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As my daughter gets older I am finding that she is becoming more and more shy. I'm sure it's partly because she doesn't really have much social interaction out side of her dad and I . So my question to all of you parents out there, what do you do with your children to allow them to socialize. I have looked for Mommy and me groups in our area, but i can't seem to find any active groups. The other alternatives i have come up with while we're waiting for her to be old enough for dance or gymnastic classes is... Story/ play/ music time at the public library, and something called Kindermusik. It is supposed to be early introduction to music for babies, toddlers, and children. Has anyone tried anything like that before? what was your experience?
Patience is a definite must. My daughters are the same way, as im a stay at home Mom with minimal social interaction. I stuck to the plan of the library and mom and me programs but still ended up with two very shy kids. This past month my oldest has finally begun her independent class and has shown slight improvement. My 2 year old I have just begun with mom and me gymnastics. This seems to have really helped. She's able to run around and interact without the sit down with only mom time. I've done a music mom and me program but found it was still too individualized to me doing the work with her and had limited interaction. I say stick with what your doing and it can't hurt any.
Brinny, I can't remember exactly how old your daughter is. Some of the shyness can be a part of normal development. For example separation anxiety peaks between 10-18 months, so in that case it's normal and not a new problem per say. Shyness also comes out as a part of normal development between 9-18 months. You do such a good job with your daughter and are so proactive about things! One thought that I have is play areas at the malls. I live in a very rainy state and so parents really use these indoor areas for letting kids play in the winter months.
I'm sure I have given you the website for american academy of peds before but I'll relink you in case you want to read a bit more about shyness. You can't go wrong with the AAP-they are the experts.
Let us know how things are going,
Thanks Jess, Yes i have the site bookmarked on my computer. Hazel does fall between the 9-18 month marker, and i'm sure it's partially a developmental thing. I just don't want her to get into the habbit of being so shy and antisocial to the peont where she actually will hide from people who look her in the eye. So to combat this I am taking up mall walking for some exercise and an excuse to get out of the house and so Hazel can play in the play area. it's hit and miss at our mall though, some days the play area is nice with just a few kids that aren't too rowdy... but sometimes it's packed with kids jumping everywhere. we're also going to try some library activities and then gymnastics/tumbling starts at 18 months... I love being able to be proactive with her, and since i'm able to be with her all the time it's very noticeable when there's something that i need to change with her routine. anyway thanks everyone for your advice... i'll keep checking back in case someone else can come up with another kind of fun activity.
Kindermusik is great! Give it a try! We did it with our little boy when he was young and it was a fun way to get out and about, as well as cultivate his love of music. He really enjoys music and instruments of all types now. We also went to library time, Mommy and Me Yoga, and some other activities such as some mommy groups at our church. Sometimes art studios or community centers have toddler times...it's worth checking out. Good luck. :-)
Glad you are sticking with it and working hard at things. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!
Keep us posted,
What I did to my child is that I let her play with other children. By means of that I discover that she is improving.
In our community, the park system has great activities for young kids including arts and crafts, nature hikes, drum circles and other similar activities. These are convenient and cheap and have been a great resource for us. Check to see what your local and state parks systems offer.
I think that the less stress you put on her to socialize the better. Instead of finding ways for her to socialize, try to just take her places with children around and then she can watch the other kids and eventually she will jump in and start playing when she is ready. For example: by my house there is a little train place that has tons of Thomas trains set up and lots of moms just bring their kids by to play. It is something that the company encourages. I let my kids go to play and eventually I look over and they are playing with other kids. Parks and playgrounds are another stress-free way to encourage play. If she likes the kindermusic classes then great, but if not then don't waste your money trying to encourage her socialization just yet. Just make sure she is going lots of social places like the library for story time, the parks, children's museums, and festivals etc. Sometimes kids like to watch other kids play before they begin to jump in.
Thanks everyone.. MommyRN you have a great point.. She is a "watcher" for sure. I have noticed it whenever our friends little girl comes over. Hazel will watch her for a while then slowly open up and start to play. And While i think kindermusik would be fun for her, i think i am going to hold off on it until she gets a little older. right now it's the mall play area and the library until it gets a bit warmer out. We have a ton of parks in our area, so i will definitely be utilizing them once the weather starts getting warmer.