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Any tips on overcoming shyness?

6 replies

Snazzygoldfish · 08/05/2019 07:00

My 3 year old ds is desperately shy. Was a fta baby and he has been with me since birth so not sure if it's adoption related or 3 year old related or just his personality. He has a brilliant personality at home and with trusted adults but he hides behind me or buries his head in my arms whenever anyone talks to him. He has been a bit delayed in most areas and doesn't yet really play with other children at nursery.

I'd be really grateful for any advice on overcoming this, especially in relation to helping him in preparation for starting school next year.

Thank you

OP posts:
jellycatspyjamas · 08/05/2019 08:50

I think the best way to help him gain confidence is to ensure he feels secure - secure base being one of the building blocks of attachment. So, if he’s hiding behind you, I’d let him but continue your conversation with whoever it is and include him by mentioning his name (ie oh mini-goldfish really liked that movie too, rather than asking him to talk about the movie because that might be hard for him). Don’t push him into trying things on his own, it’ll panic him and he’ll feel even more anxious. Talk to him about what you’re going to be doing and who you’re going to be seeing each day, and remind him of who they are (mini-goldfish remember we were talking about aunt my Peggy, here she is...).

It’s hard but he needs to take his time and grown in confidence, think too about his transition to school - if he’s a bit delayed generally is there the option to defer entry? I’m in Scotland and it’s fairly easy here to defer but I know that’s not the case elsewhere.

NothingIsAvailable · 08/05/2019 19:31

Does he spend time without you? My daughter is 3 and goes to the childminder and preschool type setting. I'm sure this has helped her confidence as she is so used to getting out there and being with other kids. If he has no experience of this it might be worth putting him into a pre school for a bit of time each week so that he can get used to the setting?

NothingIsAvailable · 08/05/2019 19:33

Just to add my daughter is also delayed and it has definitely thrown up some issues with communicating with her peers. All we can do is be loving and patient but it's a hard age if there is delay. Might heart breaks when my daughter struggles to join in but she has support and is getting there. I too would consider deferring school. It has been on my mind but I've decided to put her in in September because she actually loves going to preschool and I think she is emotionally ready.

Snazzygoldfish · 08/05/2019 19:45

Thank you nothing and jellycat. He's a November birthday and we are in England so he will be nearly 5 when he starts school next year which I'm really grateful for. He does go to nursery but if I'm honest he doesn't go more than a couple of mornings a week as we do a lot at home and it's where he's happiest and we enjoy being together so maybe I should send him a bit more often...he's allowed to go 5 mornings. I like the idea of not pushing him, it's just other people have started to comment and I want to try to build him up a bit before it effects his confidence.

Thank you again

OP posts:
NothingIsAvailable · 09/05/2019 15:02

Other people will always have an opinion, you decide what is best for him Smile If he doesn't start school until 2020 then no rush to increase his hours. Plenty of time for that! My daughter starts this September and will be only just 4 Sad So I felt I needed to get her used to it quickly.

SallyWD · 09/05/2019 15:16

My DS is painfully shy. At nursery he wouldn't talk to any kids, let alone the adults. He was diagnosed with selective mutism. He's now 6 and in year 1. He's very slowly improved since starting school but is still very quiet. He has about 4 or 5 kids he'll talk to at school but freezes when other kids talk to him. He'll talk to the teacher if addressed but not otherwise. Having been through all this and seen specialists I've come to the conclusion there's not a great deal you can do about it. The advice I was given is never to pressurise them to talk or join in. It makes them more anxious. Rewards desirable behaviour I. E. "oh it was great the way you were playing with Tommy there. Wasn't it fun?". I've decided shyness is just my son's nature and he'll continue todevelop his confidence but may always be shy. Just help him to feel secure and loved. 3 is still very young so I'm sure you'll see him change a lot over the years.

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