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Help with newish 4y old. Very Shy...

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  • Help with newish 4y old. Very Shy...

    Thanks in advance. This is long to give you a backstory.

    I have a DCB who just turned 4y old in September. I am the first provider for him since he was only with family before. He has been with me since beginning of September. He will not talk to me, only shakes his head yes or no. If I ask him a question where he has to answer he talks really quiet. He will talk to the other kids when they are playing but I see him being shy there too. He will only play with them if they ask him.

    At first he cried on and off during the day and when mom left. I posted a schedule for him during the day so he knew when she would be back and we read lots of books about separation. He is better during the day and just this week isn't crying at drop off but anxious and quiet.

    I know he can talk so that isn't the issue since I hear him with other kids. He seems fine motor wise too (small and large). Working on writing his name right now. Maybe a little behind on knowing colors, letters, shapes, than my other kids here but nothing I'd be worried about and maybe he just doesn't want to answer.

    I don't know why but I don't like to do one on one activities with him because he won't talk to me and I can tell he is anxious so it makes me feel uneasy. I always stick to a few kids with us in a small group.

    He doesn't ask to beexcused from the table like the rest of the kids at meal times. He will just sit there until I ask if he is done. I tried making him sit to see if he'd ask but he doesn't and I'm not picking this battle right now. Friday he did have an accident I didn't even know about right around pick up because we were playing a game and he probably didn't want to tell me he had to go potty and then mom emailed me later to tell me he was too embarrassed to tell me he had an accident. Luckily it wasn't on the floor (he was sitting on his knees). He also does not participate in music and movement but does participate in circle time (unless I ask a question to him), and art, other activities.

    Mom said he talks all night about me and the other kids and how much fun he has. So he is enjoying it here.

    Now that you have the backstory should parents or I be concerned yet or do we give it more time? If so how much? Any tips to help him?

  • #2
    This sounds similar to my daughter (also four!)

    She actually is selectively mute, so she talks our ears off at home, but has never spoken at daycare. It's not stubbornness she wants to talk, but she's so anxious about it she physically can not.

    Now this guy may be shy but I think some of these suggestions would still apply.

    Don't try and make him talk, it will just make it worse.
    Talk to him just like you would if he was going to talk back to you! It always upset me that some teachers just wouldn't bother.

    My daughter always would get upset if she was skipped for things like calendar helper or goodbye Wisher even though she wasn't going to say the words. She wanted to feel included and part of the class.

    This one should be obvious but never withhold anything waiting for a verbal response. Yes, you know he talks to kids but talking to you or talking inside is way different in his mind/comfort level.

    My.daughter is very smart but they are never able to assess her since she won't speak. I'd ask the mom what he knows don't assume he doesn't know the information because he isn't answering.

    Just make sure he feels comfortable and secure. He may talk, he may not. Just don't make it a big deal and it won't be!


    • #3
      My daughter has a friend that has selective mutisum (sp?) and went to therapy for it and she is so much better now at age 9 that you wouldn't even know she didn't talk to anyone but family before. Should I suggest to mom to talk to his doctor? I know they say until they go to daycare/school it isn't noticed.


      • #4
        Originally posted by WImom View Post
        My daughter has a friend that has selective mutisum (sp?) and went to therapy for it and she is so much better now at age 9 that you wouldn't even know she didn't talk to anyone but family before. Should I suggest to mom to talk to his doctor? I know they say until they go to daycare/school it isn't noticed.
        I have two new kids that seems to suffer from social anxiety. They are siblings

        After 3 weeks, I have been able to really connect with the kids

        I talked with the parents via conference and asked are they like this at home no they are not but the older one has a major speech delay. I found out what they like. I found outshoot them as much as I could. After the meeting I was super sensitive to them all through out the day.

        They both really trust me now after I really showed them no matter what you are always safe here. I also promote tons of conversation between the kids and always no matter what include every child in everything that we do

        The more secure I make these kids feel the more I see them open up
        Is it possible for you to meet with the parents to maybe get some information that can help you build a connection with the kids. ?


        • #5
          I had a similar issue with a dcg-3. She didn't speak her first two weeks here, other than absolutely necessary and was even standoffish with the kids and rarely spoke.

          Fast forward a few months (been here since July) and she talks NON.STOP.

          I told the parents what was going on, and I didn't push her at all. I included her, and allowed her to see me interact with the other kids. She gradually grew to trust me, and now flies in the door and runs off to play, nice and loudly.

          When she was sitting quietly, I asked if she would like me to read her a book. To please go pick one out. I would ask if she wanted to color with me, and talk about my page, comment on hers with NO expectation of a response.

          I also started non verbal things like "Can everyone who would like to be excused please raise your hands?" (or anyone who would like seconds of ___) or anyone who would like to paint?

          I hope that helps and your dck adjusts! It must be so stressful and scary for him!