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how to help a shy child

(3 Posts)
planesick Wed 25-Nov-15 10:17:49

Hi, we have a DD who is 3 and a half. She was adopted at 1yo. (not sure it has any relevance but don't want to drip feed).
She struggled with transition into nursery and then again into preschool (same childcare facility).
She is extremely shy. Painfully shy. Frustratingly shy.
She wont say hello or wave at anyone who tries to interact with her. She still wont say hello to clients who come to the house, who she has know her entire life (with us).
We have to explain everything that will happen so that she can cope. She has been known to have a tantrum to avoid going to new places. she gets so anxious.
She hates being the centre of attention and actually disengages and retreats within herself if she thinks people are interested in her.
At preschool it has taken 6 months for her to speak in a group situation and even then it is rare and very quiet.

its almost as if she freezes in situations, new or known. The only place she is a chatty Kathy is at home or with us or her immediate family.

So, to my question, ell several, but all on the same theme.
How do we help her cope? How do we help her enjoy her experiences without stressing her out? How do we encourage her to engage with people and situations?
I don't want her to miss out on life because crippling shyness holds her back. I know she is only 3, but what if this is her personality, she needs coping strategies.
thank you for reading.... any advice is gratefully received.

Fairhair Wed 25-Nov-15 19:06:30

I'm a Grandma now and three of my four children are adopted. They were adopted at a very young age (2 weeks, 3 weeks, 6 weeks). I also fostered and cared for other people's children on a daily basis when my children were small.

Although your DD was only a year old when you adopted her she will still be affected by whatever she experienced in the first year of her life. Also it's very clear to me that genetics have a strong effect on personality. My children are all grown up now with children of their own. As they grew up it was often difficult to understand them, as their attitudes and actions were often quite different from those that my ex OH and I tried to teach them. The one DS we managed to produce ourselves was far more predictable with recognisable quirks, naughtiness etc. (we both remembered behaving in similar ways when we were children).

One of my adopted sons was also very shy and hated change of any sort unless he suggested it himself. We found it best to explain to people that he was shy and better left alone until he felt comfortable in a situation. He did grow out of it and is now a lovely friendly man with many friends.

I hope this has helped you a bit planesick and would be happy to pm you (if I can work out how) if you would like to talk more.

FaFoutis Wed 25-Nov-15 19:16:12

I have a ds like this, it took him 3 months to speak at school. He is 8 now, has friends and can cope in social situations. He is a natural introvert and that is fine.

I would say don't push her, don't expect things from her that will make her uncomfortable. Let her do it herself in her own time. Talking through what is going to happen is a good idea, I did that with my ds.

My ds went to a cafe with his friend and ordered a milkshake for them both recently. It was his idea. He found his coping strategies himself.

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