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How did your help your sensitive toddler become more confident?

(8 Posts)
thescruffiestgiantintown Wed 20-Jan-16 21:44:57

DD is nearly 2 and I'm hoping to find other parents whose toddlers have been similar and who might be able to advise me on things they did that worked for them!

She is very bright but also very shy and sensitive. Behaviours like completely closing off when she's out of her comfort zone, getting very upset when her friends are too affectionate with her, getting very stressed out by physical challenges which are well within her reach. She has quite a strongly developed sense of right and wrong and she can't bear it when people do 'wrong' things (not that we use that language) e.g. snatching.

It probably doesn't sound like much but sometimes when all these factors are put together I do worry about how bothered she can be by the world; when she's in her happy place (i.e. somewhere quiet with people she trusts) she is full of chatter and laughter, and I would love to give her the confidence to be like that in other settings.

So, just wondering what other parents do/have done, or is it just a matter of time? I do remember being shy in some situations as a child and hating it, so really want to give her the skills to cope with things that make her uncomfortable, but maybe I'm thinking about this too much, too soon.

KanyesVest Wed 20-Jan-16 21:50:28

Dd is older, 5.5, but she was very similar at that age. She is still reserved in new situations, but much more out of her shell. Part of it was time, but we also got her doing activities she loves and does well in, first gymnastics now drama and dance, which have really brought her out of herself.

thescruffiestgiantintown Wed 20-Jan-16 22:14:52

Thanks Kanyes. She does love the mini gymnastics group we go to so I'm hoping she'll continue to enjoy that. She also really likes kicking a ball about so I'm keen to take her along to football now that she's old enough, but also wary in case she absolutely hates it!

Noggie Wed 20-Jan-16 22:24:46

My dd1 was very similar when little - to the point that she would say hello to people she knew really well! For her time, doing extra curricular things she loves (dancing, swimming etc) ,moving nursery and deferring her entry to primary (in scotland where this is possible) all helped. She is now ten (yikes!) and a happy, quietly confident girl with a lovely group of friends. She's still reserved in new situations, taking awhile to 'warm up' but I don't think that's a bad thing.

Noggie Wed 20-Jan-16 22:26:35

Sorry meant to say 'wouldn't' say hello to people she knew well!

Illyillyilly Wed 20-Jan-16 22:41:38

She sounds a lot like my ds was at that age. He was such a sensitive soul, but now at 4yo he's fairly outgoing, has a good group of friends at nursery and a lot of self confidence.
He still struggles with getting things wrong. If he can't do something perfectly, he won't bother. He's not always keen on speaking to people, but he's a million miles further from how he used to be.
For us it was time, and finding him a great nursery at 3.3yrs. He wasn't ready before then. When he started he never cried, never wanted to stay home, just loved it. I let him develop at his own pace and he's come really far.

KanyesVest Wed 20-Jan-16 23:18:32

Just thinking about it, dh doing things with her really helped too, particularly anything she was reluctant about. Eg, when she started her drama class dh brought her and was much better at leaving her there to get on with it than I would have been blush. She picked up on my concern about her settling in, so she got more worried. Dh just assumed she'd be fine so she did too! I know your DD is much younger, but it might be worth thinking about as she gets older.

thescruffiestgiantintown Thu 21-Jan-16 14:30:15

Thank you all so much for the lovely replies - very reassuring, and noggie I completely agree re caution not being a bad thing; in many ways DD is such an easy toddler as I know she'll never bolt, try to scale something high, etc!

I'm really hoping that we can find a preschool setting she feels confident and comfortable in (lovely to hear your son's experience illy) when the time comes, as well as extra curriculars. Thank you again.

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