Katie sometimes tells us that she is shy about things. For example, that is what she would say about nursery the last few months of the year, when she struggled with going to class. She has also occasionally clung to R's leg when it has come time to attend certain of her other sports/music/dance classes. Usually, she has lots of fun once she goes in and engages with the group. We found she did really well the last few weeks, when she would get a gold medal for going to all her classes without a fuss. But then this last week she wouldn't go into her ballet class and she said she didn't want to go to her other pre-school class when she heard her cousins wouldn't be there either.
R discussed it with her hairdresser, who has dealt with similar issues and had some good advice. The next day, R and Katie discussed several coping strategies.
The main one is breathing. R showed Katie that she could take a few deep breaths. R held her hand on her stomach to help demonstrate how it would move as she would slowly inhale and exhale. When it came time for music class, Katie paused outside the door with her hand on her stomach for a few moments, and then she went it without trouble.
On the weekend I was holding K and she was worried about going in somewhere. I asked her what she could do to feel braver. She said she could try "her breathing". But first she would need me to move my arm so that she could reach her hand to her tummy to do it properly. So cute.
R noticed Katie doing her breathing at home with no one else really around. Apparently, she felt a tinge of anxiety and she immediately put her new strategy to work.
Katie told R of another thing she could do to cope with stress. She said that Jesus would help her when she needed it. She told R that she could say a little prayer when she was nervous and it would help.