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Old 06-11-2011, 12:37 AM   #1
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advice for a shy 3 yr old.

My dd just turned 3 in March. She has always been vary cautious and it takes her a while to warm up to little people her age. She gets along very well with older kids (5+). We have gone to a mommy-and-me type play group since she was a baby, but I have never left her anywhere, except with family, so I feel like this is my fault... There's a dance class nearby for 3-5 year olds, ballet/creative dance that I KNOW she would love, but I don't really know how she would react to being dropped off. I haven't heard back from the studio if parents are allowed to stay and watch, and the class is filling up fast. I can't really imagine her doing anything but freaking out if I have to drop her off.
I don't know what to do!! All the other girls we know could not care less if their moms are around and I feel like I've handicapped my daughter by not leaving her with babysitters or at preschool.
sorry, this is getting long.
bottom line, how did you prepare your child for being "dropped off" the first time, if you did it later in life?


S, hippy-elitist-turned-semi-redneck mama to DD, 3, expecting #2 10/14/11

Last edited by bootiecutie; 06-11-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

Dd2 is painfully shy. She never ever would go to the church nursery - they'd come get me because they couldn't calm her down. She'll be 4 in August and she just started going to Sunday school a month ago and the first time I sat with her for 20 min and she didn't say a word the whole time. I picked her up last week and her teacher was shocked at how jabbery she was and said she participated in almost everything.

When we have a playdate with someone new it takes her 2 hours to warm up and actually play. We have family who have never heard her talk because it takes so long for her to warm up to you. She has always refused to go to story time at the library.

We opted to just wait for her to be comfortable with things. And guess what - she asked to go to story time this last week. She didn't participate but she went. HUGE step for her. We are already talking about preschool this fall but I arranged with her teacher to stay the first day while she gets to know them. After that she'll let me drop her off.

In your case if you can't stay, I might give her another year and see if she blossoms a bit.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:05 AM   #3
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My 3 year old DS is very shy too, but don't feel like it's your fault. DS has been in day are since 3 months (3days a week) and he's been in the church nursery since then too. I took him to drop off swim lessons Thursday and he cried the whole time while the teacher carried him around the pool.

Some kids are just shy around adults, I was the same way when I was little. It wasn't that I was scared, I just didn't want to talk to them or them to talk to me.

DS doesn't cry when I drop him off at daycare of church, but he just goes straight to the kids.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

Its not your fault. Some kids are shy and its doesn't matter if they have had a lot of time away from you or all their time with you. I was a preschool teacher- we had who had been in care since babies and still were shy and some that had never been in care and they jump right in. Some kids get better and some remain shy. I was really shy until my 20's- i would actually skip the first day of classes so i wouldn't have to introduce myself, wouldn't go through a drive through because I didn't want to raise my voice- and never, never asked questions in class. My daughter is also shy- I do encourage her to be independent and assertive- I really want her to be more comfortable than I was, but I don't force it. I try to work her into things- warm her up. We started play groups at 2 it tool a year to get her off my lap and actively playing in the group. Not sure if it was the play group or age, but as she warmed up to playgroup she stopped hiding behind me in public. I credit the playgroup though- she was physically behind and her physical therapist recommended play groups- monkey see, monkey do. We took a mommy and me gymnastics class at the Y, then the next session I enrolled her in a class without me- with the same teachers, but I watched the first few classes. Then I told her I was going to go exercise- showed her where I would be and that her coach could come get me if she needed me. She loves her coaches- they are wonderful- so it has gone smoothly. Swim class is a different story. She started swim again as a mommy and me, them moved to a class where I watch. She had the same teacher for 4 sessions- a really good teacher- then we moved. Her new swim teacher I don't think really likes kids and we are not allowed to stay in the pool area, but watch from 2nd floor balcony. She loves, loves, loves swimming but would not go to class. The first time we left, 2nd and 3rd I handed a crying child to the teacher. She was fine as soon as she got in the water and she was fine after that. It upset me pretty badly and she hasn't chosen swim as her class since.

We had lots of conversations about what was going to happen, when I started dropping her off. Made sure she understood that I would come back, that her teachers were there for her and they could always call me if she needed me- i would always be close by. You never know- she might do wonderfully.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

Dance class was the first place I had left my daughter and she was 3 at the time. We had a very understanding dance teacher that let me stay in the back of the room until she got more comfortable with me leaving. By the third class I didn't even have to stay because she waved bye at the door and ran into dance class
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

My MDD was very shy at 3 but now at 5 we are having to constantly tell her to stop talking to strangers
She was very attached to me at 3 but outgrew it the more we did the more places we went and having ODD in school helped her out.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

Ok, I posted last night and now it's gone. Weird.

It's not your "fault" that your daughter is shy. This is normal for a lot of kids at her age. My oldest was very shy at that age also.

At this age, I cannot imagine the dance stuido NOT allowing parents to stay. I understand that some parents/children are comfortable with drop off, but there are a lot who are not.

So, I'd say go ahead and sign her up, and if they later say that you can't stay, then you can demand your money back, because no where in their info does it say parents are not allowed to stay.

My oldest is now almost six, and for the last 2 years or so has been very friendly and social. So your daughter will probably come around. However, she may ALWAYS be a little shy. This is not something that is your "fault." This is just who she is right now.

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:31 PM   #8
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

I wouldn't worry to much, my ODD was super shy at that age too. She has rarely been left with anyone (DH and I always have done alternating schedules) and I do nursery at church so it is rare she is with out one of us. Lately though she is talking to everyone she meets. She always has to say "Hi my name is KD, I am four years old. This is my brother Asher, he's two and this is my baby sister Meira. She's not even one yet." then she goes on to tell EVERYONE that we have a dog named Bella and that we "removed" (moved) even though that was months ago. And the other day we were stopped at a light and there was a homeless guy with a cardboard sign asking for money and she starts trying to flag him down so I tell her to stop and she says "Why, I just wanted to tell him we are going to the zoo". Okay so I kinda wandered off from what I was going to say. Anyways, I really think it is an age thing. I would find out if you can get your money refunded if for whatever reason the class doesn't work out. I would think though the teacher would be pretty understanding if you wanted to stick close by for the 1st class or two.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

DD was that way too, is still kind of shy at times and at others, totally outgoing almost to a fault. We took her to South Korea and she really bloomed out of the shyness and went from that to full blown moocher. Learned really quick that people there didn't see a lot of little Western girls with blue eyes and light brown hair and were very quick to give away thing to her. One of these days I need to post the link to the video showing just how people reacted to her over there.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: advice for a shy 3 yr old.

MY ODD is very similar to how you describe your DD, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with DD or anything I did to make DD this way. It's just the way she is.

Gymnastics class when she was 3 was the first time she went by herself without DH or I easily accessible to her. Two things really helped. First, I had done a "Parent & Tot" class at at this gymnastics center about six months prior so she was familar with the teachers and building. Second, they have a glass viewing area where the parents can watch, but DD could look over and see me too. I prepped her the whole week before about her gymnastics class and how she would have to be in the class by herself, but I would be watching her. The day of class, she wanted be to walk her to the door, and then she never looked back.

At this particular center, you can do two classes and if it doesn't work out, you can get a full refund. I wasn't going to push DD into going by herself (I personally think it backfires for shy individuals and just makes them more hypersensitive to situtations), but I at least wanted to try it out. For us it worked. All I can say is to try, and if it doesn't wait 3-6months and try again.
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