Post # 1
Anyone ever feel like a bad parent? You know you’re not but you still feel like it? My daughter is a very difficult child. We’ve just recently gotten her potty trained, she’ll be four in a few days. It’s not because we weren’t trying, I’ve been trying to get her to pee in the potty since she was two. She is also incredibly shy. I don’t mean hide behind your leg shy, I mean, let me give you an example. We signed her up for t-ball and she had so much fun practicing with our neighbors kids, we made sure she was on their team, we thought we had done everything to make it easier for her. We go to the first practice and she won’t get out on the field unless I’m with her. (I have a social anxiety and it makes me physically sick to be in front of a crowd.) I went out there with her though. Second practice she won’t even go out there with me. We both end up leaving in tears. We continue on because she says she wants to play, she’s always asking her dad to go out in the yard and play, and we do. So for her first game her father took off work to be there, thinking that if he went on the field she’d be good. She talked about this THE WHOLE DAY! Was so excited, until we pull up to the field and she realized there was a bunch of people. She then starts screaming/crying/drooling. Same thing happened yesterday when we took her to one of the neighbors birthday parties. I just feel like I’m failing her somehow. It doesn’t help any that I am uncomfortable in these situations. But I try so hard to make her comfortable and make sure my own failures don’t affect her.
I’m looking for advice, encouragement, anything really. I’m at my wits end.
Post # 2
You know..some kids are joiners, and others are observers. From her reactions, it seems she may just not be ready to participate in a sport yet. It’s OK. Keep playing in your yard with her and wait for her to let you know when she can handle it herself. No sense forcing her and having her fall apart.
My oldest daughter was involved in everything, while her sister was more interested in just random play. Dance lessons, she cried. T-ball, she cried. Soccer,she cried. When she tried everything again, she was much older and did well. What she thought she wanted wasn’t really what she wanted, so our job as parents is to recognize it and let it go.
Kids are taught fear by what they hear. If you have anxiety issues, is it possible she picks up on your non-verbal cues? Does she overhear you talking about yourself and by extension,herself?
I think you’re doing a great job by trying to expose her to different things. I jst don’t think she’s ready, and may not be for awhile yet.
Chin up. Parenting is hard. 🙂
Post # 3
Social anxiety is a real, treatable mental health problem. My husband has suffered from it for as long as he can remember, and has only sought treatment for it in the last year. Since he started taking the daily low dose anti-anxiety meds prescribed, he is like a new person! He has expressed on dozens of occasions that he wishes that he would have gotten treatment as a young child because a lot of what he remembers from his childhood is dread.
Social anxiety isn’t something that you can overcome by doing social things! Because it seems like you can just get used to it or overcome shyness, it often goes untreated and sufferers are pushed into participating in social events that they dread. I would strongly consider having her assessed, and you too if you’re not being treated for it. After my husband got treated, it improved the quality of life a great deal for him in social situations, but also completely stopped other unwanted behaviors such as a bad temper.
It’s a good thing that she has you, who can sympathize with her!
Post # 4
Oh also – you shouldn’t blame yourself for it. I would be very surprised if it’s behaviour she’s picking up from your own anxiety – it really sounds like she has social anxiety herself. It does certainly have a genetic component.
Post # 5
I’m not a parent, but I just want to give you comfort and support. You are NOT a bad parent. I’m somewhat close to my two nieces, but I know it’s not the same. My sister recently expressed that she feels like a bad parent because she doesn’t do all these activities with the kids, the way she sees other mom’s doing (such as on facebook). I think she feels inadequate.
Kids aren’t perfect. Her older daughter, now 7, had the worst time potty training. It was a horrendous experience for my sister and niece. I don’t remember specifics but it was just horrible. Her younger daughter, 3, was talking about my wedding for weeks and how she was going to throw the flower petals down with her big sister. That day, it was ALL she would talk about. Come ceremony time when she saw the whole crowd, she cried so much her father had to stand out with her. She felt sooo guilty about it after. We came up with a solution but she almost couldn’t get through that either. She tends to shy away from things and feel guilty after.
I remember when I was a kid, asking my mom to go to certain things, and then telling her I wanted to leave or calling her to come get me, faking a stomach ache. I begged my parents to sign me up for softball every year and I hated going. I’m not even shy. I think I just wanted to feel like everyone else but I did not want to do those things.
Bottom line, if you’re keeping your child safe and providing food, clothing, shelter and love, I’m sure you’re a wonderful parent.
Post # 6
Bubbles42: MsKeee: ItWasntMe: Thank you so much ladies for your kind words.
I think what worries me is I see our two neighbors kids, who are days apart in age from my daughter, and they are so adjusted. They have no problems going and doing things. They were potty trained within a week. I know its horrible to compare your child to another child as no two children are alike. I just want her to be able to fit in. I failed out of my first college because I was to scared to walk into a class if people were already there. I was afraid people would look at me and judge me or I would embarrass myself somehow.
ItWasntMe: I totally see what you are saying! Her father and I have decided to keep her in gymnastics and tball but not push her to go out and participate. IF she wants to, great. IF she doesn’t want to and just wants to watch the other kids, thats perfectly fine too. I just hate for her to look at me and tell me she wants to go do those things and then when I tell her its ok she says she’s scared to.
MsKeee: I do have social phobia. After my daughter started walking I took myself off of them (Working in a hospital shows you that kids can and will get into the most impossible things) for fear that she could somehow find them and have an accident. I have been dealing with it fine until she started having her issues. One of my biggest fears is that she’ll have my issue.
Bubbles42: I hate that your sister can feel the same way I do but at the same time it is nice to know I am not the only one.
Post # 7
woobie8709: I think you should consider getting a prescription pill lock box and going back on them, or putting them in a lock box in your car, etc. if you find relief from them. Social anxiety is a medical condition that can (and ought to be in my view) be treated properly so that the sufferer doesn’t have to suffer needlessly because society has instilled the belief that mental health problems ought to be overcome just by will. If she has your issue, which isn’t an “issue” so much as a treatable illness then the best thing that you can do for her is to take your own social anxiety seriously and treat it and talk about it as a medical problem, and make sure that she is assessed and treated as well if her social anxiety levels are outside of the norm. If your child was nearsighted, you would take her to the eye doctor and get her glasses, not just send her to class and hope for the best. You also wouldn’t beat yourself up for your bad genes. Mental health problems are illnesses and should be treated with the same level of respect and neutrality as any physical illness would. If she does have social anxiety, you can help your daughter to avoid things like failing out of college due to it by setting a great example for her right from the start!
Post # 8
1) Many children take a long time to potty train. I was convinced that my older daughter would go to prom in a diaper… but she finally did get potty trained.
2) I don’t know a lot of 4 year olds who can really fully participate in a team sport. It is jsut too young.
3) If you were diabetic you would not stop taking insulin because you were afraid your child might stick themselves with your needle. As a PP suggested, get a locking med box. You owe it to your child to be as mentally whole as you can be.
Post # 9
eeniebeans: In our area, t-ball starts at 3 years old. I know quite a few who do very well. Of course, they do get easily distracted, which adds to the fun of it. I have been debating on going back on my medication. I prefer to handle it without it (Thats just my own personal preference) but there are times when certian situations do trigger more anxiety than others and its good to have on hand during those times. I love you first comment! I’ve been certain that I would go to college with my kid because she’d still be in diapers.