Social skills and following directions

Marisol - posted on 07/01/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hi mommies!
Just starting to become active in this circle of moms. Need help!

My daughter has always stayed home ever since she was born. My mom was babysitting her ever since she was 4 months old and up until April of this year. Then I quit my job to stay at home with her and I'm so happy I did this! She is now 21 months old and often acts shy or upset when she sees new people or even family members that she hasn't seen in a while (aunts, uncles, etc). I took her to a Mommy and me kind of gymnastics today in which toddlers her age are suppossed to follow instructions with the help of their mommies. All of the other kids would follow instructions while my daughter Soleil was crying wanting to go do other things. Of course this was her first day and the other kids may have been doing this for quite some time.

Can anyone give any advice as to how I can get my daughter to have less stress when seeing new faces and also to get her to follow instructions at class like the other kids? It would be much appreciated! Thanks


Jeneva - posted on 07/01/2010




Very normal especially since she hasn't been in a day care. The best thing to do is get her around people and kids as much as possible. It may take her a little while but she'll get there. Since it's summer you should be able to find lots of group classes for cheap through your city but just know she will probably be scared and cry at least the first few times. My son was super shy up until a few weeks ago but he is getting better and better. Just comfort her and tell her it's ok to feel that way and encourage her by staying with her.

Daphny - posted on 07/01/2010




It's normal. She's not used to it and it takes time. Just stay by her side and don't pressure her. Once she's comfortable she'll act more of herself but in the beginning it's always intimidating to be in a new environment, especially she's not used being exposed to that often before.

My daughter Sophie didn't participate in story time either when she was at age, and I took her everywhere since she was 6 weeks old! But now - she's 3 - and she sits right in front of the instructor and can't wait to speak or dance or anything she's told to do.

Krissy - posted on 07/01/2010




I think this happens when moms stay home. My daughter was the same way. I also put her into a gymnastics class (but it was at 12 months). She was horrible the first day (crying, etc) and the next time she was a little better. Now she is doing great there! We also play with kids in the neighborhood and get together with family often. I would just suggest taking more classes if possible - I know there isn't a lot out there for little ones!


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Marisol - posted on 07/06/2010




Hello Jessi, Amanda and Kassie!
Thank you soooo much for the very valuable advice. I really appreciate you all taking the time to write to me. I'm definetely goint to start implementing these changes in my daughter's life and I will keep you posted of the progress she makes.

Kassie - posted on 07/05/2010




The others seem to have the being around strangers covered, so I'll just address the following directions. Have her follow directions at home! Our little ones are at an age where they want to be able to do more things for themselves, so let her! I have my son take his milk out of the refrigerator and put it back when he's done (I open the door each time, but he closes it), and when he picks up something that is trash I have him throw it away. He also puts his toys in the bath at bathtime, and puts his dirty clothes in the hamper. I am trying to figure out how to get him to clean my house and I'll be all set! Just kidding, but I do let him do things that he expresses an interest in, and I want him to feel like he has some control over his environment, because at this age, that's what they want, control.

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2010




Being shy around strangers is very normal and also very safe for a young child you dont want them going up to just anyone. as for other situations with unformilier family member have them just say hi and then ignore her I know this sounds mean but it works my nephew was the same way with people he didnt see very often he would see these grown ups talking and playing with the other kids and he would want to join it to it just took a little longer he's 2 1/2 know and is fine! Also maybe you should host a playgroup once a week with other mothers with children around her age then see can see how other kids act and that some adults are ok to be friendly for following directions, you are going to have to start telling /asking her to do things for you, like Soleil go through you diaper/pullup away please. or hunny please put all th ebooks back on the shelf , thank you. Or hey can you do a flip and then show her what you mean then ask again can you try it know? she'll then try it you know.
She will end up doing things without being asked! we have 5 children in the house most days a 5year old 2 1/2, 20 months(my son) 11 months and 9 months. the oldnet 3 do diaper duty they actualy argu over whos turn it is and who pushes the laundry basket to the bed rooms, just because we have always asked them to do things and to follow directions. I send my son (20months) to find different canned vegies in the cupboard he sometimes gets it right but sometimes not but its treaching him to do what I ask him to do.

Jessi - posted on 07/01/2010




I'm a stay at home mom, but I take my daughter with me every where and she is anything but shy. I started taking her to a gymnastics class when she was 13 months and up until May of this year when she was 19 months. She was HORRIBLE every time. We went every wednesday and she never got any better. She wasn't shy at all, but instead she would take everything away from all the older kids and push them around. All the other moms told me it was a phase and she'd grow out of it. Then a few months later, when things hadn't changed, they told me she just needed to be bullied back and she'd stop, so two of the moms brought their 6 and 7 year olds with them and had them bully her for two or three classes. Didn't help at all, she beat up the 6 year old with a shoe, pulled some of his hair out and bit him so hard on the leg that she made him bleed. By the way, my daughter is VERY small....30" tall and only 20lbs. Needless to say, we haven't gone back since. We're seeing a behavioral specialist in a week. I'd rather her be shy than a bully...but I think it's because my niece and nephew bullied her so much her first year.
Good luck and keep us posted.

Marisol - posted on 07/01/2010




Thanks so much! I feel much better now after reading all of your great advice and knowing it's normal. I will definetely get more involved in more activities around town and I will keep you all posted on the progress. Thanks again for taking the time to help this momma!

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