Ds is the quintessential slow to warm up child. He was the child on the sidelines at every single birthday party as a preschooler. He would finally decide he might want to try something about 10 minutes before the party was over. He didn't want to do any classes. He wouldn't stay in the church nursery until he was close to 5.
We had him try a few things (one disastrous soccer class at age 3, which we stopped after a few weeks), soccer in 1st grade. But really, he didn't want to do anything.
Last year (3rd grade, age 8), we saw a little progress. He asked to do soccer and didn't mind it. We encouraged him to try the school's after school program and told him that he could quit if he wanted to. He tried it and liked it! By the spring, he was enthusiastic
This year, he's in 4th grade (age 9). Not only is he asking to do sports, he's beginning to volunteer for things! He wanted to volunteer for library helper at school. When our nursery attendant at church asked him if he wanted to volunteer to play with the kids during service, he said "yes!" Last year at this time, his answer was "no." In the spring it was "maybe." Now we're up to "yes".
I'm convinced that AP has helped him blossom. Part of it is his development, of course, but partly it was listening to his needs at the time. We gave him the space and the connection that he needed to become confident. We didn't always get it right; it's such a fine balance to walk between listening to your child's needs and encouraging them to try new things. Sometimes we went too far one way or the other.
But if you're convinced that your clingy, slow to warm up child who always says no to everything will stay that way for life, take heart! Ds still needs lots of time to think about things. His first reaction will always be: "let me think" and not "yes". But we've learned that now. And we know to ask again. If it's "no" 2 or 3 times, that means "no". If it's 'no', then 'maybe', that's probably going to become 'yes' eventually.