Hi Maureen. Thank you for this article. Yours is the first article I've read after googling "parenting a shy and stubborn child" and it seems to describe exactly what we're going through with our 27 month old daughter. If I frame her personality positively she is reserved, cautious, highly observant, imaginative, thoughtful, passionate, determined, persistent and tenacious. She is also very articulate and has an amazing memory and attention to detail. And I am just about tearing my hair out daily trying to get through the simplest tasks with her. For example, we went to a music class with her and her younger (11 month old) brother this morning. It's a class she has been to before and one I thought she was relatively comfortable in, although it has been 3 or 4 months since we last went (because of the baby's nap times). She loves music and often sings and dances. Music and singing is actually one of my "circuit breakers" when we are banging heads over some issue. But today she refused to say hello to either of the teachers, she refused to sing or dance and rudely rebuffed anyone who tried to entice her into participating and she eventually went and sat on the fringes of the room by herself. She didn't seem upset but it just seemed like a complete waste of time her being there. The teacher (being supportive) said she thought my daughter was just "taking it all in" and she might participate next time. I found it embarrassing and draining but I know that is partly my own social anxiety at work. This clamming up and withdrawing is something she is doing more and more lately. Can you suggest the best way for me to constructively teach her the importance of basic respectful manners (returning greetings etc) and participating?? I don't want to turn this into a big deal because I know that will make her dig her heels in more and may make her anxious and I do keep in mind she is only 2! We are currently going through our options for daycare and I am just terrified about how she will behave and the negative consequences for her socially and developmentally if she remains withdrawn and stubborn.
Thank you

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