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  #1  
May 22nd, 2012, 07:36 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Georgia
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Hi ladies, I'm a regular lurker as we haven't "officially" started homeschooling but that is our plan come fall. I am hoping I could get your opinion on something, if you don't mind.

My daughter turned 4 last month and is an only child. She's more on the shy side and is very attached to me. We've done some parent/child dance and gymnastics classes over the past year. Now that she's 4, I'm noticing that a lot of the parent/tot classes end at age 3. Most other activities/camps/etc are for kids to do on their own without the parents right there. I would love to enroll Leah in an activity or two so she can be around other kids... but she's too shy and fearful to be away from me.

This concerns me only because she doesn't have much of an opportunity to interact with kids otherwise. We're not church-going people and we live states away from family. We did join a local homeschooling group recently, though the group is new and still finding its way, so it doesn't always meet on a regular schedule.

Sometimes I think I shouldn't worry because she is only 4 and will (hopefully) mature and be willing to separate from me as she gets older. Yet I know she does enjoy being around other kids, so I wonder if there's something more I could be doing?

Tell me: am I being silly? I appreciate any thoughts.
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  #2  
May 22nd, 2012, 07:48 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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You're not being silly, no. I do think it's something she'll outgrow, though. My (almost) 4 year old is going through an attachment stage right now, and my older son went through one when he was almost 5.

What about a library storytime? What about going to a park this summer during the time when kids are out of school, and it's more likely to be crowded? What about forming your own group and advertising it on bulletin boards where homeschoolers frequent (like the library)?

I wouldn't worry too much just yet, but I think it's perfectly normal to be concerned.
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  #3  
May 22nd, 2012, 10:36 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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After I wrote the post, we actually went to the park where Leah joined right in with a few little girls. Though she came to check in with me now & then, she also said, "You stay here, Mom." I think we'll definitely try to get to the park often this summer so she can play.

I was thinking about going back to the library storytime too. We used to go weekly and then I think we stopped because it conflicted with dance or something. Definitely another good activity to pick back up.

Thanks so much for your reply!
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  #4  
May 22nd, 2012, 02:11 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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I think putting her in situations where she feels as though she's initiating the act of going off on her own will probably benefit her best.
All three of mine have been very much attached at my hip since birth, lol. They've all had phases where being away from me, even for a few minutes, wasn't about to happen. I'm not necessarily sure it's something they fully outgrow, though. But it is something that is ever changing. My kids are 13, 11 and 8, and they still have their moments.
But things like the park, a playground, etc... things that are casual, completely child lead and give them the freedom to explore and investigate hanging with peers on their own I have found are usually way better than a parent sticking a child in a situation when they may not be fully ready for it. If that makes any sense.
Of course that doesn't mean things like classes, activities and such are a bad thing. But a child who's really attached firmly may not feel all too comfortable in that kind of situation-especially at first, until they've already been in a situation they had total control over. Like your day at the park. She did that on her own, you didn't push her into it, and it went swimmingly. While the first day at a new activity, having to leave mommy to join the other kids, might not have gone so well, lol.
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  #5  
May 23rd, 2012, 05:58 AM
youngwoman's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
I think putting her in situations where she feels as though she's initiating the act of going off on her own will probably benefit her best.
I think you're right. We tried last fall to enroll her in a dance class that was without parents and it was a mess. But clearly, she had no problem at the park yesterday because she did it on her own and was in control.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on it!
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  #6  
May 23rd, 2012, 06:10 AM
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I really think it is a combination of her age and being an only child. Beth was very much like that, and she was in daycare, so it wasn't even being with me all the time that made the difference. Carrie on the other hand has never been a clingy one...I fely kind of bad on the first day of preschool when she skipped off without looking back, lol.

Maybe you can speak to the dance teacher (or whatever you pick) and ask if you can sit in on the first class or two? Off to the side, so Leah feels safe but is also getting used to be on her own.
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  #7  
May 24th, 2012, 07:11 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am the kind of parent that will kick the kids out of the nest if I need to. My girls were both very clingy and I was worried because whenever I let them choose they would choose to sit by my side instead of joining in with other kids. Personally I felt that is was my job as a parent to teach them how to separate from me. I have known people who never did this as children and as adults have had a difficult time adjusting and living on their own so it made me even more adamant about fostering a sense of independence in my girls. I enrolled them in dance and we did the mommy and me class first. I told the teacher that I wanted to step back as often as possible and she was fine with that. Then we did a summer class where I could sit in with the girls but was not participating. This fall we did the full "no parents aloud" class. It seemed like a disaster for the first couple of weeks, but then the light switch came on and they started skipping right off to dance. Now that the year is winding down they love their class and the new friends they've made. I also notice that they are willing to go off and play at the park now and sit with the kids at story time (two things they NEVER would do before). They are also looking forward to learning "big kid" tricks in dance (really more a gymnastics class) next year! For my girls they just needed to see that they can leave me and I will be there when they return and for us dance class let them learn that.
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  #8  
June 1st, 2012, 06:19 PM
ady's mommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My daughter, 6 now, is also any only child. She use to be shy in new situations. She can be really independent but she never liked to "put herself out there." We started homeschooling this year and it has really boosted her confidence. She is really outgoing now and will talk to any kids she sees. I do make a point to keep her around other kids and she does a lot of classes and activities. But we always have. This year she started becoming outgoing and I think some of it is her age and some of it is because we homeschool. My theory is that while she was in school she knew she had to compete with other kids and she would raise her hand and not get called on. She knew she was not the smartest or the most outgoing and that "held her back" in a way. Now she feels like she can just be herself and she knows she is smart and that has boosted her confidence to be more outgoing.
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