Post # 1
I’d like to hear other parent’s experiences of having a shy child. My toddler son is naturally shy and always no matter what always needs time to warm up. He is highly verbal but will clam up instanly in situations he hasn’t settled into yet. I am constantly explaining to people that he’s shy because people just seem to love to attack kids (with hugs and kisses and showing off and questions) and get right up in their face. I am even constantly reminding our own family, his Grandparents especially, to give him a minute because they overwhelm him. At daycare I can’t just drop him and go, I make sure he finds a comfortable spot and we say a proper goodbye and I help him find a toy or remind him of something to tell his teacher to help him transition – and I think this gets viewed as lingering but it only takes a minute and it’s what he needs to set him up for success. This morning a teacher pulled him from my arms right as we walked in and he instantly broke down. That approach doesn’t work. I am finding that I have to constantly speak up for him but people still don’t seem to get it. Once my son has a chance to warm up he has no trouble playing and socializing but he just needs that time, why don’t people think kids can be shy? It’s his natural personality.I think people view it as him being clingy and me and my husband being over-protective. Can anyone else relate?
Post # 2
It must be somewhat challenging to raise a child in a society that glorifies outgoing, extroverted personalities. What you are doing currently – speaking for your child – seems to be a good thing. There will come the time, however, when your child will need to handle his social interactions on his own. As soon as your son is able to understand, you could explain to him that being shy is totally fine, that indeed it has many positive aspects to it, and it will not really hamper his ability to have friends.
Post # 3
It sounds like you’re doing a great job being his advocate. That is exactly what he needs right now. I have a feeling once he’s past the toddler phase and just a normal, boring elementry age kid, people will become less interested in interacting with him and he (and you) will be able to feel more comfortable with his natural personality.
Post # 4
I don’t have any parenting advice, but I was also a very shy child. I hated being left without my mom or my grandmother and I had a hard time joining in with the other kids. I don’t remember being a toddler, but I remember being probably about 10 years old at a summer rec program. A bus took us to the school where all the kids could play sports, do crafts, etc. for the summer, kind of like a big daycare for older kids. I didn’t have any friends there, so I just sat on a swing alone all day (or in a corner inside if it was raining) for the entire summer because I was too shy to join in with anyone. I’m obviously better now, but still painfully shy around people that I don’t know. Around people I know well though, I’m a total center-of-attention type person.
I think you’re doing the right thing, helping him make the transition at daycare. Giving him topics to bring up with the teacher and helping him get comfortable. As he gets older, you can help him with tips on how to initiate conversations or join in with them. Build up his confidence and such. I wish someone had helped me with that more earlier in my life. It’s harder to change things once you’re older.
Post # 5
Poor kid. My sister was the same way as a kid. It helped her to really find some hobbies she enjoyed and to join girl scouts, clubs, dance class, etc. It helped her confidence and her flexibility in dealing with people. It sounds like a shot of confidence may be what your son needs to feel OK. Also, I know it may be hard for you to just “let go” at the door of daycare, etc., but you may be making him feel like “letting go” is a big deal and that anxiety can trickle down to him.
Post # 6
My daughter is shy too, and it’s hard when adults expect her to like them instantly. I don’t understand why some people don’t allow kids to have personal boundaries, as you’d expect adults to. I mean, you wouldn’t just get up in some adult’s face or walk up to someone and hug them. I’d be upset if a daycare worker took my daughter out of my arms, since you obviously have a routine.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. Am I “overprotective” because she’s clingy, or is she clingy because I’m overprotective? But, i try to give her space – she just doesn’t want it. And I feel it’s better to respect that shy part of her and encourage her than to force extraversion (not sure if that’s a word).