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Shy toddler - help!

(5 Posts)
LittlelottieO Tue 12-Apr-16 22:06:31

I'm getting really really worried about my 3 year olds shyness.
For a long time now when we go to social situations - parties, soft play, sport etc she will refuse to participate in any activity and cling to me or my husband for the duration, she just won't get involved with the other children. She has even been known to cry and ask to go home.
Also at nursery today I when I picked her up I noticed her standing by herself in the playground. I asked her key worker about it who said she often hangs back and observes, but will get involved in small group activities when encouraged.

She is fine when we have play dates with children she knows. However in big play dates with lots of children she does often hang back for a while until she feels more comfortable to get involved.

She will also respond to questions asked by adults and is very confident around mine and my husbands friends. She is also very confident with family members, and a very chatty bubbly girl at home.

I'm getting really worried that she is going to have a difficult time making friends in school due to her shyness.
I hate to think of her by herself, i just want the best for her. I can't get the image of her standing in the playground by herself out of my head.

Is it just a phase? Has anyone got any experience of this or any tips to try to get her over come her shyness?

Any tips welcome - we have a party this weekend and I am dreading it as hate to think of her worried at it.

MattDillonsPants Wed 13-Apr-16 02:19:44

My older DD was just like this. She's 11 now and fine socially...lots of nice friends. But what you describe was exactly what I had with her.

I worried myself silly! Looking back it was a combination of; she just isn't a kid who enjoys big groups, so playtimes were overwhelming to her. She's not a loud child...not one who will be speaking out over others...and she's not ever been into very energetic games either, she prefers quieter games and talking to her friends.

At 3, she's still learning about socialising...some kids don't seem to need to learn this...they just have the skills naturally. Just like some kids can learn to read quicker than others...and some are naturals at sport.

What helped DD was me inviting other girls home to play for an hour or 3 and at nursery she's only small still so don't worry about this too much.

When she starts reception, then make sure you have a few playdates each term so she can build more confidence with her peers.

Don't worry if the friendships don't form right away...she'll get there.

Can you get the opportunity to volunteer at nursery at all? This often helps them too.

RhubarbAndMustard Wed 13-Apr-16 02:53:35

I could have written your post about my DS. I was also very worried, especially about him starting school.

He is still quite shy around new groups of children (and still won't go on anything at the park if another 'unknown' child is using it) but at nearly 4 he is definitely much better. He is more confident at nursery and he is looking forward to school in September (although I am expecting a few difficult settling in sessions).

You could try taking them to local classes to introduce them to new children. DS does a theatre class and a dance class. The groups are small and teachers have been fantastic at getting him involved.

Some kids are just more shy than others so I think generally you just have to accept them as they are, and help them through times when they are especially anxious.

MattDillonsPants Wed 13-Apr-16 08:11:35

Meant to add...Rainbows is also's the junior version of Brownies..your DD is still too young OP but get her name down now. It's very cheap and full of lovely, supportive activities. Great for confidence.

addstudentdinners2 Wed 13-Apr-16 08:14:33

Not very helpful but I was exactly like this as a small child smile

School was a little hard for me but I made friends quickly and always had lots.

I'm still somewhat shy but it doesn't affect my life negatively in any way.

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