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SD spending christmas with MY family

harmony07's picture

I am so frustrated about what to do and really could use some advice. I am super excited to be spending christmas eve with my family this year, everybody will be there along with my SO and his SD5. She is for the most part a good girl and loves me and doing things with me, she is a funny, crazy outgoing girl, but when she is around people she doesnt know she is instantly shy and clingy. Now she has met my family multiple times now. She gets along great with my 1yr old neice and they play together perfectly,and sometimes even my 11yr brother, but everybody else who is older she will not talk to, she wont even look at them. She eventually will warm up to my sister and her husband (the parents of my neice) but it still takes awhile. I recently found out that my family actually is feeling offended when she gets like this, like they have to leave the room in order for her to have fun or do anything,they are great friendly people who try to talk to her, even buy things for, but she wont respond at all and will barely eat when they are around even if she is starving. i used to think she was just a shy little girl but now i am starting to see how it can be a little disrespectful and that my SO should be seeing this as well. I really want us all to have a great christmas but i am so afraid of her being like this and then getting tired and crabby and eventually ruining the night. WHAT SHOULD I DO? how can i bring this up to my SO without offending him? also i have never had a kid,so am i even right that she is being disrespectful and he should at least make her say hi or something? or is it something that should be left alone cuz she is just a little girl? my family means a lot to me and it embarrasses ME that she is acting like this with them.

sonja's picture

Id have to agree that by 5, its okay for them to not be able to have full on conversations with adults they dont know. But by 5 they should know to say hi and thank you for having me at the absolute least.

SO shouldnt go overboard and act all offended by this, you giving him a heads up on what your family expects is very normal, and helpful in my opinion for him to know as a guest as well.

By SO having this conversation with his daughter beforehand may put her more at ease with a little info on what to expect, and talk about who will be there that shes already met and whatnot.

branmuffin97's picture

My middle daughter is terribly shy and introverted..has been, since birth. My oldest is a social butterfly. Same parents, different dispositions. It always bothered me that people felt like I should "fix" the shy kid. Shyness isn't a disorder. HOWEVER, when bk was getting older...we did work on basic courtesy...please, thank you, hello, goodbye.

Let her know you respect her personality...who she is..this isn't about changing her. However, it's a skill that is important..especially whenn they are school age and will be needing to converse with adult strangers fairly regularly.

sixteensmom's picture

Can you go through some photo albums a few times and tell her who each person is so she'll be a little more comfortable, recognize some of the faces? Make a game of it, maybe tell her something fun about each person so she gets some feeling about their personalities. If you tell her about uncle frank who always tried to get your nose when you were a little girl, and explain that he's really a nice man with a big belly and a happy laugh, maybe when she spots Uncle Frank she'll warm up faster. You might point out the really important people so she knows which ones to be sure to say hello to and thank you. maybe even take her to get some little gifts for your parents or whomever is hosting the evening. Then, let her be 5. take some games or a little dvd player for her to quietly watch some movies if she doesn't have anything else to do.

One other thing my sister has always done with her kids (I never did but it always worked for her) let sd5 bring a well mannered sweet little friend along so she has someone to play with. she might not want to play with a baby or an 11yo all day.