The Un-Social Butterfly

Neither Seth or I are very out going people.  I thought I was the only one who really struggled with this (not being able to do orals at school without the whole podium shaking with me, never mind my voice – or even just being able to start a conversation with someone I didn’t know) and when I met Seth (who felt the same) I knew it was meant to be…  But what would this mean for our poor children…  Having a double dose of fear?

Up until this point we kind of noticed that Kyla was shy.  She didn’t like to say words when being asked to (I still struggle with this) and  she didn’t like to do anything when there were too many people watching her.  But this last weekend proved our fears…

We were fortunate to be able to go to Zoe Beth’s 1 st birthday party and dedication.  It was the first time in a very long time that we had actually attended a children’s function (mainly due to our germs that would not die!).  So this was kind of a “first” for them.

Against my normal “hands on, not leave my child alone for a second” feeling, we left Kyla outside with all the other kids to make friends…  I couldn’t resist going to check on her every few seconds and these pictures are what I saw.

She was always on the outside looking in, watching the kids but not being part of their group.  Even when a lovely toddler tried to make friends with her, she just didn’t know what to do with herself.

Short of saying that I will be her friend forever and that she doesn’t have to worry about this because I’m there for her, it really makes life more complicated.  If anyone has any good ideas on how we can try and help her now (rather than later) let us know.

My poor darling. My heart aches seeing these pictures. I know exactly what it was like. The problem is, I had the urge not to want to socialise with anyone, not just from fear, but mainly because I never needed it. It’s something I struggle with. I am happy to be alone and prefer to be all by myself. I had to battle this just to seem normal and to be more Christ like. Although I have kind of grown out of it, I really don’t want Kyla to struggle as much as I did! I think the only way is to expose her to this more often, and make her feel capable to do anything. I must add that these pictures do look worse than it was. She was very happy and content, and eventually started to warm up to the other kids. It is always hard when you do not know anyone but they all know each other. Poor girl… 

11 thoughts on “The Un-Social Butterfly

  1. Poor poppet, she needs to go to a play school in the mornings me thinks. She loves to play but needs her own age group. It will take a while but it will come..

  2. I think your mom might be right, maybe just one morning a week, so she can spend time with kiddos her age… or a moms and tots group kind of thing… She’ll be ok.

  3. She was happy and content to be by herself, not a bad thing. I think you’re right Seth (Mr Green Text), having her in an environment of kiddies her age playing together would be good for her. The more she’s in that environment the better. We’re happy to be one of those places for her to come and play, or come over to you guys 🙂

    Don’t make it a big conscious thing for her, otherwise it could affect her more. The biggest and best thing you guys can do is pray. Prayer is such a powerful gift from God, and it really works, all the time and for anything! God’s a relational God, and He created us for relationship, so He’s very interested in Kyla’s, and yours, ability to relate to others, and only wants the best for her 🙂

  4. Don’t stress. It’s not strange or abnormal for a child to take time to mix with others. Adults have the same problem. She will make friends and play at her pace as she has done with teething etc. Some people take longer to make friends then others but when they do they’re a friend for life. Sunday school and parent’s friends with other children might be all she wants/needs. A play group once a week might or might not suit her but there is no harm in trying. I may be wrong but I don’t think a shy/introvert should be changed into an extrovert because we think it’s better. Shy people are as normal as “voor op die wa” irritating ones. Let her be herself and not what you want her to be. We all love her like she is, don’t try to fix what ain’t broken.
    Stay as you are Kyla babes you’re a lovely little bundle very close to my heart.

    • I agree with you. I often write these things without really thinking about what I am saying or how it comes across. I don’t want to “change” her as such or to make her have hundreds of friends, but I do want to do what we can, to give her the opportunities to develop the way that she wants to within those opportunities. If we send her to school and she stays the same, then that is fine, but I’m just concerned that having her home all day might be limiting her a bit.

  5. Thanks for all the advice peeps! I had reservations about posting this post, knowing it may bring the wrong points across. I don’t want to change her, but I also don’t want to not help her where we can. I was very sheltered and it affected me enormously. I think she will always be a shy person, but it shouldn’t be something that limits her. She should have confidence in herself. I agree that not everyone is a social butterfly, and they shouldn’t be, but they need to be approachable, friendly and enjoy time with people. It may take years for her, and it may not even happen, but I don’t want to not help her. I fully agree with Simon that it shouldn’t be a conscious thing for her. It will be subtle and we really just saying we aware of it, and wish her the best and will pray about it.

    To clarify my “Christ like” comment – Love other people and show that you care. I can easily ignore all my friends, be by myself and not talk to anyone. Which often makes people think I’m rude or full of myself. I don’t believe its right, and will spur my kids on to socialise and include others. It’s a major struggle for me now, so I’m just hoping we can help make it easier for our girls.

  6. Dont stress too much, Miss Lily was a social phobe and I was sooooooooooooo concerned..she jsut saw other people and cried, but on day she slowly came out of her shell. Organising playdates with one child etc, all helps. Start her slowly, sometimes a group is scary. I started by telling Lily that people are friends ( we’ll go into the dont talk to strangers later), but I found that as she slowly learnt that if she turns around mommy was there, she started venturing on her own, Its a blessing to have Riya too, as this is a HUGE social input for her. Toddlers have good and bad days…shes going to be okay I Promise and if you want to orgnise a quiet playdate with someone Kylas age, please feel free to let me know. I even did a babyclass with lily, at first she struggled a lot, but i was there with her and she came right..lots of love to you both xxx

  7. Hey CindyandSeth 🙂
    For the first few years of their lives, the place where kids will grow most in their confidence is at home. I think that for a kid who is naturally shy, to develop confidence is very important and to put her in a place with many kids might just make her withdraw. The one-on-one play date plan seems like a great plan!
    I’ve just read a book on personality profiles and how INTERESTING it was (and it’s my my kind of books!) Each profile has great strengths and great weaknesses. There is apparently a similar book for parents to help them know and understand their kids’ personalities, and how to help them with the ‘weaknesses’ of these personalities. I want to get my hand on it and when I do, I’ll tell you what I found out!
    Happy social times!!

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