Q. My 9-month-old and I are in a Mommy & Me music class, but he's scared to participate. However, by the end of each class, he's engaged a little bit. Should I keep going?
A. Stick with it. There are many children like your son. While some naturally go with the flow and jump right into new situations, others are slower to warm up. They tend to be more comfortable with one-on-one interaction and can feel easily overwhelmed in a group.
Another factor may be your son's sensitivity to sounds. He may love hearing music at home, but in a class, the noise and movement of the other children might at first be too much for him to handle.
The good news is that kids are very adaptable. You can help your son feel secure and find great pleasure in new relationships and experiences.
Claire Lerner, LCSW, is a child development specialist at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit promoting the healthy development of babies and toddlers (zerotothree.org).
Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2005.