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Hi,<br>
I am the mother of a wonderful 3 year old as well as a 6,9, & 11 year old. My daughter Helena is very hestitant to talk around anybody outside the family & just recently has stopped talking to her friends when on playdates. She will smile & laugh & play just not talk. I don't know if this change has occured because SO many adults have made comments like"What's the matter, are you SHY or Too shy to talk?" (grr). She is very aware of what the term means & will describe herself as shy.."I'm too shy to talk to Gracie's mom", "I only want to talk to (names family members & close friend ).<br><br>
My concern is that it is limiting her activities...she loves songs & dances & can't participate in her playgroup...just sits in my lap...does the art stuff in my lap. She loves ballet but can't handle a class where parents actually must also attend-so we are feet away.Now I was painfully shy & my mom was too (Finns are ethnically shy as a people!) so that surely must play a part. A good friend says she may have "selective mutism" & that this is a potentially big problem, I am hoping/thinking it is more likely a quirky stage but wouldn't mind some ideas to open her up a bit without pressure.<br><br>
Anybody had a similar situation?<br>
thanks,<br>
Lisa
 

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Hi,<br>
I wouldnt worry about it too much especially at this age. I was shy as a kid and have always disliked "group activities" I am still that way. Will she talk if she is only around one or two other children? I would suggest maybe having one child over at a time and see if she feels more comfortable with that. Also it might help if it is at her home where she is more comfortable. As far as activities maybe you could try some things I read about in a teaching magazine. It was actually referring to teachers of clingy children. It suggested encouraging the child to leave you just for a very short time like ask them to return a book to the room next door. Would your daughter get upset do you think if you asked her to hand someone something at art or dance group, or if you lfet her for a moment while you walked across the room or went to the bathroom? Just any little thing where she can learn to be around others and still be okay even if you arent right there by her side. I think as I said it isnt a big deal now but over time if she develops the idea that she cant handle things without you there it might be a bad pattern.
 

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Can you rephrase it, like "she's just cautious around strangers" when they ask if she's shy? That might help. Also, check into homeopathy.
 
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