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How to increase confidence levels in my 3.6yo DD?

(8 Posts)
ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Tue 04-Oct-11 19:28:58

My DD is a lovely, polite, happy and chatty girl, at home with me and DH but out and about and in front of strangers, and particularly at preschool, she is very shy and under-confident.

If we go to soft play or to the park she won't go off and play by herself and if she does she won't go on anything that is occupied by anyone else.

She doesn't speak much in front of others (doesn't shut up at home!) and I'm desperate to help her overcome this. Is it possible to help her or is this just how she is destined to be? I feel so sad for her, sad that she is missing out on making friends and getting independence. Worried that she will still be like this when she starts primary school next September and this will go on forever.

Playschool is the biggest problem. She will only stand with the leaders (particularly one leader who they are trying to wean her off of), doesn't go off and integrate with the children unless she is taken over to do it by a leader. I see all these other children running off, chattering to each other, having actual friends but my DD just can't bring herself to do this. sad

You can see in her face that she wants to go off and do these things but she just daren't. A mixture of confidence and stubbornness I think.

If anyone has had similar issues I would be so grateful to hear if and how you overcame them or at least dealt with them.

TIA smile

boohoobabywho Tue 04-Oct-11 21:07:45

this could actually be my daughter... she's now 7

and she's exactly the same. there are people she has known since she was born, and she wont speak to them, but a new 'daddy' moved in next door and she chats away to him without a problem, wont speak to the resident mum, even thought we've been living next door for 5 years, and been playing with the girls who are the same age.

Dont feel sad. she isnt you, she must be happy with the way the situation is or she'd change it. if she has language skills, she'll use them when she's ready. have faith in your little one x

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 05-Oct-11 09:38:16

Thanks Boohoo. I just don't want her to miss out on things because she's too shy to participate when you can clearly see she does want to. It's the preschool thing I'm concerned about most. They are keen for her to be off playing and don't expect her to be clinging onto the staff and I feel like there is something expected of me to change her behaviour while she's there, eventhough I'm obviously not present while she's there.

soozbie Wed 05-Oct-11 14:08:31

Have you asked the playschool whether there is another nice (perhaps also quite shy) child that she could get to know a bit better/play with more? She would perhaps be more likely to start joining in if she didn't feel overwhelmed by a whole group of children.

If it's any consolation apparantly shyness in toddlers is very common - there are quite a lot of internet resources etc about it. (My daughter is exactly the same and I was told that she doesn't really mix with the other, mainly boys, in her nursery - it broke my heart!)

One thing to remember is not to label her shy to others or speak too much about her shyness in front of her - otherwise she will become labelled as shy and may fit the mode even more. Saying that she takes a while to warm up is a better way of putting it!

Bramshott Wed 05-Oct-11 14:20:02

Hmm, DD2 is a bit like this (yy re waiting for everyone else to use the climbing frame before she'll have a go!). She's now 4.5 and I was really worried about her starting school, but actually she's been fine. She's changed/grown up/blossomed a lot over the past 6 months, and now comes home telling us all about X who she played with in the sand today, and can Y come to her house etc etc.

moorava Wed 05-Oct-11 17:21:33

Perhaps ask one or two of the children from the nursery over to play and then perhaps you could suggest a return visit to their home.

That way she can build up friendships which will give her security and boost her confidence.

Ask the nursery to interact with her and chidren playing her favourite activity. good luck

boohoobabywho Wed 05-Oct-11 21:04:38

additionally to my previous post....
When DD started school, there was a child with special needs (not sure what type though) and DD mummied her beautifully. and spoke up for her when the other girl couldnt.

Relax about it, she will join in, she's just finding her own way.

theliverpoolone Thu 06-Oct-11 11:46:22

My dd (4.2) has always been like this too - she would never go on things in the park if other children were there (this has got a bit better in recent months), always stayed by my side at playgroups etc, but very chatty and confident at home, and often with adults too. She's just started in reception, and I do find it hard when I take her in the morning, to see the other children now all greeting their friends, playing with them, running round - while dd just wants me to sit with her doing an activity until class starts sad. I've talked to the teacher a little bit about it, and will do again if I think things haven't moved on by half-term. People say - well if she's ok about it, leave her be - but I know that she would love a little friend who would take her under their wing, look out for her in the morning etc.

Sorry, that hasn't given you any help at all! - but just wanted to let you know that there are other children like your dd, and I really feel for you and her smile.

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