Monday, June 13, 2011

Overheard - The friend version

Clare came to see The Show on Sunday. A young friend of Clare's who is the son of my friend, another PushPULL dancer, (we'll call him G.) also attended and they sat together. From what I was told, someone that G. knows came over to talk to his Dad and at an appropriate lull in the conversation, this was overheard:

G: "Excuse me, Ann* this is Clare. Clare, this is Ann*"
Clare: ....

* I can't remember the actual name of the guest that G. was introducing Clare to.

Clare, as is her way, completely ignored poor G. So, I have decided that we need to work a little harder on manners around here. Clare often hides behind her shyness. This morning, even, she was so grumpy about getting to daycare that she didn't even say good morning to her teachers. I had to threaten to cancel our story-time if she didn't speak up.

To her credit, most of the time she'll respond appropriately if I nudge her a little. She is usually great at saying "Please" and "Thank you" and knows to say "Thank you" if someone pays her a compliment. I haven't started insisting that she make eye-contact yet, like some of my friends. I consider it a victory if she's not hiding behind me.

Before hearing this story of G. I had started getting Clare to introduce Julia to people (including another little friend of hers. L. who was also around at The Show on Sunday). It's an excellent technique for getting her to talk to people she's feeling shy around. She loves when people talk to Julia and loves to show her off and loves the attention she gets for having a baby around. I'm just going to have to start capitalizing on the opportunities more carefully!

Talk to you soon,


1 comment:

Karen Lew said...

It's tough balance between enforcing appropriate manners and respecting a kid's boundaries. I recall G and A.G. experiencing this with their second kid. They made a point of avoiding the word shy and using the word cautious. Which kinda makes sense to me and could be useful in reframing the situation. Is she, as you put it, "hiding" behind her shyness (implicitly, an excuse to be self-centred) or does her response actually reflect healthy cautiousness, given the situation. I've definitely seen both in Adam.