Shyness (toddler)

(6 Posts)
Cinnamon2013 Sun 12-Jun-16 18:49:48

DS (3) is shy.

'Shyness is nice. But shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to.'

That Smiths song keeps coming into my head.

He's a great boy. Lovely and happy and confident with people he knows, but walking into a room/party etc he will just watch everyone for a really long time. Might not join in at all, or only with me holding his hand. I remember being the same as a kid and feel I missed out on a lot - maybe that's why I was to help him. Or maybe I just want to fix it, which is less positive. I'm not sure which!

Does anyone else have experience of supporting a shy toddler? Any blogs or books that are good? Am I being mean wanting him to be more of a 'charge on in there' character. I'm a writer and probably wouldn't be if I wasn't the same kind of personality.

c737 Sun 12-Jun-16 20:07:54

I feel your pain OP as my 2.4 yr is sooooo shy and clings to me wherever we go. I think it's hard when you over identify with this, as I do, because you envisage them having the same problems/difficulties that you had which may or may not be the case.

My dd seemed like such a outgoing, go getting little girl until she turned two, and I remember feeling so grateful that she probably wouldn't feel the same crippling social anxiety I suffered throughout my childhood, teens and much of my twenties. But lo and behold she seems to be taking on a side of my personality I really wish she didn't have to deal with.

I guess all we can do is support as much as we can to make them feel as safe and secure as possible. I am aware whatever I do socially is a model of behaviour for her, so when I attend groups with her even though I feel extremely shy and would rather just sit on my own I make myself join in and be friendly and chatty in the hope that she sees this and feels less anxious about meeting new people/being in a room with lots of new people.

I hope doing things like this and giving her a strong structure/routine at home gives her a confidence I didn't have but there you venture in to the whole nature/nurture argument and which rules which - a whole other thread!

Cinnamon2013 Mon 13-Jun-16 07:01:22

Thanks for your reply - it's good to know I'm in good company with thinking about this. I'm sure they'll both change so much as they grow, and maybe we should resist the temptation to project/compare to our own experiences - it's hard though! Good luck

Pythonesque Mon 13-Jun-16 08:12:14

Agree your own memories of being shy and missing out are going to relate to older ages than 3. Great to think of how to support them growing into confidence, but you shouldn't need to be doing or worrying more than that at this stage.

I believe caution in this age group is one of those evolutionarily advantageous things ... (don't be the one who runs over to see what's disturbed the sheep!)

Believeitornot Mon 13-Jun-16 08:15:36

This seems normal to me as both of mine were like this. I a) did not force them, b) did not label them as shy c) supported them and encouraged good manners.

Now they're 4&6 and much more confident! They both make friends very easily and are generally confident talking to children and adults. Sometimes they have the odd moment - I suspect when they're feeling self conscious but again I support them to build confidence.

Cinnamon2013 Mon 13-Jun-16 19:16:45

Really interesting and encouraging posts - thank you both. I can definitely see how the caution could be positive. Let's see where he hoes from here. He's certainly bolshy enough with me ;)

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