How they behave/how they've changed as they've gotten older/strategies that help them to cope...anything.
I'll add more to this later.
Just having a ****ty day, and feeling like I'm torturing DD every time I take her with me to socialize. Help me feel a little more normal?
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27-08-2015 15:55 #1
Tell me about your shy kids
27-08-2015 17:09 #2
DD2 who is now 6 has a severe anxiety condition which makes her extremely shy. She hates going to new places and meeting new people. Trying new experiences fills her with dread. It's awful as being part of a family of 6 means she does a lot of things she doesn't want to do and makes life hard on us all.
She was difficult to take anywhere from around 2. Noisy crowded places the pits. Doing groceries was murder as anytime anyone tried to engage with her she'd meltdown. School drop offs and pick ups were the same.
Finally I took her to a psychologist when she was 4 as I wasn't coping and just wanted to know how to help her.
I had to accept that this was beyond her control. I had to prepare her every time we went anywhere for what she could expect and how she would always know where I was. If she left my side for any reason I wasn't allowed to move.
Slowly she got better. Now she's 6 she's still shy but we have a handle on it and we all manage it so much better. But we still have a lot of days where she melts down if we do new things or she has to go somewhere without her siblings. Birthday parties are a nightmare. She screams and cries and refuses to go and then takes ages to warm up. But we keep making her do and try new things always with our love and support.
27-08-2015 17:29 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
I recommend "highly sensitive child" by Elaine Aron I think it is. She has a website too and it helped me to understand my DD. She is shy/sensitive and I learnt how to deal with it better in a way that helps them too. Much less frustrating now I understand what's going on in her head!
27-08-2015 18:05 #4
I have 2 kids with social anxiety therefore shy.
The first thing I had to do was accepted that was who they are.
Next try and teach them the difference between being rude and standing their ground and not letting other people walk/talk over them.
I had to learn to stand up and say she doesn't have to answer you or entertain you or do anything for you.
The over ear one are better. Nosie cancelling ones are the ants pants but quite expensive.
Earphone are a barrier. They are a instant visual tool to others that you don't want interaction. They also reduce noise and allows them to relax a bit more.
Another visual barrier. It also helps shy people if they don't have look people in the eye. With sunglasses stop people seeing where your eyes are looking. It can also help with that feeling that people are later beaming your eyes It allows more relaxed way of communicating.
Dd just asked me to add - things that take up space when seated. Eg big petticoats. Bags on seats beside you etc... anything so no one can sit too close.
Books.. A book to read or pretend to read.
Last edited by LoveLivesHere; 27-08-2015 at 20:55.
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27-08-2015 19:38 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
This is a very broad subject, there would be so many little things I do to help my kids that are so ingrained in my behaviour.
As far as making small talk with adults, I usually make a lighthearted comment to let the adult know that they're not rude, they're just shy. For eg a smile and a hug/pat for the child while saying "he's a man of few words!", or "gee she's a chatterbox today!". Then the adult usually gets the message to not persist with trying to make the kid talk! If not, depending on the situation I will get them out of it, for eg at a party "why don't you go and play/eat/etc", or at the shops "well we'd better get on with it!".
That's probably the main 'issue' we have.
In regards to socialising with other kids, that is much harder, and very painful for me to watch sometimes. My eldest is Aspergers so I've done many years of social coaching with him, tell him that he has to say hello how are you, do you want to play xyz etc. And conversely, I explain that if he ignores people he is trying to be friends with, then that won't make them feel very friendly in return.
My DD has anxiety so I explain similar things to her, but in a more gentle way, as she can't control (at the moment) how she feels. But she is learning strategies for her anxiety so I always remind her of those before a social situation occurs so that she is more in control of her socialising.
DS2 can also be shy, but I think he is just learning. So again, tips on how to make new friends feel valued etc.
27-08-2015 20:38 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2014
Following. My 3 yo seems to be getting worse. She's so shy and nervous all the time. It's heartbreaking to watch.
I want to help her any tips would be great
27-08-2015 21:36 #7
Tell me about your shy kids
My 4yo DD has always been shy, it started as intense separation anxiety as a baby. She would scream if anyone took her out of my arms. It probably took until she was about 2.5yo to not cry every time her grandparents visited. She would freak out of anyone came into our house even if she knew them really well. She has always clung to me and would never engage with a stranger (like a lady at the grocery store or an unfamiliar family member/friend).
The last 12 months has seen some great progress. She will talk to people now and is comfortable with people she knows visiting our house. She's really good with other kids generally, at daycare she's quite the social butterfly which is a huge turn-around! She is still shy in some situations (especially at things like Dr, dentist, anything where they put a lot of attention on her or try to touch her) which can make it hard at times.
I don't know if it's anything we did or if she naturally became more confident. We have just always reassured her and allowed her to hang with us if that's what made her comfortable. We spoke to our family about how to approach her (sometimes over-enthusiastic family members would overwhelm her) to allow her time to warm up to a situation before trying to engage her. We figured that as long as she always knew we were her safe place, she would eventually start venturing out a bit more.
DD doesn't have any anxiety or other issues though so this is just how we deal with her shy personality.
28-08-2015 14:15 #8
Thankyou so much for your responses.
I know DD is who she is. I never thought I'd be a parent who didn't wholeheartedly accept their kid as they were...but I really do wish this weren't so hard for her. I was shy as a kid, and have struggled with social anxiety as an adult, and I guess it's that perspective that means I struggle to just keep it in-the-moment with her.
DD's 3 next month. She's always been a bit uncertain around strangers, but it seems to have really ramped up the past 6 months. With adults, I'd say she's 'slow to warm up'...with other kids though, she's clearly terrified. It's so hard to watch. She won't leave my side anywhere that there are other kids around...so she'll ask to go to a playground, be all excited about it, then will sit with me and want to go home because there's another child there.
I'm not sure I'm going anywhere in particular with this...
I just really needed to hear from others yesterday, as I don't know anyone IRL with kids who are shy. Thankyou all for sharing, it really helped
28-08-2015 14:38 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
It became obvious by about 7 months old that my DD1 had severe anxiety, shyness etc. She would absolutely scream the place down if someone tried to interact with her. It got much worse when she was 2, hitting me if I would even try to talk to friends, completely shut down if someone tried to interact with her. She went to pre-Kindy at 3 and never spoke to anyone. Going to bday parties, for example, was a nightmare. She was diagnosed with selective mutism when she was about 3.5. I started working with a psychologist who specialises in this area and I put into place a number of strategies to try and help her. Her pre-K and now Kindy teachers also had phone sessions with the psychologist and had strategies for at school. She is now almost 5 and a completely different child. It all clicked into place about 4 months ago. It is absolutely amazing seeing the confidence she has now and how much happier she is within herself. It has been a long, slow struggle with 2 steps forward, 1 step back constantly. We have never forced her to do anything she was not comfortable with, but always gently encouraged her (and used an incentives chart) and praised her for any success or encouraged her that if she didn't feel brave enough that day, she would feel brave enough soon. I guess it's like treating an adult with anxiety (as I have been) - you don't avoid the situation, you constantly challenge yourself.
28-08-2015 15:01 #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Hi renn my ds is 3 and does the same at the park.. So excited to go but he hopes no other kids are there.. If they are he won't play without me coming on equipment too. Its sad for me to see him like that. I hope like others they can grow out of it. Good luck x
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