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okay, so my DD is not into greeting people that she does not know.

she is so so to do it with people she does know and with some encouragement she will defenetely say what I say to her to say..

yet comes to this nice lady at the checkout or the stranger in line
who says hi or ask simple question she won't say a word.

she is 4.5 now and I am split between my feelings and social preassure..

I was a shy kid and I positively despised my parents forcing me to
greet someone I did not feel like doing so let alone strangers..

so I know where she might be or not.. in this..

she also is bit self centered and somehow I feel that shyness is one thing
but that is also bit about her feeling that nobody deserves her greetings or something like that..

so I am thorn.. on one side I don't want her to grow up a selfish stiff upper lip kid who treates others like dirt and I am sure I won't let it happen but
then again I don't like any of her attitude if there is any in all this..

then again.. she is really shy a bit as she is a stay at home kid who is not too much exposed to social groups ..

then again... I feel that it is rather against my feelings to force her to greet someone she is not convinced to do so as I feel that this should come from within but then sometmies when htere is this really nice older lady sweet and smilling to her and she acts like stone then It sort of hurts me..

then again.. once a nice security gurad was trying to talk to her and she would not reply to him and he tried few times and then he told me that she is too proud and she should be thought respect!

oh well.. that I don't know.. he surely was young enough not to have kids of his own but then again we live in mutliracial world and this guy happened to be different race then our own so i instantly felt that he felt some sort of discrimination although I myself do not recognise differences of skin color
as existing and I believe that we are all children of one god and we are all the same, so here I was.. feeling his hurt feelings yet knowing that she is like that to everybody regardless.. and yet he seemed upset and yet
I felt like it was my fault..

it was sillly yet it was valid..

so please let me know how to sort this out..?

what to do, what to say and to whom and how and when?
I need some solid advises form all who already sorted that out

thanks in advance!
 

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My 4.5yo DS seems to be introverted, like me. I never force him to say anything. If he notices a stranger trying to establish eye contact or talk to him, he almost always buries his face in my shoulder or back, depending on how he's situated. I interpret that reaction to mean he doesn't want to have any contact with the stranger, and I'm 100% okay with that. In that case, I acknowlege with a nod, a smile, or if I absolutely have to, a verbal response (He's not comfortable talking to strangers; he isn't feeling very sociable right now; he's slow to warm up, etc).

If DS doesn't actively hide himself from whoever it is, I'll ask DS if he wants to say hi, smile, or wave. Then it's up to him if he wants to. If he doesn't want to, I'm 100% okay with that, and then I take responsiblity for the socially acceptable form of communication.

If the stranger wants to take offense, they are free to do so. Not my problem (although it's great that you seem very sensitive to possible misinterpretations, all you had say to the security guard was one of the things I listed above--that way he gets some acknowledgement, so it's obvious you're not ignoring him; you also explain your DD's behavior). It's not my son's job to make strangers feel good about themselves. As he gets older, we'll work more on getting him comfortable with extrovert's social expectations; for right now, he sees me modeling it, and he practices it when he's comfortable doing so.

For now, I'd brainstorm some standardized explanations (short and to the point) that you can have ready at a moment's notice that fulfills the social obligation. If your DD is willing to practice them at home (role playing w/ you or using dolls or puppets), great! If not, just continue to model the behavior you'd eventually like her to pick up on, and when she's ready, she'll try it out herself.
 

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I wouldn't insist that she speak to anyone, especially on the spot.

I always remembered people initiating contact with me just because I was a child, and I resented it. It made me uncomfortable. I am not a doll to be admired, told to wave, etc.

Oh would you feel if a stranger came up to you with a grin saying "HI! What's YOUR name?"
I would be a little squicked out as an adult, I can imagine that it is off-putting for a child.

I would ask her afterwards though, why she doesn't like to say hello, find out what her reasoning is, her comfort level, etc.

My DD is almost two years old now, and she will say that she wants to go and see this sweet man who runs the corner store. I will ask her "are you going to say hello to him this time?" "yes" -- Then when we get there, he says hello and gives her a sucker.... and she hides. I know that she WANTS to say hello because she really likes him, but she is just shy.

I would find out WHY she doesn't want to say hello and work from there.

Trin.
 

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I don't make my kids say hi to anyone. I'll ask them if they want to and then drop it. I was an extremely shy kid and both of mine tend to be more on the shy side. I won't force them to speak to anyone. And I certainly wouldn't explain why they won't say hi to a stranger.
 

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My 2 oldest (4.5 and 2.5 years) do this. Their speech is to par in everyday life but when greeted by strangers they tend not to exchange the sentiment. Most of the time they look the other way. I usually look at the stranger and make light of the issue.

To me, it's not a big deal at all. They are still young and do not always understand all of the social graces that we as adults do.

My kiddos will warm up to new people though and, they typically strike up conversations with them as time goes on.
 

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I irk myself because I often hear myself coaching my verbal 2 yo to "Say hi" "Say bye bye" though I have become better at not coaching the "please" and "thank you" stuff. It's partly from my desire to make other people happy, and of course I think my son hung the moon and so a cute little hi from him will make someone's day.

Working on this. Trying instead to offer more choices - "Do you want to say hi? How would you like to do it - with your words or with a wave?"

In the situation where you know the kid wants to participate but gets overcome with shyness, I love the model of my friend who would offer her daughter: "Do you want to say hi or do you want mama to say hi for you?" A poke, or a whispered "Mama do it" and then mama could verbalize a nice model for daughter to learn from. Now 6, and still very independent and shy too, this kid is a shining example of appropriate interaction with adults, even strangers.
 

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I did/do what Fritz does - ask my child if they want to say 'hi' and if not, then I take over the interactions.

Our ds was very very introverted as a young child (selectively mute would describe him) and could not respond. It had nothing to do with attitude or rudeness -- he froze when other people talked to him. It helped me to realize that this wasn't because he didn't want to do the social interactions, he couldn't.

In addition to offering my child a choice and using a stock phrase ('he's a little slow to warm up'), I learned to offer ds a non-verbal option too. For reasons I don't understand, he was willing to wave to people long before he would say hi.

At 8, he's still an introvert, but he will respond to people. He responds in monosyllables, but he's doing it. At 4, he wouldn't have said a thing. Time will help. Until then, give her a socially acceptable way out by taking on some of the interaction yourself. By doing so, you can support her and model what appropriate social interaction looks like.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fritz View Post
My 4.5yo DS seems to be introverted, like me. I never force him to say anything. If he notices a stranger trying to establish eye contact or talk to him, he almost always buries his face in my shoulder or back, depending on how he's situated. I interpret that reaction to mean he doesn't want to have any contact with the stranger, and I'm 100% okay with that. In that case, I acknowlege with a nod, a smile, or if I absolutely have to, a verbal response (He's not comfortable talking to strangers; he isn't feeling very sociable right now; he's slow to warm up, etc).

If DS doesn't actively hide himself from whoever it is, I'll ask DS if he wants to say hi, smile, or wave. Then it's up to him if he wants to. If he doesn't want to, I'm 100% okay with that, and then I take responsiblity for the socially acceptable form of communication.
This. Exactly this.
 

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I have a 4yo dd who is the same way, and I totally agree with all the pps. Actually, my dd simply not responding is something that we worked TOWARDS. Since the time she was a baby she would scream/cry in response to attention from strangers- as she got older her responses included spitting or yelling "Don't look at me! Go away!" It was obviously a situation that she found very stressful, and I feel like it was my job to help her learn appropriate ways of coping and responding. We have had a gazillion conversations about it, and one of things that I always told her was that it's perfectly fine if she doesn't feel like making friends with strangers, but that it is not okay for her to be mean or rude to them. She still has her days/moments when she's just not. in. the. mood. But unless she's very upset, she will now generally either answer them or stay silent-- which is a huge improvement, and, I think, a perfectly fine way of respecting her own boundaries without disrespesting someone else. (and I totally agree with the pp who said that adults wouldn't be expected to respond cheerily to someone invading their space and privacy like that-- we really expect kids to put up with a lot!)
 

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I would just say that she doesn't have to talk to strangers if she is not comfortable but that she could learn to deflect and be polite as in answering a question with a question -- for example say, "I'm fine thanks how are you" or some generic thing.
 

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I wouldn't make her talk. I'm not big on forcing kids to interact when they're uncomfortable.

I think if she feels shy, that's OK. It's who she is. (I'm not saying that you have said it wasn't OK) Just reiterate that you understand and you can answer for her if she'd like you to.
 

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I tried teaching my 4 year old nephew to say "hi" to every pretty stranger that we see when we're together. And surprisingly, he had adapted to this habit. His mother told me that he keeps on doing it already. Kids are really adorable when they're friendly. And i think that it's okay that we teach them how to be friendly.

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Nope. At four my six year old often didn't want to say hello. My current four year old is just the same. I was the same way. My six year old is eager to say hi now, as am I! It'll pass! Don't make it an issue, just set the example you'd like her to follow. Which I'm sure isn't insisting on speaking when you'd rather not
 

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My son would rather say "bye" than "hi". He's three and he's not particularly shy most of the time, but many times he will just not answer. With strangers, I don't prompt him at all, I just give some little answer for him or something, but with people he knows that he's just ignoring or something, I say something like, "Poppop said hi to you. or Nana wants to know where you are going." But generally I don't prompt him like that if I know he's feeling shy. Why should he have to say how old he is to everyone just because he's cute? I certainly don't expect every kid to say hi to me. Oh, but he always says good bye to our cashiers and other people very cheerfully.
 
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