help - very shy child - Mothering Forums

 
Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Mamas,
I am beside myself with a very beautiful, kind and shy DD who is 25 months. I have APed from the beginning and been a SAHM since her birth. I think in hindsight I should have introduced her and left her with more people, which I hardly did and now it feels even more difficult because of how she reacts.

We have a playgroup (have met about 7 times) and she doesn't interact with the other kids. She looks and smiles at the moms. No waving, no greetings. By the end of the time together she starts talking and having fun by herself - but until she has warmed up she is glued to me. Not unhappy just glued.

I have registered her for art, dance and swimming classes (all accompanied by me or DH). She seems to be enjoying the dance and swimming class and in the art class she would rather sit and watch the other kids than do art herself. I am supportive and loving about all of this BUT inside I am so upset and so frustrated that she is so SOCIALLY FROZEN.

That being said when she is with friends and family for long stratched of time, a whole day up to a couple weeks - she is interactive and loving. She plays with the other people - usually adults but also little babies and is genuinely comfortable. Interestingly she is much more comfortable with women than men.

Has anyone else experienced this? We have moved twice in her 2 years, across the country so her social network has been shifted and she has certainly felt sad about leaving her whole extended family behind - but that was 6 months ago.

We also go to the park with neighbourhood kids daily - so she is certainly seeing lots of people but I want her to interact a little more.

I would love ideas about ways to gently encourage that and to help bring her out of her shell. Book suggestions would be great too.

I feel like I have failed somehow and would really like to do something to help her feel more confident with people.

Thanks,
lovetomom
lovetomom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 03:56 AM
 
griffin2004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: On permanent holiday
Posts: 2,326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lovetomom,

Boy, does your post strike a chord with me today! I had DD (22 mos.) at the play area in the mall and one of the other moms asked me if DD had any older siblings. I replied that she is my only child and the woman said, "yeah, you can really tell."

I wasn't offended or anything, but it really struck me how skittish DD is around other kids. We do playgroups and she has cousins her age, but she is easily overwhelmed by kids just being kids. I don't want to turn DD into someone she isn't, but I can see that I really need some guidance in building her confidence.

I hope you don't mind if I mooch off the answers to your post!
--Trish (mom to the Tiny Queen at home, but the Tiny Wallflower in public)

wild.gif  kickin' it old school
griffin2004 is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 05:37 AM
 
Calm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: The Illusion
Posts: 3,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now I see why you found my thread for sensitive children. I have been soul searching a lot about this. Our children (as mine is like yours) are very cautious. One thing I have learned with a little NLP practise is not to label. Only last week I said, "she is shy" and in this past week, have learned how limiting that is on her. Now I think, "she has behaved with shyness." which stops her past predisposing her future. One says - she IS shyness, and defines her as a person. The other says, - her actions have been a certain way, but won't necessarily stay that way. Leaves the options open.

Also, this cautious behaviour will have great benefits in the future, as she won't jump headlong into things without thoroughly checking it out first. Their behaviour is very intelligent, and beyond their years. It can hurt on many levels as a parent of such children. We all wish for our loved ones to be involved and reach out.

As long as they can eventually warm up, which you mentioned your dd does, then they are better than fine. They will choose wisely, including friends. Some people like myself and my dd are more happy with one good friendship, and one on one interaction. The occasional big loud get together or party is great to watch and be in, but in general, you may find she prefers smaller company.

What you are doing is perfect. Just giving her opportunities and standing by to support her through it is all she needs. Watch for signs of what she enjoys most, and duplicate those things. If she seems to like one particular person, get to know the mom and have play time. One on one is a much better way of developing social skills anyway.

I note your loving nature, and I note your love for your child, and your concern. Your child is verrrrrrry lucky!

She is special in this way, and you will come to love this about her.
And yes, we are definitely kin with this one!

With love.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
Calm is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 10:39 AM
 
~Nikki~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Calm, that's a good point. I know that when I was young, my parents always told people "She's shy" and I just stayed that way my whole life. I try not to do the same with my daughter, who has shy tendancies. I tell people "she's going through a stranger anxiety phase", but encourage her to play with other kids at her own pace.

I bring her to a playgroup every once in awhile, and she just stand in the center of the room watching all of the other kids. She doesn't interact with them. Just watches.

When my husband decided to go back to school, and we had to look into childcare, we decided against a formal daycare because it just seemed like it would be too overwhelming for her. There were about 30 toddlers running around and she looked so frightened. We decided to ease her in, by taking her to a sitter first. Her sitter watches one other girl, who is a month or two older than her, and they get along great! It's really helped her get over her shy behavior. She even allowed my husbands aunt and uncle to hold her the other day, which is unheard of for her.

I really think that easing her into social situations was the best way to do it for her. She's much more outgoing now.
~Nikki~ is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 11:28 AM
 
owensmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: watching Dr. Horrible
Posts: 640
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know all kids are different, but maybe it is that age... my ds was the same way, I've sat at the mall play area with him for 20 minutes before he ventures out to play. And when he did play, he would stand aside until the toy was completely free of kids (about 2% of the time!) and then he'd go on it. He didn't interact often if we went to playgroup, finally warming up and not playing with just me by the very end.

Recently we went to a wedding and he was "shy" the whole time, until the band started up, then he danced for an hour! Two days ago at the mall, he rode the little train that is there, and really interacted with the kid in the caboose with us (I got to ride too, lucky me!), and then we went to the play area and he yelled "kids!!!" and ran right in there like the rest of them, playing on every toy like it was his last chance on earth. It was like a total shift in personality over the course of two weeks. I never pressured him to play or anything, he just decided to do it on his own. He is 33 months (he will be 3 in January).
owensmom is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 10-01-2004, 06:08 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
hi,

mom of a "shy" 3.5 yr old here. i'll relate my experience and you can see what might resonate with you. dd1 was very shy even as a baby. we have not moved and have been involved in the same playgroup since she was about 5 mo old. she has never really played a whole lot with other kids, though. i think she just has a very cautious temperament. she hates people getting in her face or taking her stuff and y'know that's what a lot of little kids do. i've been reading "kids, parents, and power struggles" by kurcinka recently (highly recommend it) and she talks a lot about temperament in there. some folks just take longer to warm up than others. my dd1 is definitely one of those, but now she's starting to really open up.

we're taking a dance class this fall (moms stay and watch) and she loves it. she had developed the common 3 yr old girl ballerina obsession prior to class so it was an easy classs to decide to take. i guess we've been to 5 or so classes now and dd1 is really starting to participate. she was always dancing before, but was on the fringes and not joining in the circle, etc. last class she still did her own thing, but really listened to the teacher and followed instructions more than ever before. she even joined in the circle a time or two.

i think preschool would have been a disaster for us. maybe next year. dd1 is also _very_ oppositional. i have a post elsewhere (http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=198122) where i mention a typical encounter with a well meaning person in the grocery store:

clerk: that's a very pretty dress
dd1: it's NOT a pretty dress!
clerk: what's your name?
dd1: i don't have a name!

this happens almost every time we're out. there have been a few tims recently where she's struck up a conversation with someone though not usually if they point out her dress orsomething. i can see glimmers, though, of her growing out of some of the opposition and defiance and shyness, too.

if you want my advice i would say do not push anything anymore than you would push her to walk or potty train or sleep through the night by herself. just be there for her and support her and when she's ready she'll let you know.

hth

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 10-02-2004, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all for responding.

I really appreciated your suggestions and hearing about your little ones. I also really appreciated the positive reinforcement. I also try not to use the word "shy" and rather say that "DD just takes her time". But I find that other people are quick to label her "shy" and I am constantly correcting or ignoring.

Nikki, when your child was left with the sitter (that sounds like worked really wel!!)l - did she have a hard time adjusting?

My DD seems to be warming up to a great woman in the neighbourhood and I am thinking of suggesting that she spend time at their house with their DS ---after we spend more time together of course. I am wondering if you experienced resistance and to what extent you respected and listened and to what extent you pushed your childs boundaries a little. I would love to hear other mamas experiences here as well. Part of me could use the time away (professionally and academically) and part of wonders if it would just be good for her if I did.

It is really reassuring to read that some kids move past having such social isolation and join groups and enjoy themselves. I really wish that for my daughter.

Today was a funny day, she was super clingy, not wanting to do anything alone and wanting to nurse more than usual but she was happy in her dance class and with her dancing teacher and with this women I discussed above she was friendly, smailed brightly and blew them numerous kisses.

The degree of mystery to our actions and experiences always boggles my mind. The degree to which I understand does also.

Thank you all, I'd love to keep sharing with you.
lovetomom
lovetomom is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 10-02-2004, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
lovetomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all for responding.

I really appreciated your suggestions and hearing about your little ones. I also really appreciated the positive reinforcement. I also try not to use the word "shy" and rather say that "DD just takes her time". But I find that other people are quick to label her "shy" and I am constantly correcting or ignoring.

Nikki, when your child was left with the sitter (that sounds like worked really wel!!)l - did she have a hard time adjusting?

My DD seems to be warming up to a great woman in the neighbourhood and I am thinking of suggesting that she spend time at their house with their DS ---after we spend more time together of course. I am wondering if you experienced resistance and to what extent you respected and listened and to what extent you pushed your childs boundaries a little. I would love to hear other mamas experiences here as well. Part of me could use the time away (professionally and academically) and part of wonders if it would just be good for her if I did.

It is really reassuring to read that some kids move past having such social isolation and join groups and enjoy themselves. I really wish that for my daughter.

Today was a funny day, she was super clingy, not wanting to do anything alone and wanting to nurse more than usual but she was happy in her dance class and with her dancing teacher and with this women I discussed above she was friendly, smiled brightly and blew them numerous kisses.

The degree of mystery to our actions and experiences always boggles my mind. The degree to which I understand does also.

Thank you all, I'd love to keep sharing with you.
lovetomom
lovetomom is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 10-02-2004, 09:44 AM
 
bobica's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: missing my bobo
Posts: 7,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi all! My dd is 18 months & has been cautious about social interaction (especially men ) since the age of 4 MONTHS!!! amazing! she's still cautious- in all things. We figure it's just her personality. She gets tons of social interaction- she goes to work with dh 2-3 times a week, we live downstairs from my parents, my 2 oldest friends had babies within 3 weeks of us ( & we go to a music/sign language class on fridays. she has a warm up time in every single situation- even going to my best friend's house with her 3 fun kids!

ITA about the cautiousness helping her in later life. she doesn't run headlong into anything. she examines, contemplates, observes. She's a lot like my dh & i'm grateful. I'm very impulsive & quick to judge & am learning from the 2 of them

lovetomom, it sounds like you're doing great things to encourage socialization while respecting the warm-up & need to be close. your dd will be very secure & confident!
bobica is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 10-02-2004, 08:40 PM
 
TEAK's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Juneau, AK
Posts: 2,231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
beanma: I didn't know I was raising your daughter! That is my 2.5 year old to the letter.

It is very reassuring to know that there are other toddlers like my oldest. It seems like social situations just drain all of the energy out of her. It is genuinely hard for her to be around large groups. The problem with this is that I would love to involve us in a couple of activities, but I don't want her to spend the whole time begging to go home (she does). What do all of you think: should we just keep trying or take a month off and try again?
TEAK's Mom is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 20,741

174 members and 20,567 guests
1babysmom , 5Boysplus , a-sorta-fairytale , alexor , alice.wong , alvarezd22 , americanjuly , AMG , angeebaby , APGoddess83 , AprilM , AwesomeJessica , badwolf092087 , bananabee , BarefootBrooke , belltree , Bethany Rosselit , blissful_maia , bluefaery , bren94 , callieollie , captain optimism , catladymeow , CDeRo , Cherry_Blossom , chickabiddy , chknlovr , clar5108 , Claudia Chapman , clearlycrazy , Cricket VS , daddytap , Daffodil , dahlia810 , Deborah , Delanea , dhammamama , EmsMom , Eris , escapehatch , Evelynflower , fljen , forestfoster , frugalmama , funfunkyfantastic , Golden , greenemami , happydaze , Hillarchy , hillymum , ian'smommaya , Jadzia , jaguarmama , JAntoinette , japonica , JennyT , Jessica765 , jojobean , JollyGG , judebc , justmama , kaje62 , katelove , kathymuggle , Kelleybug , kyliew , lightheartedmom , LiLStar , lineuponline , littlebear3 , loba , LuaBelle , mama2004 , mama24-7 , mamabear0314 , MamaChick , MamadeRumi , mamamash , mariamadly , MCatLvrMom2A&X , Milk8shake , Mirzam , MissMuffet , mkat , monkeyscience , moominmamma , mostlysunny , mothersong , MountainMamaGC , Mpattit , MPsSweetie , mrsvintage , MsDandelion , muddie , MulberryMom , Muminmamman , Mylie , NaturallyKait , neenamommy , oaksie68 , persephassa , philomom , pokeyac , quantumleap , RABITGRL , rainydaywoman , RDGL , Renaissance31 , RollerCoasterMama , Rosehip , RosemaryV , rubelin , Ruthiegirl , Sajaki , samaxtics , samsmomma , SandiMae , sarafl , sarahl918 , SecondtimeMama , shantimama , Shmootzi , shoeg8rl , sidrajedi , siennaflower , sillysapling , sofreshsoclean , sortacrispy , Sphinxy , SplashingPuddle , Springshowers , StepGirlfriend , SummerStorm22 , t2009 , teacozy , Teles , thtr4me , TourmalineMama , TrishWSU , Vickerybs , VocalMinority , weliveintheforest , WhiteRose , Wild Lupine , Wild Rose , worthy , zebra15 , Zirconia
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.