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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Battling Shyness

I alluded to it in the vacation recap, but really I have been glossing over it. LatteGirl is shy in new surroundings. She easily (for the most park) makes friends when she warms up and lets her guard down. But the time it takes for her to "warm up" in any given situation seems to have gotten worse and not better.

Now, we finally got to the bottom of part of it. It seems that one girl at summer camp that happen to be friends with some of the same people as LatteGirl, was a bit of a bully to her. She didn't like my little angel and this girl did not have any problem letting LatteGirl know it. LatteGirl has not so far really encountered such a situation where a person she was willing to befriend, simply did not like her and there was nothing she could do about it.

After finally getting this information out during a discussion one day during vacation, she did warm up around some of the kids at the resort. So, I can only assume that her understanding that not everybody is going to like her (something she could only ask "Why?" to, but seemed to finally accept), put her a bit more at ease. But I fear the underlying problem continues.

Part of the problem I suppose is that outside of school/daycare she has very little interaction with other kids. This of course leads to the problem of Mommy and Daddy having to also fill the role of "friend" most of the time. Which leads to her depending and expecting Mommy and Daddy to play that role, plus it is one she knows and is comfortable with. So she shys away (at first) from others.

It is frustrating. It is a problem easily identified. It is a problem that is easy to find the root cause. But it is one that I am perplexed as to how to solve. I thought things like getting her involved in dance classes would help, since there were several girls that she already knew from Pre-K in the class, she built on her relationships with those girls and even with the recitals continued to hide.

Starting a new school in the fall may help a bit, but that of course depends on who or how many previous friends are in the same class. She will start dance classes again, but many of the same kids will be in that class, so I don't know how much that will change anything. TheWife has tried to get her interested in a few other things such as gymnastics and soccer, but we have to contend one with the fact that she has expressed zero to less than zero interest and two we do not want to wind up making her one of those "overscheduled" children that are always running somewhere, but rarely excel at any one thing because they have their hands in too many things.

Do you have a shy child (or one that has broken out of their "shell")? How do you deal with it?

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