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  1. #1
    Mom2Miri Guest

    Default Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    My DD is super clingy with other kids around. I'm sure part of it is inherited shyness from both DH and I. Doesn't help that the only other toddler we see often is a bruiser. DH is super busy with work practically 24/7 so we don't socialize much either.

    I tried the park several times. She clings to me and stares (in fascination I think) at the other kids. I tried a free Music Together class and same thing - she clings and doesn't want to participate. We have Gymboree nearby, Rec Dept has neat classes, Mom's groups etc. Should I keep trying or just wait awhile? Any other suggestions?

    Helen & Mirielle 2/25/03

  2. #2
    Karenn is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default RE: Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    You might try a different kind of class. DS would cling to me at our toddler class, but at our gym class he jumps right in. I think part of the reason he had a harder time at the toddler class was that the room was smaller with more kids. I think also, the gym equipment is really "his thing" and the interest factor overwhelms any shyness that might be there. Good luck,

  3. #3
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Northern VA, USA.

    Default RE: Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    I agree with Karen about the environment needing to be right. If the place is too crowded or if the kids are too rowdy, it may not set you up for success, KWIM? So regardless of who offers the class, I would try to find one that you think will most interest her and takes place in a setting that is not too crowded.

    When younger, my DD was pretty clingy and slow to warm up to new situations. This is very normal and lots of lots of kids are this way. But I found that by continuing to go to large group classes, she became more and more comfortable and eventually was ready to dive right in.

    And FYI, I am also a very shy person. It is something that I have worked VERY hard in my adult life to overcome. I was also very very afraid that my DD would somehow inherit that from me, so I have done a lot of reading about this. All the stuff I have seen says that the best way to work with a shy or reserved child is to gently encourage them, but not push, and to provide lots and lots of opportunities for successful social interaction. At almost 3, my DD now never met a stranger and eagerly runs into new classes and new situations.

    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  4. #4
    Mom2Miri Guest

    Default RE: Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    Thank you both. Your suggestions make a lot of sense. I'm going to try the library's toddler storytime next and look for something a little less intimidating.

    Beth, can you recommend any books? I would love to raise her to be less shy than her parents.

    Helen & Mirielle 2/25/03

  5. #5
    mom2kandj Guest

    Default RE: Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    Great suggestions so far! We just finished a class with my BF and her DS and I have to chime in with my 2 cents!

    FWIW, BF's DS is a speech delayed 4 yo who prefers to observe before participating. He's not particularly shy with people, but in a new environment really needs to step back and *process* everything before jumping in. He is also the type of kid who doesn't like to be the center of attention, good or bad. It is to the point that he will become embarrassed when the parents cheer him on. For kids like this, it is really important to find instructors who are sensitive to all different types of children and the different ways that they actively take part in the class. Once the instructor in our class realized that he was an *observer*, she would ask him once if he wanted to do an activity and then let it drop if he shook his head no. He did the best in activities when all the children were participating at the same time and sometimes he would do them when his turn came. For my BF, just getting him out of his comfort zone and participating was a good thing.

    JMHO, I'd join a mom's group and just do some laidback park dates where your DD could just parallel play in the sandbox before moving on to more stimulating environments. Hopefully you will meet some other folks who you could then join a class with so that your DD would have a familiar friend each week. Baby steps for now! :) HTH!

    mom 2 Katie 12/02/00
    & Jack 04/16/02

  6. #6
    Mom2Miri Guest

    Default RE: Are classes worth it for clingy toddler?

    Thanks for your suggestions. What you said about the 4 yo hit home since I was like that as a kid too. Made me think hard about what I used to feel like in group situations and what would have made a difference to me. It seems obvious now to take it from that approach but somehow I hadn't looked at it that way before.

    You're right baby steps for now.

    Helen & Mirielle 2/25/03

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