My son has started going to our village garderie (daycare). He has been three times so far and he loves it. We pack his backpack with his house shoes (children do not wear shoes inside) and tissues for his runny nose. He puts his backpack on with his sisters and after we drop them off at gym, my son and I head up the hill to the garderie.
It is only once a week for a few hours but it is beginning to make a big difference in my son’s confidence. He has started to play with other children even if it is only a little. He will not let me leave without him but as long as I am there he is as happy as he can be. He loves it.
We have, also, started going to a gymnastics class for Moms and kids. I take my four year old daughter (she is not in school at this time) and my son. The cost is only twenty-five francs for three months no matter how many children the mother brings with her. I think that is super cheap for one child let alone my two. The quality of the program is super and my kids can’t wait to go.
I am doing all of this not only because I think it is good for the kids to get out and be active. It is because my children are shy. They are shy enough that it is a concern. So, I want to do all that I can to give them every opportunity to socialize with others.
My son made the bracelet shown above at the garderie. He will not sit down to paint. However, he likes to put puzzles together, play cars and make things. So, even if it is a slow start he is progressing. The first time he went he wouldn’t go near the activity table. Since then, he will as long as there is no painting involved. For some reason that scares him.
My oldest daughter has an appointment to be seen by the school psychologist because she isn’t talking in school like she should be. She stays with her best friend and doesn’t play much with the other children. She does answer her teachers this year but did not last year. Her teachers told me that she will not sit without the teacher telling her where to sit and assuring her it is OK.
Her sister (which is in the same classroom) is having similiar issues and I will check with the school psychologist about evaluating her as well. I do not want to let it go for too long.
When I was a child I was so shy that I never had more than one or two friends. I was terrified that I may have to talk to someone and hated when the teacher called on me. It wasn’t that I was a little shy and would outgrow it. I never did until I was in my thirties. I spent years dredding any social interaction with others. It was stressful when it should have been fun.
I do not want my children to suffer (yes, I did suffer) like I did.
My son is to the point that if someone even looks at him he will scream and hide behind me. I believe that if we (my husband and I) do all that we can for our children now they may be able to beat this.
The kids will play with other children here at our apartment and do talk with adults they know well. So, I hope that they will be able to be more social.
After my daughter’s teachers informed us about her silence at school, I looked online for what may be causing it. I did a quick Google search and found out about Selective Mutism.
It was like a door opened.
I do think that this is what my five year old has. I am pretty sure that both my four year old and son have it too. But, time will tell. It was hard for me to come to terms with this because I wanted my daughter to be like all the other kids. I still do.
However, she is who she is and that is OK.
I am positive that I had Selective Mutism all throughout my school years. I am happy that more is known about Selective Mutism today so that my children will get all the support and help they need. They will not need to sit in the darkness alone.
I read on a Selective Mutism website that if a child is not talking after a month in school the child should see a psychiatrist to be diagnosed. I only found out the severity on my five years silence at school when the school year was almost over during a parent-teacher meeting.
When my daughter’s teachers first talked to us about it I felt they were being silly. That she was just shy and would outgrow it. Since then, all the memories of my own silence in school has come back to me.
I remember sitting in class feeling like I was screaming inside because I was so afraid.
Afraid to talk.
Something that is easy and simple for most everyone. For me, it was the same as asking me to jump off of a building.
I was terrified…completely terrified.
I know my five year old must feel the same way and I am happy that her teachers brought it to our attention and insisted it wasn’t something that she would outgrow.
We are lucky that we are living in Switzerland where things like this are taken care of. I don’t think that in the States or in France the teachers would have been so concerned at such a young age.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Swiss schools. We do not pay one cent to the schools. Not even for supplies. And, our children are getting a wonderful education with all the support they need to succeed in life.
If your child is not talking at school (even if they talk at home) I recommend that you visit the websites below for information about Selective Mutism. Talk to your child’s teacher about what can be done to help your child overcome his/her fear of talking in the classroom. Don’t wait to see if they outgrow it. They may not without some help.