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  #1  
Old 3rd January 2007, 00:21
Scottidog Scottidog is offline
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Default Shy Four Year Old

Some weeks back I attended a coffee morning with some of the other mum's at my son's school and was so proud to see my little boy playing alongside his schoolmates. It was wonderful to see him pottering around with the other children and following his favourite friend around the room. Another of the mum's, who had attended a mother and toddler group with me when our children were younger, commented on how much more confident my son was since those early days. We spotted a sad little boy who sat alone during the whole time we were there, and we both breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't our child sitting there.


Then...


A couple of weeks ago, when I dropped my son off at school, the teacher called me over and, infront of all the other mums, announced loudly that some woman would be coming into the class that morning to offer her and her assistants some advice on how to assist my son with his shyness. I was completely gobsmacked because, until then, none of the teachers had made too much of an issue about his shyness. When I enquired about how he was getting on the teachers would always be positive and say he was doing fine. Obviously I could see that he was a shy boy, but I was happy and relieved that he had settled so well into school life and actually seemed to enjoy his time there. While some of his more extrovert classmates would cling to their mum's in tears my son always happily waved me off. Now someone was telling me that my son needs help with his shyness before he starts big school where he will feel extra vulnerable. When I commented on how well he seemed to be mixing with his classmates the woman went on about "parallel play" and how he would play side by side with them rather than with them.

Anyhow, his teacher has told me not to worry, and said that they would draw up some plan to help my son in the New year, but of course I've done NOTHING but worry. I just want to cry. I feel like the worst mother in the world...if it wasn't for my dodgy genes and/or my socially anxious behaviour that my son must have already started to copy he would no doubt have none of these problems. Thanks to my extreme shyness, my life at school was pure hell, and social anxiety has blighted most of my life. I really couldn't bear any of this for my beloved son


As I was often criticised as a child, I've tried so hard to be different with my child. I've always tried to enthusiastically praise my son at every opportunity, I lavish him with hugs and kisses, and never let him go to sleep at night until I've told him how much I love him, and how proud I am of his many achievements.

I've trawled the net trying to find information and advice on how to boost a child's confidence but most of what I've read I'm already doing: I've been taking him to mother and toddler groups since he was 18 months, he has been attending pre-school for a year and currently goes for 12 hours a week. I also accept birthday invitations and drag him round to strangers houses so that he doesn't miss out. And he is still ONLY four!! Short of getting him a different mother I don't know what else to do. I was so stupid to think that a child who has me for a mother could lead a life untainted by shyness and SA.


In this so called enlightened society it appears that it is still completely unacceptable for a person to be shy or quiet. Teachers, shop assistants, indeed complete strangers, have commented on my son's shyness. Although I keep on telling my son that he needs to talk up at school so that the teachers will know how clever he is, I really don't want too much of an issue made of it infront of him. I remember only too well how it was only when people started going on about my quietness, as if it was something to be ashamed of, that my self-esteem plummeted, and I started to feel like some kind of freak.


I apologise for this very long and rambling post, and I don't suppose there is anything anyone can say, but I feel so hopeless about it all at the moment, and wanted to get it off my chest here.



Thanks.












  #2  
Old 3rd January 2007, 00:31
Peasie Peasie is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

I'll try and say something positive here.

I still have my Primary One school report card and it comments on my shyness there. All my other report cards say the same thing. But I got no help with it. At least his shyness has been identified and they are hoping to help in tackling it. That's far better than getting no help and ending up like me a 41 year old permanently single person earning next to no money despite having the ability to earn a lot more.

As for "getting him a different mother" - I don't see much wrong with the one he has just now.
  #3  
Old 3rd January 2007, 01:01
Winnie57 Winnie57 is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

If your child is going to get help for his shyness that can only be good!
You are obviously a good and caring mother and have done all you can to help your child mix with other children.
You are feeling as you do because of your own sensitive nature. There is nothing wrong with your child being shy. They are just trying to help him which can only be good.
It is good that shyness is being recognised as needing help these days when in the old days we got ignored and it was the loud disruptive kids who got all the help!
Lots of children of four are shy but not all will have problems all their lives and it is probably too early to tell how your child will be in later life.
  #4  
Old 3rd January 2007, 09:13
Raindrop Raindrop is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

I agree what Peasie and Winnie57 have said. While I'd like to see a society, which would accept shy and quiet people better than it does now, I don't think it is likely to happen. So I think it is good your son will be getting help as early as possible. Like Winnie said, I think it is a positive development that these days it is recognized badly behaved kids are not the only ones who need help.

You sound like a great mom, please don't blame yourself.
  #5  
Old 3rd January 2007, 23:07
Scottidog Scottidog is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

Thanks so much Peasie, Winnie, and Raindrop, for all of your helpful comments.

I know I need to try and stay positive about all of this, and to be thankful that my son's school is going to help tackle his shyness while he is still so young. I guess because of my own negative experiences, I've kinda jumped the gun a bit, and have immediately assumed that my little boy is going to end up a socially anxious adult. But I grew up without any self-worth. I'm going do my damndest to make sure that my little boy has self-worth by the bucket-loads!
  #6  
Old 4th January 2007, 18:33
Porrig Porrig is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

Well as a toddler I was excessively shy and I had to see a child psychologist to try and improve the situation - not that I remember much of this. A social worker misdiagnosed this a learning difficulty and I was nearly sent to a remedial school. Fortunately my mum ignored her advise and I went to a normal school.

Of course the shyness/SA has been with me throughout my life, but at least I managed to cope through school, get a degree and a well paid job.

Sounds like the school is trying to sort it out while he's young which is good. Just because he's shy doesn't necessarily mean he'll do badly at school - it depends on which subjects he will excel at.

Perhaps it's worth researching some child psychologists to see if they can do something to help. No harm in starting things early.
  #7  
Old 4th January 2007, 19:19
Daydreamer Daydreamer is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

Hi Scottidog
I have a fifteen year old daughter and I completely understand what you mean, my biggest fear was that my daughter would be like me, scared and anxious alot of the time and missing out on life. But she has grown into a confident, happy teenager.
You sound like a great Mother who has done everything in your power to give your son the best start in life. It can only be a good thing that he gets a little help early on in his life, I wish someone had taken the time to help me, the behaviours we learn in early life seem to be the ones that stick, the only thing to be a little careful of is the school labelling him as being shy, quiet etc as he may find it hard to break free from peoples preconceived ideas, you know how some people like to put you in a little box and think they know what you're like.
I hope everything goes well for you and him as I'm sure it will
  #8  
Old 4th January 2007, 22:02
blubs blubs is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottidog
Thanks so much Peasie, Winnie, and Raindrop, for all of your helpful comments.

I know I need to try and stay positive about all of this, and to be thankful that my son's school is going to help tackle his shyness while he is still so young. I guess because of my own negative experiences, I've kinda jumped the gun a bit, and have immediately assumed that my little boy is going to end up a socially anxious adult. But I grew up without any self-worth. I'm going do my damndest to make sure that my little boy has self-worth by the bucket-loads!
Hi Scottidog,
I think there's a big difference between being shy & having social anxiety.
I've known shy people that were happy & capable with many friends. I think the difference is wether or not you have good self esteem and are happy the way you are..& aren't made to feel that you're 'wrong' in some way.
I think the fact that you make your son feel fundementally loved & valued will send him through life with healthy self esteem....wether he's outgoing or not.
You're doing a brilliant job
  #9  
Old 7th January 2007, 23:15
Scottidog Scottidog is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

Thanks Porrig, Daydreamer, Blubs and Mel for all of your very helpful comments. It really does help to hear other peoples thoughts on this.

A lot of the posts have reinforced what I was already thinking...that while it's a good thing that my son's Nursery want to help him with his shyness while he is still so young, it's also essential that his shyness isn't turned into a massive issue whereby he begins to feel different from other children and ashamed or bad for being shy.

As a painfully shy 7 year old, I had to see a school psychologist who said that there was nothing much wrong with me apart from seeking attention. As any socially anxious person will know being the focus of attention was the last thing I was looking for! Anyhow, I guess because I didn't fit into a neat little box like most of my other class-mates the local school didn't quite know what to do with me, and I was banished to a school in a different area where I joined a class of just 8 kids with various behavioural problems. That might have been okay if all of the other classes in the school weren't made up of normal sized classes with normal kids. Apart from joining in with the odd sportsday or whatever, us 8 kids were pretty much segregated from the other classes. Infact our little class wasn't even called a class but "The Unit". Until then I'd never really felt any different to other children but I rapidly began to feel ashamed about my shyness.

So yeah, while I want to do everything within my power to help my son feel comfortable and happy within social situations I don't want him to ever feel ashamed for being quiet at school.

Anyway, thanks for the kind comments. I do try to be an okay mum and am always telling my little boy how much I love him, how clever and handsome he is.... so hopefully, fingers crossed, this will help to play a little part in him becoming a confident and happy adult.
  #10  
Old 23rd January 2007, 15:53
Chach Chach is offline
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Default Re: Shy Four Year Old

One thing that wasn't mentioned here was about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottidog
Teachers, shop assistants, indeed complete strangers, have commented on my son's shyness.
Whenever a child's a bit quiet someone will say that he's shy. They don't mean anything by that. Lots of children are quiet around strange adults. They just remark on it for something to say. So I'm sure there's no reason to take any notice of such comments.
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