Madeline just finished her first "dance" class at the rec center. It's called a dance class, but it mostly involved three year olds wandering around, rolling on the floor and doing their own thing. But it accomplished what we wanted it to.
Here was how Madeline started. She just wanted to sit on the stage or stand by herself and just watch.
And here was her last class. Believe me, she was still by far the quietest girl in there. We had to have little talks before each class about following Miss Kate, not sitting on the stage, participating, making eye contact and having fun. Although she was quiet, she was always right behind her teacher doing everything she asked. During "free dance" she was doing exactly what Miss Kate did. Haha...I guess she was listening to me?
Since we have moved here, Madeline has definitely made progress in the social department, but most people in general don't think she talks. She has a hard time being herself around large groups. Since she was a tiny baby, she preferred just watching and observing from the outside. It's amazing how those personality traits are part of them from the beginning. It's hard as a mom (and a dad) to see her struggle being social or engage in natural play with other kids, to have kids ask why she isn't talking, or to clam up and not play when there are a lot of people at the park, especially when she can be an energetic, creative and sweet girl at home who would make a wonderful friend for someone if she'd just open up.
Luckily, in the last few months, we have seen progress as she has enjoyed having friends over, finally likes and looks forward to going to nursery, will answer people in public when they ask her questions, and overall is gaining confidence.
Being reserved may always be part of her personality. I just hope I can give her opportunities to help her gain the confidence and the self esteem for her to be happy and accomplish whatever her little heart desires.