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Doesn't want to go to parties

(7 Posts)
Helenmc Wed 31-Oct-01 21:41:35

My 7yr old daughter gets invited to parties from her school friends. She seems quite happy at school and enjoys it when friends come to play and stay over, and goes round their houses. She's not that keen on staying over at some-one elses though. But when she goes to a party she doesn't want to be left. The party was at a friend's new house which we hadn't been to before, but all her class were going. We were chatting away in the car, but when we got outside the house she burst into tears and refused to go in. Her friends came out and tried pulling her in, I tried to persusade her to go ( trying to find out why she didn't want to go). I went in and said hello, and then went outside again and she came in with me. We then spent 20 mins in the kitchen by ourselves, and then we went into the lounge where her friends were playing games and watched them. After 50 mins she had started joining in. In the past I've chickened out of the situation have arranged for some-one else to pick her up so she has had some-one to go with. And when I pick her up afterwards she seems bubbly and chatty.
I don't understand what makes her so uptight when it's people she knows and is happy with. DH doesn't understand either, and I can't get an answer as to what's bothering her.
Am I being too pushy and expecting too much from some-one who is shy. I know it's horrible going into a room full of strangers, but these are her friends.
help!

Tigermoth Thu 01-Nov-01 16:36:40

Hi, HelenMc. My 7 year old son can go all wobbly kneed too, even though he's not really that shy. It seems worse when he isn't familiar with the venue or the parents.

I tend to stay at a party long enough to ensure he has got his bearings - knows who is in charge, has been introduced to the birthday boy or girl, and knows where the loo is etc - then I tell him I have an urgent something to do, and leave. I find that if he thinks I have an unpleasant task to complete or boring appointment to keep, as opposed to having a hour or two's worth of enjoyment in his absence, this far more OK by him.

Also I make sure I have my mobile phone on me. I tell my son - and the host parents - that if he wants to leave early, he only has to phone me.

I'm not sure what I would do if my son was a very shy child, but I hope this helps.

Ems Thu 01-Nov-01 17:40:33

I find being one of the first there helps our son, he is not then going into a large group, even if he does know them all.

Helenmc Thu 01-Nov-01 20:36:12

I have tried being early, and then just leaving. But I feel dreadful, that I've pushed her into that situation. Shes never going to be adventurous but I want her to grow up with some confidence on how to cope with things like this. She's a really nice kid, looks after her sisters, extremely consciencious and at times has a wicked sense of humour. perhaps she's going to have a few close friends and that's that.
Thanks for your messages - it's really nice (it's my first plea for help here!)

Chanelno5 Fri 02-Nov-01 00:40:16

Helenmc - At 7 she's still quite young so perhaps her confidence will grow as she matures. My 5 yr old ds can be a bit like this sometimes too. I wonder with him whether the excitement is too much for him to handle and makes him go nervous. I do find this strange especially as it's other children that he knows well, but then children do do strange things that's something that we all know only too well.

Bexi Sat 03-Nov-01 00:19:23

Helenmc - I don't really know what to suggest but I remember when I was about your daughter's age I hated going to parties. I enjoyed school but I would avoid going to birthday parties and also never went on a school sleepover trip. I was also very reluctant to sleep over at friends' houses. I've always preffered the company of a few close friends than being in a place with lots of other people and even when I was 18/19 I sometimes suffered panic attacks if I was surrounded by more than a few people, for example in busy pubs.

I got a lot better at high school and would go to school discos and have fun but I still always avoided the big crowds. I think in some situations like that you sometimes have to compete for attention and be quite forceful in expressing yourself which is something some people prefer not to do. For me it was also an attention thing, I hate speaking in big groups as more people are watching and listening to you so I've always found it easier to speak to fewer people. I like to think that I made some very valuable friends at primary school and there is one boy in particular whom I still see. We used to get picked on a bit "Ooooh...you're boyfriend and girlfriend" etc. but I've never met anyone since whose opinion I value more than his and we may go for months without speaking but we've always been best friends.

helenmc Fri 28-Dec-01 20:40:01

just to say we went to the christmas discoand had a good time. For the first 10 minutes she sat with coat on, then spent a long time talking with a friend but eventually she was on the floor having a little dance with her friends.

Bexi - how do you cope with panic attacks?

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