Creating a Leaving Strategy
Even children who are normally outgoing can be shy in certain situations. If your child has a tendency to stay by your side at birthday parties, for example, set some ground rules about acceptable behavior in advance ("You can stay with me for a few minutes, but I want you to play with the other children" or "No sitting on Mommy's lap at the party"). Clearly explain the plan in the car on the way over ("We're on our way to Jamie's birthday party now.
Once we get there, all the kids are going to play together. Then Jamie will blow out his candles, and everyone will have cake before they go home").
If you're dropping your child off, be clear about when you'll be back ("I'll pick you up after all the kids have birthday cake"). If you're staying at the party but your child is afraid that you're going to leave, reassure him that you're not going anywhere.
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the November 2002 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.