Thursday, April 18, 2013

Withdrawn Preschooler

I'm kind of at a loss here regarding Isabella.  Usually she's very friendly and bubbly.  Lately she's gotten a bit shy/ reserved, but she always warms up to her crazy vivacious self.

However when Andy picked her up from school last week the teacher said that both days of class she's been really withdrawn and sad.  She wouldn't participate in circle time and her teacher had to hold her hand when they were marching around the classroom because she just stood there.  I asked her about it and she said she just felt like not doing anything those days.  I was worried, but decided not to make a huge thing of it...maybe it's just an off week for her.

But then at dance school on Saturday her teacher said that she refused to dance.  She wouldn't participate.  I asked the teacher if she'd ever done that before and she said never.  I mentioned it to Isabella and she said that she tried to talk to a girl, but the girl wouldn't answer her.  Now I'm getting really concerned.

We had a birthday party this past Saturday where all her cousins would be at and she clung to me for a lot of the party and then awkwardly interacted with her two best cousins.  She kind of warmed up at the end, but wouldn't even speak to another adult besides me.

I told my mom about what happened and she said that when she took her to the library for story time that she played with the kids afterwards, but during the story she only would sit on her lap.

Then it got me thinking to when my sister and I took her to the park and she insisted that we play with her, just in case she couldn't make a friend.

She's fine at home.  I would never have realized something was off if her teachers hadn't mentioned something in the first place.

Now it could just be her way of manifesting any pent up anxiety about the baby coming next month.  The nursery is ready.  Andy has been really busy getting the yard set up.  I've been at dr's appointments at least once a week until late.  There have been hospital tours and breast feeding classes where a young child just can't tag a long.  I usually try to make my dr's appointments later in the evening so she can come with me, but since I'm limited as to when I can go I can't always get them at a later time, although I do have two coming up that will give me enough time to pick her up after work so she can come with us.  Andy and I have been busy getting things set up and maybe she's picking up on the anxiety and disconnect?

Or maybe she's having some trouble at school that we're not aware of.  I sent her teacher an e-mail asking her to keep an eye out for anything that might be causing her to withdraw.

withdrawnIt just breaks my heart to see her feeling so anxious.  I just want to put my sweetheart in a bubble and keep her safe and full of life and self-confidence.  I know that's not realistic and I know that for someone who is sensitive like she is (as am I ) that things will get under her skin and people will hurt her.  But she's not even four and I hate that she's going through something and I don't know what it is or what I can do to help or if I should back off completely.

What I can do is make sure she knows how loved she is at home.  Maybe a little family down time where we are not rushing to this play date or that birthday party.

It's definitely the main concern on my mind lately.  Do you guys have any advice or have been through something similar?


Emily said...

No matter how unlikely, you will want to be sure there isn't any abuse happening. Because a change in personality like what you're describing is often what is seen in kids who are being abused. I'm not trying to scare you, I just want you to be sure and rule it out!

Madonna said...

Have you and your husband had any fights in front of her? That is something that I've seen make kids withdraw. Also, have you had any mother-daughter or daddy-daughter dates recently? E was showing similar signs just before A's arrival and shortly after his arrival. Once we started doing things with just her - even if it was just to breakfast - it seemed to be better. I hope she gets her spunk back!

jajb79 said...

My son started demonstrating anxious behavior about a month or two before my daughter was born (he was 3). The Hurricane Sandy struck and his anxieties hit an all time high - irrational fears (clocks), clinginess, extreme shyness. These fears and behaviors (needing to kiss and hug several times, counting obsessively) continued until about two months ago. Now, it is almost as if these anxieties never existed. I was so concerned about him for a while there, so I understand completely. However, I was reassured by a great many professionals that young children, no matter how "smart" and "mature," simply do not have the language to express their fears and concerns. They manifest them through behavior. I am sure Isabella is reacting to the baby's impending arrival.

Alison said...

Oh, I have no advice, only well wishes that everything will work out okay for your little girl.

Ilene, The Fierce Diva Guide to Life said...

My kids went through many phases as toddlers. In some of them they were less social than others. I think it's about testing limits. I totally get your concern thought and I wish you and your girl the best! said...

I agree with Emily...I don't want to alarm you, but please be sure to rule out abuse - emotional or physical. My daughter is the same age as Isabella. The only time she's behaved like that is when she first began daycare. If ever she behaved that way again without there being some sort of change in routine I would certainly look for signs of abuse. We can never be sure of anything. I pray all is well.

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

This makes me so sad. :-( I think it's just a phase. Maybe it's the baby and the impending change. Maybe it's just a phase. My Leila has been through lots of odd phases. And she's always shy and withdrawn. Just give her lots of love and make sure you have some special mommy/daughter dates after baby gets here. HUGS!

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