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My daughter becomes so shy outside of the house and I don't want to impact her socially

My 4 year old will be so excited to go on a playdate or to a birthday party, but once we arrive, she basically tries to crawl back inside me…I can tell she wants to go play, but she just shuts down. I try talking to her calmly off to the side, or sitting alongside her and her friends, but she just seems like she can’t open up.

Has anyone else dealt with this before or any professionals here who can offer some advice?

Have you tried developing friendships for her one-on-one so that when she’s in bigger group settings, she has “safe” kids who are familiar? Inviting kids over individually for play dates is a great way to encourage friendships.

Yeah, she definitely does better when she has a friend at our house-even though she still takes time to warm up. It’s really out of the house that’s a problem. We talk about friends who she will see there, but once we arrive, she really struggles.

I have this with my 2 year old also! I find that when I arrive 10 minutes early to a party or the gym class we go to, she has time to get used to the environment with no one else there. By the time people start arriving, she has already moved away from me and the whole experience is much better (not always, but it definitely helps).

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