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Shy dd going into reception

(12 Posts)
fleur34 Wed 06-Jul-16 06:04:03

My dd is chronically shy in new situations and I'm getting really worried about how she will manage when school starts in September and if she will struggle to make friends.

She goes to a lovely nursery at the moment and is very happy and secure with a good friendship group of girls who are sadly all going to different schools. Only one boy is going from nursery to school with her. There are kids we know from other settings but they all know big groups of other kids and I'm just worried she is going to get left behind because she won't join in when she feels uncertain of a new situation.

I was very much the same at the start of primary school and I still remember vividly how miserable it was for me. I can't bear the thought of dd being left out and having no friends - especially when she is so happy and settled at the moment.

Any ideas on what I can do to make the transition as easy as possible? We have regular play dates with one of the girls in her class, and they get on well, but as soon as this girl is with her nursery friends, dd is long forgotten. It's heartbreaking to see! We are doing lots of settling in at school so she knows the environment. We have been talking about how important it is to make new friends. Not sure what else I can do?! Any ideas or pearls of wisdom welcome! Thanks for reading X

TooTweeOrNotTooTwee Wed 06-Jul-16 06:29:02

I think I read this on here somewhere (there's a school preparation section somewhere), but I think it's a good idea not to be too relentlessly positive when you prepare DC for school - it helps if they have realistic expectations.

Also, I've told DD to ask for a teacher's help if she wants to play with other children but doesn't know how to join in.

Good luck!

YouSay Wed 06-Jul-16 06:54:22

There is a book that is recommended 'Time to talk' I think. It is supposed to be excellent.

Are there any summer clubs associated with the school?

Do one to two play dates a week with a different classmate each time.

Do a reward chart for when she speaks (hi, bye, thank you, wave, smile) to other children or adults and buy her a treat when she gets to 10. Keep doing this through out her first year.

fleur34 Wed 06-Jul-16 08:08:10

Thank you, I really appreciate the responses and ideas! A reward chart sounds like a good idea, we will get onto that. No summer clubs unfortunately :-( but we will definitely try and have lots of play dates with different kids.

I'm really outgoing (now!) and will chat away to all of the mum's to try and get to know them - do you think the way I am has hindered her somehow?! I feel like she kind of hides behind me as I will always chat/keep things going if she is being shy? Not sure if I should modify my behaviour slightly too?? I try not to answer for her when she is being spoken to and is obviously reluctant to answer...

Will look up the book! X

Barbeasty Wed 06-Jul-16 09:58:24

We bribed DD. If she could tell me who she'd spoken to each day on the first 2 weeks, she could have a ride on a horse.

It worked (although we'll ignore the fact I then had to bribe her to sit on the thing..... and what it's cost me in riding lessons since!)

Nearing the end of yr1 now and she's so much more confident.

We also spoke to the teacher. Actually she refused to talk to the teacher at the nursery visit and the summer term settling, so they knew what they were dealing with- but they'd seen her chatting happily with nursery friends when she didn't know she was being watched, so they knew she just needed support.

And I wouldn't modify you're behaviour, aren't you modelling positive behaviour to her?

Barbeasty Wed 06-Jul-16 09:58:42


fleur34 Wed 06-Jul-16 10:22:55

Thank you!! We are all about the bribes in our house!!! I will have to think of something she would like to do or have and see if that works in conjunction with a reward chart.

I was thinking maybe I would try and speak to the teacher too. Did you do that at the start of term? There never feels like a convenient time at all the settling in sessions as its so hectic. Maybe I will try and arrive early at the next one and have a quick word. I'm sure she clocked dd's shyness yesterday anyway so hopefully will already be aware.

That's what I had thought re me being outgoing and trying to set an example but at the same time, I don't want her to rely on me for being the one who talks (if that makes sense!) it's strange as I was so like her as a child and so shy and miserable in reception but obviously it didn't affect me later in life so maybe I should chill out a bit. I just can't bear the thought of her feeling lonely and sad like I did when I started school :-(

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 06-Jul-16 10:54:54

Talk to the teachers, they are usually brilliant at this sort of thing. Arriving early is a good idea. Your example is a good one. Try not to worry and project your memories onto this transition (I know easier said than done) I was a shy child at reception age, dd1 was a shy child, we are both now (she's 11) extremely outgoing and confident, being in a school environment was the making of both of us. Good luck.

BertPuttocks Wed 06-Jul-16 10:55:12

I think schools now do a lot more to support children with the social side of things.

In Reception, some of the Early Learning Goals are connected to getting on with other children and encouraging children to talk to each other. In my DD's class they often put the children into small groups or pairs and support them in their friendships.

Out in the playground, many schools will have buddy systems and playground helpers who will be looking out for anyone who seems lonely. Our local schools choose a small group of older children to take a short course in leading the younger ones in games and activities on the playground.

The playground supervisors also have various games set up and encourage the children to take part. It's a great way to make friends with children in other classes as well as in their own.

I would ask if you can make an appointment to see the teacher if you can't catch them during a settling-in session. They will be able to add it to their notes and hopefully give you some reassurance so that you don't worry about it during the holidays.

Good luck.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 06-Jul-16 10:58:02

PS I'm not so sure bribing her to talk to people is a good idea. What I've noticed over the years is parents who've put pressure on children to be sociable end up with children who are much more awkward, at this very early stage I would honestly just relax and accept your dd for who she is and rely on the school to gently push her.

fleur34 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:16:21

Thank you lovely folk. That's sort of what I mean about the pressure to be sociable and be like me - I don't want her to be something she isn't, but I just feel she is going to miss out and I don't want her to have a miserable time of it so any way to get her out of her shell is good!! Great to hear that reception teachers are generally good at getting kids to join in, I don't think there was so much of that when I was little and if you were quiet you just got a bit lost in the crowd. I suspect I'm probably really overthinking it but I just feel so protective of her and want her to enjoy school and not have a crappy time of it!

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 06-Jul-16 12:25:39

You setting a sociable example will make a huge difference, inviting kids over will help. These things come gradually, but I'm sure she won't be miserable, schools are much nicer places now.

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