The past few months we have been working on a mish-mash of behavioral issues including some of her own anxiety, and working with a LPC. Things are better, but her best friend/cousin moved out of state this past summer and she has had a hard time with that. DH found her laying on her bed holding an album with the pictures of them together and she says things like "I want to find someone who looks like (cousin) and be her friend". I have tried to facilitate contact via Skype, etc., but it has not been reciprocated by her parents, unfortunately.
The thing is, I see so much of me in her at that age, with the tendency to put all her energy into one or two friends because that is what feels "safe", only to feel lonely and lost when they aren't around. I have tried since she was a baby to get her out and playing with other kids, but she has been shy all along despite me faking my way through social gatherings. My circle of friends is still pretty small, and I could never get the gumption to do the playgroup thing, especially the last year as DD's anxiety has manifested in some pretty cringeworthy episodes. It kills me because I am the most poorly equipped to help her branch out. She spends time with closer friends outside of class maybe one or two times a month, but I feel like I should be getting to know more parents in her class. I am just so terrible and terrified at introductions and small talk, plus, most of the moms know each other from the previous year of Pre-K. I worked up the nerve to introduce myself to a fellow quiet mom (the twins' mom, actually) a few weeks ago, and was so focused on making the effort that I FORGOT HER NAME, and now I can't make myself ask her again... pathetic, right?
I am taking the fish oil/Vit-D/Magnesium trifecta to try and lighten my mood, since I have a heart condition that prevents me from being able to take SSRIs, try to get in as many trips to park and library and playdates as I can manage, but feel like I'm falling short. On the other hand, I don't want DD to feel like she's not okay to just be who she wants to be, which will probably never be a social butterfly. I know she wants a replacement for her cousin, though, and its hard explaining to a 4yo that she's got to network, when I can barely do it myself. Advice?
I really feel for you! I'm in the same place with social anxiety and awkwardness. My children are a little younger, but DS really needs to be around peers or he gets a bit down. I was kind of powering through and taking DS to the park and play cafes, but found out I have cancer... since chemo knocks out the immune system, I can't be around anyone ill, which means DS can't be near kiddos right now... It's awful. I'm afraid the lack of exposure to social situations will make DS as awkward and nervous as I am. So sorry you're having a rough time!
I recently moved away from Salem, but have a friend there with a 5 yo DD. I'm not sure if she's looking for kid friends, but I can ask her and PM you her info if you're interested.
cancer-beating wife to DH since 7/4/09, mother to DS 5/1/11 + DD 8/21/2013
Winter is definitely harder for me because we don't have the activities that make playing with other kiddos a bit easier. I signed myself up to volunteer in DD's class this week, so I know I won't be able to avoid the other moms as easily, and hopefully it will be the push I need. I'm seriously considering starting my own group for moms like us!
comfortable in the group but doesn't really talk to anyone much outside of the aforementioned. I think she has no idea how to mingle, just like her mom!
I actually do belong to a women's group that meets once a month and I have taken her on occasion, although not so much in recent months because she was having trouble with babies and toddlers and there were little ones around. Also the ladies more or less all know each other from church and being the only heathen, imagine my horror when she came off with a "DAMNIT!" in the throes of some tantrum that occurred during one get together...
I laughed when I read your contradictory post b/c I thought meeting some of the other moms while volunteering would open some doors, but so far I had I one "Pretty Woman" we don't-have-anything-you're-looking-for moment and another mother who seemed cool but then turned out to be Glue Nazi because she had volunteered a whole one time more than me. So the struggle continues... On the bright side, had a great time with the kids!
I was in the same boat but fortunately for dd, dh is the opposite of me. Not to mention her grandparents who watched her part of the day until age 2 are 'normal.' :) And that I worked hard pushing myself to take her out as much as I can, not neccessarily where I had to socialize as well but places like regular park visits to give her a chance to meet other kids. Ever since i think I have pushed myself to talk to people whoever they might be, library staff, unknown parents at parks or just some quick talk with parents at school. I am terrified when it becomes a closer relationship. That i am still frightened of. But I do make an effort to talk just so she sees me being social. (A farce but that's the best I can do right now.) She is pretty okay now at 7 except the occasional shyness or shyness at the beginning when meeting people the first time.
I just wanted to also say I recently was looking for books specifically on a biography of someone who might have been through social anxiety. I found this book which has helped me a lot even though I haven't finished reading it: Fear Is No Longer My Reality by Jamie Blyth. I got a used copy in almost brand new condition for $4.00. There are innumerable times I could relate to the author's experiences. And finally dh has also understood what is going on with me.
If I've done nothing wrong, and my attitude is well-meaning, a difficult situation is just a test for my ability to remain beyond the judgement of others ~ Unknown