By 40, I know who I am. I have come to embrace the fact that I’m slightly socially awkward. Growing up in the spotlight has lent a hand in me becoming a bit of an introvert. I never thought of it as a problem until I watched my toddler start to follow in my footsteps.
She would scream anytime someone outside her immediate circle stepped foot in the house. At first, I thought well maybe it’s just a phase, but after 6 months it became completely emotionally draining to even have company. When I say company, I mean family members over. Remember, I’m an INTROVERT so I don’t do many people myself.
One afternoon, Melanie came over for a playdate with her toddler and I realized, “Wait a minute – no tears or panic attack. What’s going on?”
Two minutes later, my daughter is sitting in Melanie’s lap giving her big love. I was sitting back smiling because I realized my awkwardness had not passed onto my toddler! My little one is simply cautious and can sense the vibrations people give off.
I too am not easily trusting, and I am not swift on letting people into my personal space. So, why should I expect my daughter to be any different. I grew up in a time where adults would say, “Give me a hug,” and as a child you were supposed to grant their wish. I hated that and swore when I became a parent I wouldn’t force people on my child, so I don’t. I let her gravitate to people at her own pace, when she feels comfortable and if she never does, I am ok with that too.
Back to Auntie Mel, because she’s clearly one of my daughter’s favorites. Melanie is social and always has her daughter, whom is 4 months younger than mine, out and about and around people.
I know you’re not supposed to compare children, but for the sake of this conversation, it’s a must. Melanie’s lil bundle performs for the crowd when they are around and is totally free in a room full of strangers. While my little bundle is all of a sudden shy. She will still speak, but it’s soft as she observes what’s going on around her.
Through conversation with Melanie and my daughter’s pediatrician, they eased my mind.
I am happy to say that by 2 ½, she no longer cried when her uncles and cousins walked in the door. Not only is family welcomed, she invites them in. Now, I just have to figure out how to stop her from crying when they leave.
What traits did you worry about passing on to your children?