Push & Pull- My Parenting a Shy Child

My oldest, Will, is a creature of contradictions.  One minute he “needs his private time” (Um…  welcome to my world, kiddo- wait til you have children!) and the next minute he is pushing his brother out of the way to grab a hug.  He talks non-stop about his friends, but the moment we see them he hides behind me in shyness.

Today, I dropped him off at camp.  The whole morning he talked about how excited he was- wondering which of his classmates would be there, if they would have tents…  right until the moment I got up to leave, where he threw himself on the floor and cried.

What’s a mom to do?!?

I struggle with my sweet boy.  It’s an internal emotional tug of war between wanting him to learn to fly and protecting his fear of spreading his wings.  He’s only three, so on the one hand I recognize that he is still so young.  But he is also so smart- he needs to be stimulated, and it’s good to get him out in the world.  (FOR ALL OF US! Ha!!)

As an introvert myself, I completely get the need to curl up on the couch, solo, and tune out the world.  I thrive on my alone time.  But I also struggle with being an introvert and want Will to move about the world feeling comfortable and confident…  not like his Mama, waiting in the wings and then having regret about being a bystander.  There have been so many times that I watched from afar and later regretted not trying something or fully participating in an experience- those are the things I don’t want for him.

For now, I am working to meet him where he is.  Encourage him to explore, but letting him know that it’s ok to be nervous.  In the long run, he will spread those wings when he is ready.  And I know that before long those grubby three year old hands so desperately clinging to mine will be a thing of the past replaced by man hands starting to push off, ready to take the world by storm.



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