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Friends judge 3 year old for shyness!(15 Posts)
Looking for advice/ words of comfort! My 3 year old is a loving, kind, fun little boy & the light of my life. Like me, he is slow to warm up to social situations (especially groups), but then will join in & has a great time with his friends.
I met with a friend yesterday, her dd is 8 months older than my ds & much more socially confident. My ds was excited to be meeting his friend but when we met them he became shy & didn't want to say hello. We went to a local park; his friend went on the slide but he didn't want to join in straight away. His friend then left him to play with other children.
My ds eventually warmed up & started having fun. When his friend came back to the slide he was excited to see her & was saying hello & her name & jumping up & down. She said "I'm not playing with you you're not my friend". My ds became upset & I had to comfort him.
My friend said well I can't blame my dd for not wanting to play with your ds, because he didn't join in straight away! She then went on to say to my ds, "You came to the park to play with X, why aren't you playing?"!
Im hurt by my friend. Its like she thinks something is wrong with my ds. He starts school next year & it makes me worry how he will get on.
He goes to nursery 3 days a week & the carers say he plays with other children, & he always tells us what a great day he has.
I feel really hurt!
Ignore your friend, she sounds idiotic. Your son's behaviour is completely normal and very common. Many children take a while to warm up and join in with games etc. He'll be fine at school, the teachers will have seen it all before. My DD was exactly the same. I also had a 'friend' who felt the need to judge. Her similarly aged DD was very outgoing and whenever we met with the children she constantly commented on my child's shyness. Eventually I just decided to stop meeting her.
@Ceecee29 so wrong of your friend (and her DD) for treating you and your little one like that. It is NOT OK to behave in this way.
I second what PP said - I'd try to find friends and kids that are supportive and inclusive, rather than judgy and mean.
Thank you so much for your replies Eastie & Zoo ❤️ I'm glad to know I'm not the only one in thinking it wasn't OK for my friend & her dd to behave like that. I think I need to focus on encouraging my ds but also letting him know it's OK if doesn't want to join in straight away. It hurts when they hurt doesn it!
Ignore your friend!
Each child is different, my eldest DD was painfully shy, wouldn't really speak to people unless i really pushed her, would hide behind my legs etc... we tried dance classes, playgroups etc then she went to nursery and i honestly think the teacher thought she was mute! Every teacher said she was quite (almost to the point of being withdrawn and believe me that was many sleepless nights!)
She didnt get a place at the school where she went to nursery and i honestly thought she would be a nightmare settling in to a new environment etc (especially as she was the youngest in the class!) HOWEVER in year 1 she had the most amazing teacher who really pushed her out of her shell and now she is a confident 7 year old...
Her 3 year old sister is a completely different kettle of fish... she will shout at strangers to say hello!
Please don't worry OP, and so what if LO is shy, it could be worse!
Your friend is mad. I know more children like your DS than not!
That's not a very nice thing for your friend to say. I have 2 daughters. The eldest is 7 and she was very confident at that age and would talk to literally anyone now she's older shes becoming more shy. Her little sister is 4 and if someone talks to her she will just look at them and I have to tell her to say something and I explain to the person. Your friend should have spoken to her daughter about how your son is shy and it just takes him a bit longer.
Hello everyone, sorry for not responding sooner- haven't had Internet access for past couple of days!
Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post- I really appreciate it! 😊
I agree Iyssie that it would have been a better approach for my friend to explain to her daughter that my ds was being shy & also that it's OK to be shy!
Bunglemum- that's really reassuring to hear how much your dd has come along in terms of confidence the older she has got 😊 I worry a lot about how ds will find school as it wasnt an enjoyable experience for me (I know I need to not put my own insecurities onto him!)
Has anyone please got any tips of how I can prepare him for meeting up with friends & groups of people? We are meeting a few friends on Thursday & already I am feeling nervous about it as I know the children will all run off playing straight away & that my ds will take some time to warm up & join in. I think the suotation probably bothers me a lot more than it does him, but I just wish sometimes he would relax a bit as I know he would enjoy things (feel terrible saying that put loud).
Any more help/ advice you wonderful ladies could give would be really welcome! 😊 x
Ugh, what an absolute cow your friend is!
If it was my son, I’d just let him take his time. He’s clearly a very sensitive and emotionally intelligent child and just takes a little longer to warm up. He sounds lovely and very sweet. Don’t let your friend make you nervous!
OP I cannot count the number of times I tried to 'prepare' my DD when we were meeting people in the hope she would happily join in. I worried terribly about it and wasn't helped by my aforementioned friend who always had something to say about her shyness. I can only try to reassure you by saying most people will not notice or care (I mean that nicely!) if your DS takes time to warm up. It is honestly very, very normal to see a child of his age peeping out from behind his parent's legs and not running to play.
I wouldn't spend time prepping him. Just say breezily "we are going to see XYZ now". I'd avoid trying to coax him into play or making a big deal about joining in when you arrive. If he observes you just getting on with chatting with the other adults and looking relaxed he'll be more disposed to go and play when he's ready.
My DD is now 7 and pretty 'sociable' if that's the right word (I struggle with it because I don't think that children who don't join in are anti-social) and she just grew into it in her own time. Your DS may or may not always be quiet and reserved. If he is, it isn't a bad thing. My 4 yr old DS is the polar opposite of his sister at the same age and confidently launches himself into any given situation. It is exhausting. Be careful what you wish for
Hi lovely mumsnetters 😘 thank you for your responses cauliflower & Eastie. Met with the group of friends today, went better than I expected but still had some difficult moments. Was really proud of my ds, he joined in quite quickly but I think he struggles to keep up with the play as his friends are all older than him. 2 girls were holding hands & my ds went to go hold their hand too & one of them (the girl who I wrote about in the start of this post!) wouldn't let him 😔 it sounds awful to say but she's just not a very nice little girl. So that stressed me! Thank you for reassuring me that the way he is is normal. You just want them to he happy don't you & enjoy things! I know I need to champion his personality as I'm his mama & he is amazing, even if a little shy (which I know there is nothing wrong with!) ❤️
I could just punch people in the nose that say 'oh are you shy' when DS is settling in. I always feel like shouting he's not shy he's just sussing things out unlike your bolshy child who is in everyone's face! But I don't 😂