My 6 yo DS hates parties, well at least the idea of them and will often hide behind me or under a table for at least 30mins. After he has fussed around hiding he will eventually join in with most things and have fun.
He goes to a small school, the class group is nice and he has friends. He is fine in school but can be a little shy. He usually knows almost all the children at the party and often the whole class is invited. I don;t know whether he has just got in to a habit of hiding and whether it has become a bit attention seeking (and it's starting to frustrate me as I think it is attention seeking). I am wondering whether we need to take a different tack in managing his 'party' behaviour (until now trying to gently encourage him, staying with him and supporting him in activities...odd bit of bribery). Any ideas?
One of my friends sons never goes to parties. He doesn't like them, like some adults don't. He gets invited, she asks him if he wants to go and if he says no she just replies in the negative. She doesn't go on about it or try to make him change his mind. He's quite quiet.
He initially says he wants to go so we accept the invite. Then he gets nervous the morning of the party and says he doesn't want to go. If it's a party in a hall I would say no last minute but when another family have paid (perhaps quite a bit) for him to attend I don't really feel ok about not turning up last minute. I also know he has fun in the end and want to support him to get to that point. He has said no to some parties from the out set and that's fine but the problem is more when he wants to go but last minute anxiety kicks in.
At 6 I'd be just dropping him off and leaving , if he makes a scene then just take him away with you ,he will soon get the message that he either stays and plays or goes straight home. You are probably correct in that its a bit attention seeking .
I'm totally on the fence with this. I could not have left my eldest at a whole class party in a hall situation. Turns out he has ASD, which explains the behaviour and inability to ask an adult for help. He's ok in a small 5-7 friend in a house or Laserquest party at 9 years old. My DS2 is usually reluctant to start off with and then relaxes - now many a time I've left at that point only for a complete meltdown to occur at food time when the seating arrangements are not to his liking - so.if it's a large party in a hall I either stay or come back at food time. If it's in someone's house, I warn them, and they have the choice of me staying or dealing with the seating upset themselves.
Given the amount of parties I've sat at with DS1, I've seen a lot of reluctant kids. One of his class always used to be left crying, mum would say she'll stop in minute and disappear... and she never did. Would spend the party in tears on someone's lap. Party parent would not notice as they were too busy, sad child parent asks at pick up 'were they ok?' and party parent says yes, everytime
I expect our being there doesn;t help and would love to leave him. I also think he would be fine and cope with out us at most parties (as long as not too loud or unstructured). He is also quite good at going to an adult if needed. I might try your idea floralnomad.