Interacting with Children and Shyness

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Mandie565's picture
Joined: 03/01/08
Posts: 693
Interacting with Children and Shyness

Harmony's post about A not playing alone made me think about Joey and how he is almost afraid of other children. We went to a party last night and for almost an hour he would not let us even put him down. Even when he relaxed he never went more than 5 feet away from us. He didn't play with the other kids or even interact. A Baby started to crawl towards him at one point and he started crying.

Any ideas on how to bring him out of his shell. I'm also wondering if its a part of his speech/physical delay.

April777's picture
Joined: 10/01/08
Posts: 579

Where does he spend his days? Alone with an adult? Daycare?

Zoey is quite shy around other kids due to a lack of us seeing other kids. The only thing I can think to do is to just interact more with other children. Exposure is likely the key in that situation. I think they need to understand that other kids can be fun, and are not scary. Patience and encouragement and positive reinforcement.

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

I agree... The more exposure the better. We're guilty of not getting Sean as many play dates as we should and DH is a SAHD, so he's never really out of his element. We've been lucky in that he still wants to play with other kids, but he does get shy and cranky sometimes if adults try to talk to him. I'd just say to try to set aside plenty of time for him to play around other kids... even if he doesn't actively play with them at first, he can see how the other kids interact and begin to mimic them. Do you notice other things out of the ordinary (I might have missed the posts about developmental delay)? Has his doc given him the m-chat test for autism/ASD?

isisgoddess_1's picture
Joined: 03/29/08
Posts: 1220

Joshua has a speech delay and is delayed in the area of social skills. He still isnt up to where other kids are but I do agree that exposure to social situations is key. It does get better though. Just stick with working on it with Joey.

AimeeLynne's picture
Joined: 09/29/08
Posts: 572

Miles was like that before we put him in his now daycare. He would play "with the kids" like along side of them, but not really interact. But after 2 weeks, he was going up to the other kids and talking, and playing with them. I definitely agree, more interaction should help.

harmonybear's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 639

I think it's normal for children to be like that for a good long while. You could even consider it toddler's natural defense against strangers. Wink

I have a friend who homeschools her three children. None of them have ever been in a preschool, a playgroup, or anything more formal than 30 minutes of Sunday School once a week. She was telling me last week that all of her children were very shy until they hit 18 months. Then they opened up some more, until they hit another shy phase around 3 years. And after they got past that, they've all been very social. In fact, they're some of the most social children at church.

So the point is that most children will simply outgrow it naturally without any extra effort on your part. Exposure will help it happen faster, of course, and there will be children who will need the extra effort from Mom, Dad, or even a therapist to help overcome those issues, but for most kids normal life will be enough exposure. I already see this with A. She has become much more social in the last six months. She used to never smile at anyone, much less talk to them or play with them. But now she's very social. She even talks to complete strangers at the grocery store of her own initiative.

But of course, you know him better than anyone. If you think it's related to his speech delay, then it's definitely worth making extra effort to help him learn to interact better. GL!

Mandie565's picture
Joined: 03/01/08
Posts: 693

Thank you for all in the input. I got a free month membership to the YMCA and I put Joey in the day care for 40 mins yesterday. It was his very first time in a daycare situation and he did ok. he cried but then they were able to distract him. I was so proud of my little guy!!

I am making socializing a priority right now to see if that will help at all.