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31/2 year old DD "shuts down" in large groups of kids.

While outgoing, sensitive, verbal, funny, and smart at all other times, when brought into a group of children, she freezes. Can't take direction, sometimes covers her ears, gets anxious, becomes completely overwhelmed.
My concern is pre-school will be mighty tough for her come fall.. I've done social skills group with her, playground, playdates etc.
Has anyone been through this with their LO? Any thoughts  or advice?


Asked by Ems629 at 5:03 PM on Jun. 13, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I don't have any kids like that but I was exactly like that at that age and it was hard...I was outgoing with a few people and family I never shut up,lol but get me in a group and I would clam right up. Now as I think about this and what would have helped me back then and all through school is understanding....people were always talking about what was wrong with me right in front of me making me feel worse about myself and even more afraid of groups. I would have also helped if classes were small and there would be a friend or buddy to be with. I was also the kid that cried easy with raised voices or yelling.
    I guess the I'm giving you the perspective of me when I was that age and what would have helped.
    keep groups small do not talk about any problems you have with her in the room. sensitive kids are way more sensitive then anyone can imagine. also positive talk and making sure she fits in as much as possible with the others

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:12 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • You got to give her time and she will adjust once she is faced with this on a regular basis.

    Answer by older at 5:08 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • My middle child was like that so I brought her to pre-school to see if she coud be happier in a group of kids on a regular basis and it did help. I was shy that when I was little too---I was overwhelmed very easily. :-) But I grew out of it.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 5:10 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • Some people are just more talented with close 1 to 1 interaction than group interactions.

    My daughter is the same way. I was really worried about preschool. She is really great with older kids, cousins, nice girls her age in 1 to 1, but she just doesn't do well in groups..

    Unfortunately, she never really fit in with the group-thing at preschool, but I am hoping that in kinder, she will be around more people that are like-minded as her and make a close friend.

    Large groups of people are too overstimulating for a lot of people.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 5:11 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • These are very helpful! Keep them coming. Trying to know how to help without making it a "problem" she has is exactly where we're at. Thankyou!

    Comment by Ems629 (original poster) at 5:19 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • try introducing her to larger groups of kids gradually. A playdate of 2 kids, then 3, etc. particularly if you can include kids she'll be in class with (not sure you can get that info or have it but it's worth a try). Also find out how large the class will be. You may be able to shift to a smaller class if needed (PM classes tend to be smaller than AM classes). Can she handle playgrounds? That's another place to gradually introduce her to larger groups of kids. Lastly, is she better with groups of kids she's familiar with or is she always overwhelmed? If she's always overwhelmed and it starts to get in her way, try reading the book called "The Out of Sync Child" to see if it might be a sensory problem (which can be addressed). My son proved to have sensory issues and improved greatly with a little help.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 6:08 PM on Jun. 13, 2011