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shy or quietly confident? Advice needed for 3 1/2 year old boy!

(5 Posts)
fufflebum Mon 03-Oct-11 12:37:16

Ds is 3 1/2 and I am perplexed by his behaviour. At home he is very talkative and lively but seems to change when out in public.

I am wondering whether he is shy or just quietly confident as when you give him a choice of doing things he will make a decision and say yes or know but he rarely wants to mix with other kids. For example if he is asked to a party he is often not keen, but has a couple of friends at nursery who he plays with and actively asks to meet up with.

I am wondering if he is quietly confident with who he likes but not keen on big groups. I also think he is making clear choices about what he wants to do. But I do not want him to miss opportunities by keep refusing the opportunity to do new things!

Has anyone any experience of this? I am happy if he is happy (and he seems to be) but I equally think that being with other children is beneficial for him too!

kblu Mon 03-Oct-11 12:46:24

It sounds like he's a bit shy to me. My DS is 3.5 and if we get invited to a party I don't ask him if he wants to go, I just take him! If he doesn't want to join in then that's fine. Last week for instance he got invited to a party of one of my colleague's children who he's only met once and he didn't know any children there but I took him, but he did need a lot of encouragement to get up and play games with them and after a while he came running back to me to cling to my legs. I was the same as child. I remember crying at my own parties because I was embarrassed to dance when I was about five.

I would just keep doing what you are doing. Don't avoid social situations where there are big groups of kids just because you think (or he tells you) he may not like it, just take him and encourage (but not force) him to join in.

phdlife Mon 03-Oct-11 12:47:01

Can't give you any advice; just wanted to note my ds (now 4.6) is very similar. It is clear he is very wary of other dc's, particularly in groups, I think because he finds them unpredictable. He is a lego kid, a thinker and great talker so at kindy he plays with the girls, everywhere else he just wants to avoid avoid avoid. His kindy teacher wondered if this is a way his perfectionism shows itself - perhaps he's worried he won't be successful socially, so he won't have a go? (This has been his approach to writing, I am sure.) It's bonkers, too, because he is socially very successful with his own little crowd (and adults). Agree with you it is just a matter of keeping trying. My ds at least needs all the socialising he can get, though he resists every chance.

Lately he has become very anti going anywhere; I was at my wit's end about it, then he became quite ill and needed to be home for a fortnight, now I wonder how I will ever get him willingly out the door again.

am v tired and stressed, probably wittering, sorry, going to bed now, will keep an eye on your thread. good luck.

Tgger Mon 03-Oct-11 15:25:01

Don't worry, they change a lot between 3.5 and 4.5, well my DS did. He was similar to yours but is much more outgoing now.

I agree with pp, don't always ask him if he wants to go, just say that you're going. If he objects just say something kind like "well, when we're there you can stay with me if you're a bit scared". DS used to cling to me, then gradually got braver. He is still better in smaller groups of his choice but happily goes to big parties now. I wanted him to get used to the idea that big groups were ok and it's all right not to join in, it really is at this age.

fufflebum Mon 03-Oct-11 15:25:20

Thanks for the replies.

phdlife this sounds like my son. He is speech is very complicated and he is a thinker that is for sure. I have tried a variety of things with him (activities0 all of which he has refused at one point even crying. It was at this point I thought how mean I was being by 'making' him go. He clearly understands what you are asking him to go too. But his older sister is the complete opposite!

He seems quite skilled at playing with older kids as he liked some of the older kids at nursery who have now started school. So I also wonder whether he finds his peers less attractive to play with?

I am wondering whether it may take time and perhaps I am expecting a lot as he is only 3 1/2!

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