairy Book out there. It is a favorite of my daughters (shes 9). Just a suggestion if you could find it.

Amanda - posted on 03/04/2013

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I love the fact that she still has an imagination. There is a move called FairyTale A True Story. It was always my favorite fairy movie. If she hasn't seen it I would find it. It is about two girls who take a picture of what is believed to be the first scientific evidence of fairies, yes it is based on a true story. Maybe she hopes that if she makes a nest a fairy will come and live there. Maybe let her make a little house. Nothing wrong with believing in Fairies. In fact in Ireland they believe that Fairies are mean little creatures. Let her hold on to her imagination as long as she can. Maybe she will write a book about fairies, or a movie script. In fact why not help her write a little story about fairies that can grow as she gets older.

Danielle - posted on 03/03/2013

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Not weird, in fact, I think she is brilliant! I only discovered the usefulness of empty tissue boxes a year ago but they come in handy for all sorts of projects and storage. They are great to store extra plastic grocery bags, kids stickers and other art stuff, and for our hamster to play in. I would applaud her recycling and resourcefulness! My kids are always cutting up little bits of paper and making little "nests" and other messes (6 and 9 yr old girls). I think it is just part of being a kid and it is good for their creativity and fine motor skills.

Vickie - posted on 02/28/2013

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It sounds like maybe she got an idea out of a book or tv show about recycling. Have you asked her what they're for? You may be hurting her feelings making her throw them away when she thinks she is doing something good. So she'll stop doing it at school you could start saving one for her and tell her she is to keep that one box only or something like that.

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Jessica - posted on 03/04/2013

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I totally appreciate your responses ladies. It must just be me overreacting honestly. I think I panicked at the name calling and immediately thought she'd have a cruel nickname given to her.

She had to write a "how to book" and we talked about it and she decided to write a book on "how to build a fairy house." and wrote about how boxes and other recyclables can be used to do so. Her teacher really enjoyed it. And to the naysayers who tell her that fairies aren't real, she says, "that's because fairies only like nice people, only nice people can see fairies"

Brenda - posted on 03/03/2013

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Hi Jessica
My daughter has always collected and made stuff (junk?) such as this. She was doing exactly the same thing as your daughter at school last year - had made an entire "city" (according to her) in her desk with these nests! She is very bright and it turned out that she was bored, doing this to fill time because she finished the work so quickly or because she lost interest because of lengthy explanations. It stopped when the teacher gave her a desk with no "lid" or inside (at our request - I'm pretty sure it became annoying and disruptive to others in the class that she was constantly fiddling in her desk). This year it's helped immensely that her teacher is able to keep her engaged, challenged and motivated (last year's teacher was new to the school and didn't know how to do that). I don't think there's anything wrong with your daughter - sounds like she has a wonderful imagination and fantasy world.

Angie - posted on 02/27/2013

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Jessica My daughter is 9 and for the last year she keeps empty kleenex boxes and puts them on her feet and slides around in them for hours on end. Shes very imaginative and smart. I would just let it slide but the name calling needs to stop! She needs to let these bullies know that them calling her a "dumpster diver" hurts her feelings. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 02/15/2013

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Lol. Thanks ladies. I appreciate the advice. I'm just going to let it go and chalk it up to normal behavior. Perhaps since she's so into fairies, they're part of her imaginatI've play.

Shawnn - posted on 02/15/2013

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Jessica, my son used to dig "clay" on the playground and make it into "sculptures" for me. Yes, strange habit (especially since the "clay" was mud...LOL). He was in a school for advanced learners, and they all seem to have a quirk or two.

Two older boys picked on him constantly about it until he finally told me, and I took it to the principal, she handled it, and my son and the other guys are fast friends now (10 years later). Our kids are always going to have quirky behaviour in one way or another. The way I see it, if it's not harmful, and not bothering anyone, I let it go. But, I did always make sure that my kids had the confidence to handle the nitpickers....the ones who have to always pick on someone else for any little niggling reason.

Like I said, she may have some condition that makes it easier for her to concentrate if her hands are busy (my nephew was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD, and had a velcro strip he was allowed to play with in class...I can't imagine the disruption).

It may also be that she's got a fantasy play going in her head, and those nesting boxes fit into it. She's only 7 after all.

And, on the other side of the coin...LOL...dumpster diving can be pretty profitable...LOL...After all, Honey BOo-Boo's folks do nothing BUT dumpster dive, and they're on TV! LOL...

Ok, sorry, that last was extremely sarcastic! Just trying to get you to giggle... ;-)

Jessica - posted on 02/15/2013

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Yeah I don't like the name calling. Two little boys came up to my husband this morning, we had "donuts with dad", and said "yeah we call her a dumpster diver cause she always takes the recycle boxes out. Ha ha". And my husband told them it's not nice to call people names and they apologized for it.
I guess I am just worried about kids continually making fun of her for that habit.

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