My DS will be 3 next month and we've enrolled in music classes with 6 other kids his age. None of whom he's met before. The class was miserable for both of us b/c he would NOT participate or look at anyone. He was terribly shy in class, but at home he's the sweetest, friendliest kid who loves to participate in anything. He's normally not this shy.
Is this normal for 3 yo? (Yes, I'm a first time mom). This is only the first class, but I've taken him to other new events and he's done fine.
Dropping the class in not an option. Do you force a kid to participate or just endure misery for the next 14 weeks?
Has anyone gone thru anything like this and how did things work out?
I put my happy son into playschool and he hid in a corner for months before he would wander out to play with anything. We thought he was shy and this was good for him. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Turns out my son has Autism and I should never have forced him into an uncomfortable situation.
I'm not saying your child has Autism, but that maybe there is a reason. We ourselves would never stay in a situation that is very uncomfortable for us so why do we make our children do that? Your son is all of 3 years old. There are many years ahead to be in classes and lessons. I, personally, would take him out and not worry about it for now.
Maybe he just needs to adjust to the situation. It's a different routine. Maybe he just needs to warm up to it. DS goes to a daycare center/preschool and he does great there, but sometimes he gets a little clingy when dad drops him off or when there's a special event. Do the other parents stay, too? DS is 2 1/2 and he tends to do better when Mom & Dad aren't around. And right now I'm the favorite parent, so I have to sneak out the door when I have a monthly work meeting.
I say give it one more week and if he really is miserable, consider not going. You may be losing some money...but you want your child to be happy. Does he like other social situations? Or is he shy everywhere? Maybe he just isn't into the class. Even at 3 they have a strong feeling of what they like or not. While most kids LOVE to color...DS HATES it (he's almost 3 ) If you think it's more of a social issue, try something that is less participatory. Like the playground or community playrooms (if you have one) That way he can play with others if he wants, or play by himself. He won't feel pressured to do something just because others are doing it. And that way he'll get used to being around other kids.
"Go slowly, breathe and smile" Thich Nhat Hanh
My son was like that when we put him in soccer at 4yo. He seemed to be excited about playing and liked going to practice, but when the first game started, he ran off the field crying and refused to participate.
After that, he continued to enjoy practice, but wouldn't play in the games, even though we made him go. Three weeks into the season he fell off the slide at home and broke his collarbone, so that ended the season.
I asked him later why he behaved the way he did and he said that he didn't like the other people watching him. It made him nervous with everyone looking at him and cheering. Something I didn't think would bother him. We waited until he was 6yo to try again and he loved it. Whatever shyness was there before was gone.
I would talk to him to see if you can understand why he doesn't like it. Maybe there's something scaring him that you can change, or explaing away. If not, either pull him out and wait until he's older, or let him go, but don't force him to participate. Maybe once he sees all the other kids doing it, he may warm up to the idea. Just don't push too hard.
I took my dd who is 3 at beginning ballet class. Looks like it is too early, she does not repeat moves most of the time and instructors don't correct. Every time instructor count to 10, she says 11. I will take her for 2 months I payed, I even bought her a uniform. I don't think I will continue after that,
Maybe he doesn't like music or singing. DS had an Xmas program at school, they worked for weeks practicing songs. He refused to sing. Just stood and looked around -- on the ride home he belted out the songs.
I think like what Mitpatsmom said, "he doesn't like other people watching him", may be the reason.
DS loves to sing and will participate in the games at home, but not in the class.
I must say though, that although the other kids are about his age, he is the oldest, and the other kids don't really participate either. Their parents make them participate b/c they have no clue what's going on.
I learned my nephew who's been taking the same classes for the past 2 years (he's almost 3 too), never paticipates in class. I thought he would be the star of the class b/c whenever I see him he's singing on key and doing the little games from class- it's so cute.
DS is shy in new surroundings, but eventually warms up. I hope that he warms up to this class too b/c my sister-in-law is paying for these music classes and I'd hate to tell her we're pulling DS out. (She's a music teacher). I think my DS would really love the classes once he gets comfy.
I have a DS son who is now nineteen years old, We have had him involved in may things from small on, I would stick out the program, eventually he will warm up to some one there and before you know it he will be part of the group. My son is like that even now at times. His first two ceramic classes at Easter Seals, he was quiet and didn't want to go back, why? because it was a whole new environment and new people, Now he loves it and has made many friends and has a good time.I know when someone has a special needs child we tend to be protective and that never goes away, I would give your son a few more chance's, he'll probably be okay.
My best guess as to why your son acts the way he does is what others have suggested: He doesn't like being watched. Many people don't like knowing there are other eyes on them. Heck, I'm 18 and I can't stand playing DDR in the arcade if there are other people in there waiting to play and watching me.
As another member said, stick it out for another week or so, and if your son really really hates the class, don't make him suffer anymore. Nothing is more painful mentally than being encouraged to do things you don't want to do. It's not a bad idea to suggest different things, but just don't make him do things if he doesn't want to.