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Tips for making 4yo DD more assertive

(5 Posts)
Coveredinweetabix Sat 04-Jan-14 21:09:10

DD will be starting school in September. I posted a thread on the primary ed board yesterday asking what sort of things she should be able to do by the time she starts school and most replies have included that she needs to be able to ask for things, confident enough to put her hand up in circle time etc. This is worrying me as, over the past few weeks, I have noticed that DD is very timid. For example, at birthday parties, she may be one of the first to get to the person handing out party bags or balloons but will be one of the last to receive one; at a music group we go to, when they get out the buckets of instruments, she is often one of the first to get to the bucket but rarely ends up with a drum (her instrument of choice) as she gets pushed out of the way; when we've had similar aged children over to play recently they have bounced up to me asking for a drink, telling me that they don't like water & want juice, telling me that they don't like X part of their tea, asking me to come & do A, B or C. DD would never ask for something. If we're at someone's house and she wants a drink then she either waits until offers or comes & whispers to me that she is thirsty at which point I tell her to ask and she mutters into the ground that she would like a drink. Also, when I went to watch her ballet class at the end of term I noticed (as I did at the end of the summer term) that she rarely gets commented on as she's not demanding attention (eg, "look at my beautiful arms, miss") or requiring attention due to being naughty. Instead, she just quietly gets on with what she has been asked to do but will then tell me in a sad voice at the end of the lesson that the teacher didn't notice how she did whatever it was.
Like this, I don't think she's going to survive in a class of 30. What do I do? I'm not shy and, when I'm nervous, I just get louder & chattier so don't know how to help her. I'm conscious that her behaviour is, in part at least, my fault as I have always emphasised to DD that she shouldn't push, if she waits patiently will get a turn etc but I dont think that that approach is doing her any favours.
Any tips for making her more assertive without making her a demanding brat?

jollydiane Sat 04-Jan-14 21:41:17

Actually your daughter sounds lovely and I bet she will make lots of friends.

You may like to do some competitive games with just you and her. Be a bit silly but have fun, for example first one up to bed is the winner last one is a whizz pop (insert your own silly phrase) and then make a point of being competitive (but still let her win) so she gets the idea that its good to win sometimes. Does she have any friends that you can invite over again maybe a game of 'it' in the park.

Coveredinweetabix Sun 05-Jan-14 17:33:58

That's a connection I hadn't made. She likes to win when playing games, running races etc so I just need to make her a bit more like that when doing everyday activities...but without her getting too pushy!

Jaffakake Sun 05-Jan-14 21:11:44

The odds are she'll either make friends with someone who'll be pushy & get the drum for her or she'll learn to be a bit more pushy herself. I believe kids find their own way, especially when their mums aren't around. Your daughter sounds lovely and lovely people make friends and that's the most important thing about managing school really.

gracegrape Sun 05-Jan-14 21:48:37

My almost 4 year old DD is very similar to yours. She's very timid in front of adults and doesn't speak to them at all, although she'll happily speak to other children. I've found taking her to a local pre-school age drama class has really helped her confidence. Do you have anything like that where you are?

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