My DD is 2.75yrs old.
She is quite reserved. She loves socializing and loves people, but needs some time to warm up.
Just some background, but really besides the point for certain particular issues.
How do you go about negotiating boundaries with other people for your kids while laying the foundations for negotiating their own boundaries as they age?
For one example: My DD occasionally comes to visit me at work. My work mates love her, and all kids and want to be friendly with her. They get right up in her face and talk to her and say hi and try to get her to talk back to them. It doesn't go over well with DD and she just hides or refuses to speak to them. The more she refuses the more they push. If they just gave her a few minutes and ignored her, she would probably come out of her shell and be social with them. They then go on to say stuff like "Oh, you're so shy" which makes me cringe. She has already started to call herself shy and I hate it. I do not want her to take on that identity as I think it will hinder her ability to be social even more.
But there is a recent incident that doesn't sit well with me.
The other day she came to my work and was very social with one of my work mates. She was talking up a storm to this woman. At the end she waved bye, and the woman asked for a hug. To my sirprise, my DD ran over to her and gave her a big hug!
Well, the following day, my wife brought DD to my work again in the middle of the afternoon. The same woman said hi to DD, who said hi back. The woman then asked for a hug and outstretched her arms. My DD acted her usual self and kind of hid. The woman went on and on asking for a hug and went as far as to say stuff like "Oh, if you do not give me a hug I will be really sad. You dont want to hurt my feelings do you?" That sort of stuff. I didn't know what to do or say. Finally my wife said "maybe before we leave" and my DD took that up and said it herself. The woman went on to say "do you promise?" and DD says yes. Well she did give her a hug before leaving.
I want to be prepared next time this happens. I want to say something like tell my DD that she doesn't have to hug anyone if she doesn't want to. And that her not hugging a friend or co-worker will not make them sad. And that she is not responsible for making someone else happy. I want to give her the tools to say these sorts of things herself. But I want to be able to do it and have her be able to do it without seeming rude. Even though I think it is super rude to force a child to hug or guilt a child into something.
I also want her to learn how to get herself some space to warm up to places and people without withdrawling and feeling like she is shy.
Any tips on doing this?
As an aside. The co-worker is not a horrible person. And she genuinely loves children. She just comes from a different generation and culture and mindset that she wouldn't even consider what she did to DD to be disrespectful to DD. And she would be devastated if she felt that/knew that she was being disrespectful to my family or child. So I want to do this with grace and respect to her.
Sorry so long.Thanks for reading.