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  1. #1
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    Default Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    DS has always been a fairly shy and sensitive little boy. He has always been timid around strangers until he gets to know them. He was very particular about who would hold him as a baby and even now as a nearly 2.5 year old if a stranger talks to him at the shops he will turn away (most times, sometimes he will bless them with a smile - usually only older women though for some reason!) If we go to a playground with other children already playing there he will stand back and observe for awhile before working up the courage or confidence to get involved. If a kid he doesn't know attempts to come up and touch him before he's ready he'll freak out. Once he's happy playing though he's happy - but it takes him quite awhile to 'warm up'.

    This morning we had a music class (first one for the new year but I did take him to these classes last year). From the minute we got there he buried his face into my skirt and cried. He then refused to participate and got more upset whenever I tried to gently encourage him to do so. In the end I spent about 3/4 of the class just standing at the back of the room with him, talking to him quietly and trying to calm him down. He wasn't happy until we eventually left.

    He is not in daycare but does attend playgroup, play dates and of course music class. He REALLY enjoys playing with other kids that he is friends with (ones we see every week or so) one-on-one or in very small groups but seems to freak out in a larger group setting especially if there's several unfamiliar faces. I can actually kind of understand this as I am similar which is why I think his behavior is very much a reflection of his personality rather than just a phase. It worries me though as I feel my own shyness possibly held me back from doing a lot as a child/teenager/young adult and I would hate for the same to happen to him. I am a lot less shy now than I used to be but it's taken me a lot of years to get to this point.

    I am crying writing this because I just don't really know what to do. I hate seeing him so upset and awkward especially when other kids around him are all having fun. Obviously I don't want to push him out of his comfort zone completely and make things worse but in situations like this morning where he is just crying and obviously doesn't want to be there I don't want to just give up and leave either. Help?
    Last edited by bitterpure; 04-02-2013 at 10:40.

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    Default Re: Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    Ds1 was exactly the same! He will be 7 this year and is now in grade 1 (he repeated prep so started school at 4.5) and it's only this year we've really noticed a change in him. He is far more confident. First day of school this year I prompted him to say hello to his teacher and he walked straight up and had a small conversation!!

    I'm sharing this to let you know they do 'grow' out of it. Ds1 will never be the loud centre of attention child, it's just not him.

    The best advice I have is don't push to hard. It upsets you and them. Your little man will eventually come out of his shell more on his own terms.

    I know it can worry you at times, trust me, but now we are through that I can look back and go 'it does all work out'. Relax and enjoy your sensitive little man.

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    Default Re: Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    And *hugs*. I used to get upset a bit too. Please know all I said was meant with extreme kindness

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    Default Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    Quote Originally Posted by dancingchipmunk View Post
    And *hugs*. I used to get upset a bit too. Please know all I said was meant with extreme kindness

    Sent from my GT540 using BubHub
    Thanks so much, your post has reassured me a LOT. Just wonderful to read of your DS going up and having a conversation with the teacher like that too, he sounds like a great kid! You've especially reminded me of the fact that I should really just enjoy my 'sensitive little man'. I think my OP probably made it sound like it's a bad thing for a person to be shy and sensitive - but it most definitely isn't at all. It's just a part of who he is and family and friends know him to be the most lovely little boy. He is happy and talkative and curious and energetic just like any other toddler when he feels safe and comfortable in his surroundings. I hate to admit it but I felt embarrassed this morning, felt like other mothers were watching and silently judging how I handled it (or didn't handle it, lol) and thinking to themselves 'Why won't this kid just relax and join in the fun?'

    Can I just ask whether you ever sent your DS1 to daycare or how he went with it? We're planning on starting DS in 3 year old kinder next year and I often wonder how he'll go with that and whether or not we should try sending him earlier. I get the feeling he wouldn't particularly like it which is why I haven't sent him yet (and fortunately I haven't been forced to yet as have had other people minding him whilst I've been working part-time).

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    Default Re: Shy sensitive 2 year old...



    We tried daycare at about 20 months for interaction as he was an only child and I worked full time. Didn't last for long though. I believe he wasn't ready and it only upset him more.

    When we moved and I was pregnant with ds2 we put ds1 (then 2.8 years) into a new centre. They were great. Very understanding with our sensitive little man. He did cry at drop off for a while but I would sneak around the corner after about 5 mins and there he would be, running, laughing, having fun! Not with others all the time but who cares? He was enjoying himself!

    I suggest visiting the centre you have chosen a few times with him. See how he reacts to it. He probably won't move to far from you but you know him best and will be able to see how he feels. Talk with the people who would be his carers. Let them know he is shy, sensitive and such. When it comes time for his first day don't hang around for too long. I found that that didn't help and could make ds1 more distressed. Call, call and call again. I did and it reassured me to hear he was ok.

    It's not easy. I know what you mean about the other mums. At the end of the day though you are the best mum for him! So what if he doesn't want to bang and crash around everywhere and talk peoples ear off (we got 'that' kid in ds2, whole new ball game). I used to feel embarrassed when others would stare but I just kept repeating in my head 'it's ok to be sensitive' until it didn't bother me anymore.

    Enjoy all that your little man is. Pretty soon he'll be grow up and you'll wonder where that little boy has gone

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    I'm sure the other mums weren't judging you - just thinking "I wish I could help but I don't know what to do". That's what I would be thinking - that and " that mummy needs a coffee and a cake" lol. I was a very shy child and I know I also hope my DS will have more confidence than I did.

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    Default Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    DD is 18mo and sounds similar. She takes a while to warm up to people and still cries when people come to our house - even her grandparents, but she settles quickly with them.

    She goes to daycare 3 days a week as I work part time and she loves it. She cried at drop-off every time initially and still often does even though she's been going for almost a year now. She gets over it quickly and once I'm out of sight she gets on with playing - I think if she sees me or DH she just wants to be with us.

    Going to appointments is a nightmare, she doesn't like people touching her or me - she freaked at the chiropractor when I was getting treated and screams through her clinic checkups.

    It's tough and people do often comment, telling me we need to push her more or just 'let her cry, she'll get over it'. I prefer to provide her with comfort and reassurance. It won't 'reinforce the behaviour' as some people tell me, it'll let her know I'm here and she's safe. As she gets older I'll be able to explain it with words but for now she needs physical comfort from me.

    I like to think her sensitivity will make her a very kind and emotionally intelligent person in the future

    Have a read of the Zero to Three (.org) website under challenging behaviour - there's a section about 'slow to warm up' kids that you might find helpful.

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    Default Re: Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    My Mum always said my older brother would hide behind her skirts til he was school age! Everyone kept commenting on how shy he was. But he certainly grew out of it and is now the life of the party and the most confident one among us. I think it's more important just to be there and support them, don't belittle them or push them to participate if they don't want to. I'd keep trying group things occasionally, but he's still too young for playing WITH other kids anyway so it's no big deal if he doesn't like it.

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    Default Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    Thanks for the great responses everyone, really made me think and feel a lot better.

    dancingchipmunk: I'm going to start checking out daycare places just to get a feel for them but my thinking is we probably won't put him one until closer to his 3rd birthday, depending on what happens with my work. Good advice though, I'll take him with me and see how he responds to carers and vice versa!

    Mopeg - You're right. Most of the other mothers there had younger babies anyway and were possibly even thinking 'So this is the classic 2 year old stuff I get to look forward to'...! It's tough when you know what struggles you had as a shy kid and all you want to do is protect your kid from the same.

    Cue: So much of what you said reminds me of my DS. He also has cried when his grandparents have visited (not my parents, DH's parents as he only sees them a few times per year due to living interstate) - they now know not to be too full-on in terms of giving him cuddles when they first arrive as it only results in tears. Usually he's fine and happy to accept lots of cuddles after he has 5-10 minutes to get used to them though! DS also hates clinic appointments or getting his haircut (which I have to do this week... dreading it!) I do the same as you, generally try to cuddle, comfort and reassure him that he's safe as much as possible. I know there'll come a day when he won't want or need me to comfort him as much anymore so I'm really just doing it while I can I will definitely look up that website too - thanks!

    Piffle: I'm definitely going to keep trying to do group things with him as I've seen that he does on occasion actually enjoy them once he warms up to the people there... which is the whole point of doing them, to have fun! I do think he will grow out of it a little over time and as you said he's still young so it's not essential for him to be overly social just yet anyway. Your brother sounds like my DH - my MIL mentioned he was quite a shy and quiet kid right up until high school. He's now director at a big company, lectures at a university in front of hundreds of students and is quite socially confident!

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    Default Shy sensitive 2 year old...

    DS1 is the similar (3-yr old). Funny man at home, all shy and reclusive outside. At playground he'd wait until other kids are gone before playing. When I pick him up from daycare (he's been going 4 days a week for nearly a year) he's either by himself while other kids run around, or trailing the carer. He enjoys playing with a handful if kids that we see regularly though, but not the ones he sees at daycare everyday? Anyway, I cry inside and am at a lost as to how to help him. Hope he grows out of it too, and hope having a sibling (DS2, newborn) will help.

    *Hugs!*


 

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