View Full Version : Shy 4 year old
07-23-2008, 08:52 AM
My (almost) 4 year old is so shy, and has been for a while. She has been in daycare for 1 1/2 years and every day that my DH drops her off, she throws a tantrum and acts "scared" and doesn't want to go. She goes to daycare 3 days a week and has done this for the last 1 1/2 years, so it is nothing different. Also, she is even shy around family members. There are only 4 people that she will usually go to with no problems, and sometimes she is even shy around them. Last fall I enrolled her in tumbling to be able to have fun and interact with kids, and she threw a fit everytime we went and I had to help her with everything instead of the teacher or other children. I really don't know what to do with this situation. She seems to be petrified with everyone who is not her mom or dad. If anyone has any advice or even any book suggestions, please help me! I am worried that she will not grow out of this and it will only get worse. Thanks in Advance!
07-31-2008, 06:43 PM
Wow. That's tough. Is she honestly scared...or could it be a power play? I only ask because I had a friend who used "shyness" to manipulate her parents. My brother struggled with separation FOREVER even though we had been in daycare since birth. Aside from preparing her for various situations and giving her practice, I can't think of anything. I'm all about replacing undesirable habits with desirable ones. Talk through how the daycare drop-off should go. (Daddy and Sally pack Sally's backpack and go for a ride to daycare. When they arrive, they get out of the car and go inside. Sally sees all her daycare friends: Mary, Jane, and Billy. Her teacher, Ms. Jones, waves hello. Daddy helps Sally hang up her backpack then gives her a big hug, reminding her that he will pick her up after snack time. Sally gives her Dad a hi-5 and sits down to read with Ms. Jones.) After you talk it through, make your own blank book. You write each step on its own page and have her draw a picture to go with the step. Then you practice. You pretend to be Ms. Jones while Daddy and Sally are themselves. Make sure the book is in her backpack. If she's freaking out at daycare, Daddy should read it with her once and leave. She needs to learn. Even if her personality is genuinely THAT reserved, she's going to have to learn to engage somehow. Always reassure her and make her know she's loved, but let her know that she's also safe with so-and-so and she needs to play with them for 10 minutes then you'll come back (if you're at a family gathering of some sort). Having a set period of time (like 10 minutes or after snack) lets her know when to expect relief and therefore help her endure (you know, like when your doctor would tell you the contraction was almost over? ;) ). Definitely give it time, but maintain your resolve that she's GOING TO LEARN THIS. :) Good luck to you!
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