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I have a bright and beautiful 4-year-old daughter. She is very shy and cautious about everything she does. She is very apprehensive about trying new things and she does everything at a very slow pace. This is very frustrating and my husband seems to lose patience with this. How can I get him to calm down and her to speed up?
This is an important issue. Every child has a temperamental personality and your daughter has the cautious , slow to warm style- that is how she is and your husband needs to understand her better and learn to adapt his style to hers- there are some great books to read about this.
Posted On 2009-09-21 11:13:05
It sounds as if your daughter's temperament - how she's hard-wired to react - is withdrawal. When presented with a new stimuli, her first response is to be apprehensive. Eventually, I guess, she warms up and tries new things and makes new friends. You can't push her or devalue the way she's made. However, you can gently encourage her by reminding her of her past successes. Something like, "You tried that new food and liked it," may help ease her self-doubt.
Explaining this to your husband may help him become less frazzled with her behavior.
As for being pokey - most 4-year-olds are. Unless this has been her way of doing things since birth, my guess is that her slow pace is a time-limited problem. Just wait till she's a teen!
Posted On 2009-09-01 19:37:35
Great question. Asking a child to speed it up shows her that this is a hot spot for you, a way for her to control things. There are only 4 things that a child this young can control, eating, sleeping, when and if she goes potty and how fast or slow she goes.
The developmental stage at four produces the unconscious need to find out how much power a child has in her family and that stage can't be changed. Going slow is her problem and when dad gets mad he makes it his problem too. Try having a family meeting and all of you decide how you want to manage, not change this. She has to change this herself, not change because dad is making her.
Suggestions could be, set the alarm earlier, she could finish getting dressed in the car if she's making the family late, she only has a certain amount of time to eat and when the timer goes off dinner is gone, if she doesn't get ready for bed by a certain time she looses a story, things like that. This may seem harsh for a shy one but now that you've made it her problem and not yours you and dad can be supportive, loving and empathetic as she learns to live with the consequences of her actions.
There will most likely be tantrums from this. Change your mind about what the tantrum represents. The tantrum is really telling you that this is working. Weather the tantrums and be supportive as she has them, that teaches her that tantrums won't change things, only deciding to move faster will change things.
She needs to know that the world won't wait for her if she is too slow, buses leave, school begins and things like that. Each time she has to live with the results of her actions, try saying "I know you're upset, I would be too if ... would a hug help?" Then when she calms down ask her if there is anything she'll do differently next time so she doesn't have to experience this again. This allows her to do what I call, Pulling it Through The Brain TM, she has to think for herself why this happened and what she can do to fix it. This is true learning because mom and dad didn't need to be involved or angry, Good Luck.
Posted On 2009-07-26 20:04:32