Monday, October 22, 2007

The Shyness Gene

Thanks so much for all the supportive comments on my previous post. I am trying to keep my perspective about all this -- and my conversation with the teacher on Friday helped a bit. She acknowledged that one group of girls does ignore not just Allie but several other children as well, and said that, as I suspected, Allie is now making a very deliberate choice to play alone sometimes. Even if other children approach her, she often just keeps to herself rather than engaging with them. I witnessed that on Friday as I watched through the classroom window.

It was as if I were watching myself at that age. The little girl standing alone, not participating in any activities until cajoled by the teacher to do so, not even looking at the other children -- it really could have been me. Having battled those tendencies my entire life, I am not relishing the thought that it might be in this way that Allie might take after me. What struck me, and what gives me some hope, is that this is not the Allie I know at home, not the Allie who plays enthusiastically and easily with her brother and her friends in the neighborhood.

So I'm working on the playdate plan of attack. The teacher offered the names of a few kids who might be good candidates. Now I just have to work up the nerve to arrange them! At least at this age I am not so hobbled by my social insecurities. I hope it takes slightly less than 30-odd years to work on Allie's.