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Advice needed from mums of timid/anxious kids!

(1 Post)
1t6y9o Thu 19-Jan-17 10:14:05

We have a lovely almost 5 yr old DD who is very anxious and timid in new environments and around new people. She went to the preschool attached to her school so has settled very well into reception and although the teachers says she is quiet she has friends. I am grateful for this. She is loud and outgoing amongst friends and family.

The issue I have - I gather that all the children in reception do between 1 and 3 activites each week outside of school - swimming lessons, gymnastics, dance, football etc. We really want DD to do some extracurricular activities for self esteem, confidence, burning of energy, exercise etc. Unfortunately, she doesn't feel able to because it is totally out of her comfort zone. We have tried one activity and she clung to me. No parents stayed but the instructor agreed I could stay for a few sessions. It never improved and I got the impression the instructor found it distracting so I agreed we'd give up and try again in 6 months.

Have any of you been through this? Have you managed to encourage your child to get more involved in life?

I'm sure some of you will say leave her be, she'll do it when she's ready. However, I was a very similar child and my mother gave up taking me to groups almost at the first hurdle - I felt I was sent the message that 'if you don't want to do anything in life then fine, just stay home where its nice and safe'. I never did anything at all outside of school. I didn't even go on overnight school trips due to the anxiety. If I'd been forced from a young age to face up to the these anxieties in a controlled and sensitive way then perhaps I might have overcome them? Its only now I'm in my late 30s that I'm finally starting to get outside my comfort zone and LIVE. I feel I have wasted so much of my life and don't want this for DD.

I don't want to send the wrong message to DD. I know if she gave these things a chance she would absolutely LOVE them, excel and grow in confidence... she is forever dancing and doing gym in the lounge and LOVES swimming on holiday.

Anyone 'won' this battle? Any suggestions?

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