How can you tell whether your toddler is attention-seeking or has real symptoms?
Your toddler may think it's a good idea to repeat the symptoms of sickness to try to get more attention.
How can I tell whether my three-year-old is attention-seeking or has real symptoms? She often says her legs hurt and she wants to be carried, or her tummy aches and she needs medicine, or she has a headache and wants to lie down. What should I do?
This can be difficult with your daughter’s age group as they have such a rich imagination and very often believe things that adults can see are not true. Don’t be tempted to think she’s turning into a hypochondriac at this age, as that adult condition is quite different.
If she’s been poorly in the past and had a lot of attention from you, she may think it’s a good idea to repeat the symptoms and try to get that care again. This is not done in a deliberately naughty way. Her legs might very well feel tired and, if you don’t mind, there’s nothing wrong with carrying her for a bit, or popping her in a pushchair. You shouldn’t give medicine unless she has a temperature or another sign of illness and you do, of course, have to look out for when she is really unwell. But for most of the kind of symptoms you describe, a jollying along approach will work.