I’ve written before about my only daughter, our oldest kid. For this blog I’ve called her Mini-Mummy, with good reason.
MM can be a shy little thing around adults and other kids. While that was something she had previously been able to overcome, we had become concerned over the past twelve months.
MM stopped going to the gymnastics and dance classes she had previously attended. She had gone to both for quite some time and really enjoyed being there. However, through time her enthusiasm seemed to ebb away.
Though we believed this was partly down her having had enough of both, it also seemed she had lost a bit of confidence.
As well as not going to any after-school activities, she was also becoming increasingly ‘clingy’ to her mum. There were even times when MM would be reluctant to go out with me and her brothers. My wife began to read up more on separation anxiety, and considered making an appointment for MM with our GP.
This behaviour seemed to be in contrast with the rest of her personality. At home she is bright, happy and outgoing, at school she performs well and seems to be fairly popular with plenty of friends. There hadn’t been any one incident, or situation, which had caused this issue.
Thankfully, things have improved. While her mum is (and always will be) her best friend, she is prepared to, every now and then, let go of the apron strings. No, my other half doesn’t wear an apron but you know what I mean.
MM will now go out without her mum, and her confidence appears to be growing as a result. She has also started attending a cheerleading class once a week. Though she was a bit hesitant at first (there were a few tears) she has been brave enough to overcome her worries and now looks forward to Tuesday nights.
We aren’t out of the woods yet. MM won’t go on sleepovers, not even to her grandparents or aunts and uncles. She isn’t keen on her parents going out at night either, regardless of who the babysitter is. While we hope she can overcome such anxieties, we aren’t going to push it – she’s trying and we need to remember that.
It’s amazing how much more grown up she has become recently – she is confident using the internet, sings along to songs she recognises on the radio and has started going walking with her mum. We need to remind MM that she’s six, not sixteen.
Hopefully she will continue to enjoy attending cheerleading – it’s good for her to be out of the house and mixing with other kids. There are also the other obvious benefits of regular exercise and increased confidence.
It can be frustrating, and a bit upsetting, to see a kid with so much to offer hampered by her own insecurities, but hopefully the problem will lessen as she matures.