She wont try!(16 Posts)
DD is 7 , I am 50 - so an older mum.I am seriously at my wits end.
DD is shy & " comfortable in her own environment" as her teachers say. She has friends at school & we do play dates etc.
When we go to kids parties - she wont join in group games - even though she knows them all from school ( class size only 15 so not LOADS of kids)
This weekend we came away from a swimming party because she was made to wear a swimming aid ( as were other children) , and she had a meltdown. Other kids had to wear one too - although not all.She was the only one who cried over it.
In the past I would have spent ages explaining that all her friends were enjoying themselves etc - but this time I said ok - we'll go .
After being on waiting lists for Brownies & Gym club for years places have come up & I could do with some coping mechanisms to help her stay the course.
None of her school friends live locally ( we're pretty rural) , and none are in these clubs.
Her lack of confidence is affecting us all .
Any advise ?
Is your daughter an introvert? If so, I think you're fighting a losing battle and should just accept that group environments are not her thing. Has she asked to join Brownies and gym club?
Does she actually want to go to the parties?
Do you talk to her afterwards about her reactions and see what has triggered it?
Could she be imagining how the parties are going to happen and when it doesn't happen in that way (ie the swimming aid) it's too much for her to cope with?
Do you think she could be an introvert and find the group stuff a bit overwhelming?
Or do you think she could have done low level anxiety going on?
Sorry lots of questions I know.
Some kids just don't like the whole group activities - mine didn't. But they have enjoyed drama clubs which have helped them with confidence building. Might be worth exploring?
In my experience it's not worth the hassle. Let her develop confidence at her own pace. My ds was probably worse than your dd. Would cry if I tried to take him to clubs. Was on the verge of being a school refuser. Ten years later he is outgoing and confident, has a career he loves and is happier than he has ever been.
She is introverted She's fine once she gets to know someone
She does look forward to parties.
If things dont go her way ( like the swimming aid) , she'll have a meltdown. I asked her why - she said she didnt want to wear a swimming aid.
When it happens ive tried the " come on lets give it a go" approach , but now am doing the -"ok lets walk away"
I am keen on her going to Brownies ( Gym club I can forgo ) as I think it will open up so much for her - new friends etc .
Does she know anything about brownies?
If you really want her to give it a go then I'd sit down and have a look at the website with her and see what her reaction is to it and ask her if she wants you to put her name down.
But you might have to prepare yourself for her going to one taster session and never stepping back in the door - and just accept that it's not her thing without expressing any disappointment in her.
My advice? Stop pushing her to make friends UNLESS she complains/is upset about not having many friends.
I have always been an introvert. My mum constantly tried to push other kids on me from around your DD's age until I was about 16. I hated it. I didn't want to be friends with these kids. I didn't like being around kids very much -- too loud, too busy. I was happiest reading a book and having one or two friends I had occasional meet ups with one-on-one.
Now decades later I am exactly the same. I have a few friends I have regular lunch dates with and that's all I need in the way of friends. No large groups, no parties. And guess what, it makes me happy and always has done. My partner has loads and loads of friends and meets up with big groups and goes to lots of parties. That makes him happy and always has done. Neither of us are wrong, we're just different. There's more than one way to live your life and socializing doesn't have to be a big part of a persons life for them to be happy.
Is your DD fairly sociable looking forward to the party/event but then throwing a random strop of it doesn't all go her way as opposed to being introverted and simply not wishing to attend social events or does she look forward to events but then simply lack the social skills to be comfortable in them
If it's a case of the first issue then brownies or martial arts could be worth a go - leaders of these type of activities take no nonsense and she will just have to get on with the rules and deal with it or miss out and you won't be there to solve every minor preference she has
Personally I don't think you being older or living rurally are connected though I understand why you feel the need to set the context
Life will not all be filled with people wanting to accommodate your daughters every whim and she needs to learn this if she is simply introverted and happy that's different if she needs some sociak skills I have heard drama lessons /theatre clubs can help if any are close to you
Good luck sure you are doing a great job
I was like this as a child. The reasons for my behaviour may be the same or very different to your DD, so this is just a suggestion, please don't take offence if it doesn't apply to you.
I believe the reason for my behaviour was me reacting to my mothers behaviour. Now that I'm an adult, and I see my mother looking after younger relatives (e.g. Nephews), I see they act like this too - but only when with her. They never do it when with me or their parents. As soon as she leaves they are fine.
My mother encouraged an anxious attachment style, and was very anxious herself. This meant I was worried and confused by unusual situations and would cry or refuse to participate and cling to her.
E.g. 1 She would expect me to cry or be upset by a situation, so she would anticipate it, and perhaps repeatedly ask if I was ok, perhaps point out things that might be a problem, almost prompting me to be upset or cry so that she had something to do, so that she would feel needed.
E.g. 2 if at an activity or new situation she would prolong the goodbye, rather than quickly getting me into my swimming stuff and waving me off at a swim party, she would prolong it, say bye verbally but physically hang about, encouraging me to cling to her rather than joining in with the activity. She would then reward me with attention if I did cling to her (ie a long discussion, cuddles), reinforcing the behaviour).
Not saying you are like this, just letting you know my experience. It might be helpful to have a think about if there is anything you are doing that is prompting this behaviour (I guess that's the point of your post). It's hard for strangers to say, but perhaps someone who knows you in RL would be better placed to give some feedback?
My DS was like this at 6ish and wouldn't do any clubs without a friend. And then we tried beavers and he loved it so much. That then gave him the confidence to try other things. Hopefully it will be the same for you.
How does she do,with friends and play dates? If she is ok with small groups then I would concerntrate on having friends over and doing activities on a smaller scale.
I was just about to come on and write something uncannily similar to brownear
I used to get myself horribly stressed about things like this as a child to the point of feeling and sometimes being physically sick
I fully understand your viewpoint but I think that the very best that you can do for your DD is to just leave all of this for now but encourage anything that she instigates
For what it's worth at 37 I'm actually a very confident and sociable adult even if I do say so myself!
Thank you for the replies
Brownear - I think you are right
My DH took her to Gym club last night ( I arrived after it had started)
He said she cried to start with - but then some other girls took her in & she loved it .
I know It would have been a different outcome If I had taken her . Its my behaviour I need to modify I think .
Oh it's good to know I could be of some help. It's great that you recognise this and are trying to do something about it. Even when I point it out to my mother she doesn't see it herself so she can't change it. It can be very hard to see your own behaviour patterns.
I remember there used to be a TV program called House of Tiny Tearaways which featured children with various issues, some like your DD, and a psychologist called Tanya (can't recall her surname). I found it very informative at pointing out unhelpful parental behaviours (I am keen not to repeat my own mothers mistakes!). It's a few years old now but might be helpful to watch it online if you can get it.
Sorry I don't have more suggestions - it's such a hard thing to change! I think being aware of it is half the battle though. Xx
OP have a look at this website to see if it rings true for your DD.
The author has a book too called something like 'the highly sensitive child'
I'm like this as is my DD. My DM is very extroverted and pretty shallow. She never understood me and pushed me so hard all the time and all it achieved was making me retreat into myself.
I see the same with my own DD. I give her the space and freedom to come at things at her own pace and if she genuinely doesn't want to do something, I leave her be.
Oops, just realized your post was from April!
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