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HELP! Painfully shy 3 year old.

(9 Posts)
Jax91 Tue 16-Aug-11 14:37:00

Hi, I am new to this, but really nred some advice as I'm at the end of my tether with my DS,s shyness. He is 3.5 yrs old, and is a happy and even loud child at home. When we are in public he dissappears into his shell and will not talk or move from my side. He's been going to nursery since he was 2 just 2 days a week, and clings to his key worker whilst there. He mixes on occassion with the other kids.

We go to weekly activity classes but he just clings to me and tries to dissapear into my lap. He will never join in the singing dancing or actions. Recently to get him to participate at a sports session i had to literally run away from him so that he would chase me round the room and hence warm up. He says he wants to go again but i know we will hsve the same behaviour and I'll be the only mummy running around like an idiot. I don't mind doing iy but wish i could see some improvement.

Am i wasting my time taking him to classes and trying to get him involved. It is difficult as my DD now needs more attention at 1 and i need him to be a bit more independent as i can't have the 2 of them clinging to me.

Can anyone offer any advice for how i can help him become more confident. I worry he will not make any friends and be bullied at school.


SenoritaViva Tue 16-Aug-11 16:44:33

I don't have any direct experience of this (DD utterly overly confident and that has it's whole other can of worms).

Have you tried talking to him about it? E.g. Really pleased you want to go to the activity class again DS. Now, I will run around with you for the first 3 times round the room then will you try and be a very brave boy for Mummy and do once round the room by yourself? I won't go anywhere and will be waiting for you. Do this before you get there so you've set an expectation. Then you could try to advance it to twice round the room the following time.

Also, have you tried talking to him about what he is afraid of? And what is expected of 'bigger' boys?

I hope someone comes along soon with some actual experience. Feel very sorry for your poor son (and you).

lingle Tue 16-Aug-11 17:26:05

no one except activity class providers ever said that the way to overcome shyness is to go to activity classes. I would drop them. There are two professional nannies on my street - they both always drop things if their charges aren't ready.

A very very first step towards overcoming his shyness might be to invite another quiet child round for no more than an hour (if possible), give them some popcorn in one shared bowl and stick some slapstick cartoons on tv. He needs to experience social success, at however basic a level.

I would definitely try to bring other children into his territory. He can always take up exercise classes later.

wearenotinkansas Tue 16-Aug-11 19:01:57

DD has a tendency to be a bit shy,so know a bit how you feel. I think lingle's idea is a really good one. And I bet once he gets a bit older he'll feel more a bit more sure of himself.

Activity classes really are for the confident (think about school sports days <shivers>).

PuppyMonkey Tue 16-Aug-11 19:05:00

Shyness is nice grin

Some kids are very loud, some aren't.

Let's hear it for quiet peoplegrin

Fizzylemonade Tue 16-Aug-11 19:13:44

Ds1 was like this, very clingy, stood on the sidelines and yet happy to go to a toddler group where he attached himself to my leg, ah the memories grin

Now he is 8 and unbelievably confident! To be honest, in the end, I just accepted that he was a watcher, a thinker, a ponderer. I read a really good book called The Highly Sensitive Child, as I was exactly the same when I was little and I didn't know how to handle it.

My parents were awful about it to me, constantly comparing me to my much more confident sister sad

I found other people were more bothered about my son's behaviour than I was and the book had some amazing retorts when people say "why is your son not joining in?" and I would say, why does this bother you?

Drop the class.

Not all boys are boisterous and outgoing, in fact ds1 has a large group of friends 4 of which were also the shy type. Not so anymore grin

thebeansmum Tue 16-Aug-11 23:27:39

Definately would agree with lingle. One of my best friends had pretty much the same worries as you with her first daughter. She was beside herself with worry as her DD (now age 7) would literally cling to her, morning, noon and night. We all (my close group of friends) had our first DC within a couple of years of eachother and spent quite a lot of time together and she would constantly compare her DD with our busy, noisy lot.

My friend cried for days before her DD started school - it was just as bad at age 5. However, although it was difficult at first, she soon found a little boy who was just the same way and they became firm friends. Did their own thing, quietly - had playdates, Mums became friends so on and so on. Now she's still quiet but confident and happy and has more friends that suit her. Your DS sounds gorgeous, I would drop the activities thing for now.

feelinkindacrazy Wed 17-Aug-11 09:56:33

Hi there,

I can so relate to what you are saying as my 4.5 year old ds is also very shy. He is due to start school in September and I have worries of my own. I think you have some very valid messages and I guess we should just try to accept our little ones for who they are, but we just want the best for them and hate to think that they are "missing out" - that's certainly how I feel. My ds has a couple of close friends that we see and he plays with if on 1 1:1 basis so that's nice, but he really dosen't like new environments and he will cling to me or if we go to a close friend party, he still clings to me as there are other children there he dosen't know - it's frustrating I know.

Some things I have done - I take my ds to parks or indoor play areas alone early in the morning when there are very few other children around and this gives him confidence to explore, play with me and gain confidence. I found that he loves learning letters and numbers and this has really built up his confidence too.

My son has recently been diagnosed with a speech disorder which probably contributes to his shyness, but I also belive it is just his personality. HTH smile

feelinkindacrazy Wed 17-Aug-11 10:07:07

Thanks Fizzylemonade - I have just bought The Highly Sensitive Child Book

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