Shy 3yo, friendly "strangers" = What do I say to everyone? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 04-03-2011, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
ElsieLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

What can I say to people who are trying to be friendly to my very shy 3yo? She is mostly okay with people who just talk to her, but some of them want to play patty-cake or sing to her. I think she (rightfully) doesn't want to interact with people who insist on wanting to interact with her when she doesn't know them.

 

I need something to say that is a good model for everyone--for my daughter on how to be polite yet protect her own interests, and to the strangers (who are mostly people at church) so that they will move along and talk exclusively to me or to someone else. (Some of the adults are being sweet, and some of them need to back off.)

 

I've been saying to DD, "Can you wave hello?" and she seems fine with that.

 

DD is hard of hearing, and half the time she's not sure what they said, so I do a lot of repeating anyway. But in general I feel like I could do a better job of standing up for my daughter.

ElsieLC is offline  
#2 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 05:18 AM
 
dairy2dogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, I'm not sure if this meets your criteria but what I used to say is "She doesn't talk to strangers" or some variation of that. 


SAHM to tiphat.gif  & modifiedartist.gif
dairy2dogs is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 07:22 AM
 
mommariffic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: the rolling hills, New Jersey
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think saying "she doesn't talk to strangers" is a little harsh 

 

I talk to little kids when I'm out and I would take no offense if someone said "sorry __ is just a little shy!" Is there anything wrong with saying that? ( I don't mean this sarcastically, I'm honestly asking..) 

Emma Bryan Fuller likes this.

blogging.jpg    fambedsingle2.gif  homebirth.jpg  read.gif  happy momma to DD 8/07 and DS 6/10
mommariffic is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 07:45 AM
 
woodchick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 2,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I sometimes say "oh, she needs time to warm up to people. She might give you a high five, though"  or something similar.  Most folks just want that interaction, they don't mean to invade your dd's space.  By suggesting something that she wouldn't mind you'd be guiding them towards something 'safe' for your dd.


 


Pregnant and/or Breastfeeding since 2005
Mama to two girls: 5/06 and 3/09
woodchick is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 08:29 AM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

If they're just a well-intentioned friendly person, I'll say something like, "Oh well, I guess she doesn't feel like it right now" with a nice smile. 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is online now  
#6 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 08:57 AM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post

I think saying "she doesn't talk to strangers" is a little harsh 

 

I talk to little kids when I'm out and I would take no offense if someone said "sorry __ is just a little shy!" Is there anything wrong with saying that? ( I don't mean this sarcastically, I'm honestly asking..) 


The risk of saying ___ is shy is that for some kids it ends up defining them. "I'm shy" so I don't talk to people, so I can't talk to people, etc etc.

 

For instance, I was a quiet child and enjoyed spending time alone reading and such. I also, really really really liked going and doing things with friends and loved parties. Only my mom told me I was an introverted type because of how I liked to read and be by myself sometimes.

 

That identity was so strong that when I did Myers-Briggs evaluations, when I was 50/50 on a question (i.e. it strongly depended on the surrounding factors), I went with the "introvert" answer.  The test did not identify me as an introvert, it identified me as someone who believed she was one. As soon as I was able to take an M/B test with a "I truly can't decide" option for questions I got completely opposite results.

sapphire_chan is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 11:41 AM
 
dairy2dogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, I never said it in a harsh tone of voice.  I'd say it with a smile.  Tone of voice and body language/facial expression say a lot.  That is the problem with message boards....we don't get to see and hear that.  And I'm just not that great at expressing my self in this format.  And like I said it may not be right for the particular situation the OP described (in church).  but as another poster said I didn't want to lable my daughter as shy.  I also don't think we should teach our kids they have to engage with people they aren't comfortable with just because they are kids.


SAHM to tiphat.gif  & modifiedartist.gif
dairy2dogs is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 02:34 PM
 
K1329's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I never wanted my dd labeled as "shy", either. I would always reply for dd when she obviously wasn't going to reply,something to the effect of. "I guess she doesn't feel like saying "hi" right now, but, how about that weather?" and move on/change the subject. But, separately, I also coached her on what it means to be polite, and tried to give her tools to use like waving, smiling, etc.
K1329 is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 03:27 PM
 
pacificbliss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 1,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I usually just look at my son and smile and then look at the person and ask them a question. As he gets older I expect him to at least smile and say hello. Anything less feels rude but I don't expect high fives or any more interaction.

pacificbliss is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 04-06-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Are these strangers? If so, then I would tell the strangers that she is not allowed to talk to strangers. If they persist, I would say something like "can't you find someone your own age to play with?" Ok..I am not that snarky..but I would be thinking it. I would move her physically to my other side or do what I could to get the person to stop bothering her.

 

My dad has dementia problems and he does not get at all that he cannot walk up to strangers children and start playing with them and acting like their friends. He really does not get it. We try to stop him, but he does not stop. I would be perfectly fine if someone just told him no. 

Lisa1970 is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 04-06-2011, 07:47 PM
 
Shaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I used to say "She takes awhile to get to know people" or "she takes awhile to warm up," when my DD was younger. It happens less now (the whole strangers wanting to talk to her thing) and she's more able to respond if she wants to.

 

However, I have really strong feelings about NOT teaching my DD that being polite is more important than knowing what her boundaries are--she doesn't have to talk to strangers. So I have sometimes rebuffed people more forcefully.

Shaki is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 04-07-2011, 08:12 PM
 
Ruthie's momma's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Monument, Colorado
Posts: 1,268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificbliss View Post

I usually just look at my son and smile and then look at the person and ask them a question. As he gets older I expect him to at least smile and say hello. Anything less feels rude but I don't expect high fives or any more interaction.



I do some sort of variation on this with my DD.  I certainly won't label her as shy nor will I try to force her to interact with a complete stranger.  For that matter, I won't force her to interact with someone familiar.  I am strongly in favor of practicing common courtesy and following general rules of etiquette.  But, I am also highly irritated when adults literally demand that children engage in some sort of interaction with them.  Would these same adults demand this of other adults?  I think not!  Why is it so difficult for some adults to respect the "smallness" of children (especially sensitive children).  Oddly enough, DD will spontaneously interact with strangers who happen to be talking with me (as in, she will contribute to the conversation). 


Libby blahblah.gif, momma to my precious little girl (6/29/07) 
                        and wonderful little man (12/1/10)

Ruthie's momma is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 04-07-2011, 08:25 PM
 
happysmileylady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My 2 yr old really dislikes people she doesn't know.  This includes family that she doesn't see often.  When cashiers at the grocery store or whatever try to talk to her, I just say "she just doesn't like people she doesn't know."  I ask her to say hi, tell her it's ok to say hi, but all they are going to get is a scowl.  And most of the time, the people trying to talk to her just respond to me with "well that's good though, at least you know that she isn't going to just run up to anyone."  And then I get to hear stories about their niece or grandson or whoever that is always just running up to everyone, hugging people and stuff.

 

OR, since I usually have my 6 month old, I just point out that the baby thinks everyone is hilarious.  And they make goo goo faces at the baby and that's the end of it.

happysmileylady is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Shaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthie's momma View Post



 



I do some sort of variation on this with my DD.  I certainly won't label her as shy nor will I try to force her to interact with a complete stranger.  For that matter, I won't force her to interact with someone familiar.  I am strongly in favor of practicing common courtesy and following general rules of etiquette.  But, I am also highly irritated when adults literally demand that children engage in some sort of interaction with them.  Would these same adults demand this of other adults?  I think not!  Why is it so difficult for some adults to respect the "smallness" of children (especially sensitive children).


ITA!

 

Shaki is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Magali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Molten Core
Posts: 2,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthie's momma View Post



 



I do some sort of variation on this with my DD.  I certainly won't label her as shy nor will I try to force her to interact with a complete stranger.  For that matter, I won't force her to interact with someone familiar.  I am strongly in favor of practicing common courtesy and following general rules of etiquette.  But, I am also highly irritated when adults literally demand that children engage in some sort of interaction with them.  Would these same adults demand this of other adults?  I think not!  Why is it so difficult for some adults to respect the "smallness" of children (especially sensitive children).  Oddly enough, DD will spontaneously interact with strangers who happen to be talking with me (as in, she will contribute to the conversation). 



This is what I do.  I generally don't try to get in the way of the interaction between my son and other people (unless he is grabbing a toy from someone or whatever, but that's not what this is about).  My mom used to make excuses for my behaviour to make herself feel more comfortable I think.  Like "oh she's just shy"...or "You know how Magali is hahaha".  And I don't want to do that to my kids.  I do tell my son, (afterwards) that it is the appropriate thing to be friendly and say hi back to people, but whether he does it or not is his call.

 


 caffix.gif

Magali is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 04-08-2011, 12:39 PM
 
Magali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Molten Core
Posts: 2,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaki View Post

 

However, I have really strong feelings about NOT teaching my DD that being polite is more important than knowing what her boundaries are--she doesn't have to talk to strangers. So I have sometimes rebuffed people more forcefully.


ITA.  Right now for me, it is all about trying to find a way...the right way... to explain this to my son.

 


 caffix.gif

Magali is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 04-11-2011, 08:05 AM
 
NYMommy2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central NY
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthie's momma View Post

But, I am also highly irritated when adults literally demand that children engage in some sort of interaction with them.  Would these same adults demand this of other adults?  I think not! 



I would be pretty offended if I said "hello" to someone or exchanged pleasantries and they just stared at me without saying anything, so yes, I do believe it is an etiquette issue.  Also, teaching your kids not to talk to strangers can cause issues if they are ever lost or separated from you.  Kids should be taught not to go away with strangers, not taught to be afraid of them.

NYMommy2007 is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 04-11-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Shaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMommy2007 View Post





I would be pretty offended if I said "hello" to someone or exchanged pleasantries and they just stared at me without saying anything, so yes, I do believe it is an etiquette issue.  Also, teaching your kids not to talk to strangers can cause issues if they are ever lost or separated from you.  Kids should be taught not to go away with strangers, not taught to be afraid of them.


But you would not be likely to say hi or exchange pleasantries with an adult who was not making eye contact with you, was not aware of you, or was not someone that you had perhaps met once or twice before. And you probably wouldn't touch someone you didn't know or get very close in their space. Yet adults often do this to children.  Because they are so interested in little kids,  they over ride social cues and adult etiquette rules in order to have their desired interaction with the child. In that situation I think it's perfectly reasonable and natural for a child to react in a way that is different than what the adult wants. I also think true social graciousness involves paying attention to the response that you are getting from whomever you are trying to relate to, and backing off if you sense that they are uncomfortable. If I try to talk to a child and they seem reluctant to relate, I always give them space. I'm never offended by a reticent kid and I certainly don't think the child is being rude if they don't want to talk to me.

 

Also letting a child know that their body is their body and their boundaries are more important than being polite, is different that teaching them to be fearful of strangers. Fearful of strangers dis-empowers children and you are right that can cause issues. Knowing your boundaries, and listening to your inner warning bells, helps you know how to stick up for or protect yourself. In fact I'd say that being taught that I always had to be polite to grown ups contributed to my being fearful of strangers, because I then had the burden of being fearful of offending them, and I wound up getting hurt because of it. When I was a kid I was sexually harassed by a grown man. I had been taught that I had to be polite to grown ups. Rather than being "rude" and getting away from this man when I knew he was being weird and inappropriate, I was "polite to my elders" and allowed him to continue with what he was doing--simply because he was a grown up and I was supposed to be polite.

Shaki is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 04-13-2011, 05:38 AM
 
flower01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

YES!   My DD is almost four and she has always been shy around strangers. It really irks me how some people almost force themselves on my kids. At first we used to say she was "shy," but then I read here why you don't want your child to adopt that label and we changed it up. Unfortunately, she picked up on it fast and now she will come right out and say "I'm shy."  So now I have to redirect that.  To strangers,  I would say "She's not feeling talkative right now."  "She doesn't really like talking to strangers." etc.  Then, at around 3 1/2, DD told me that she would talk to adults when she was four. She will be four in 2 weeks and she has already started getting much more comfortable interacting with people.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaki View Post




But you would not be likely to say hi or exchange pleasantries with an adult who was not making eye contact with you, was not aware of you, or was not someone that you had perhaps met once or twice before. And you probably wouldn't touch someone you didn't know or get very close in their space. Yet adults often do this to children.  Because they are so interested in little kids,  they over ride social cues and adult etiquette rules in order to have their desired interaction with the child. In that situation I think it's perfectly reasonable and natural for a child to react in a way that is different than what the adult wants. I also think true social graciousness involves paying attention to the response that you are getting from whomever you are trying to relate to, and backing off if you sense that they are uncomfortable. If I try to talk to a child and they seem reluctant to relate, I always give them space. I'm never offended by a reticent kid and I certainly don't think the child is being rude if they don't want to talk to me.

 

 



 

flower01 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

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


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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