J got invited to go home with a friend after school today, but he decided not to go because I wasn't going. He was afraid to go by himself. That makes me really sad.
J has never liked new situations. He's always been hesitant to go new places on his own. Except for preschool, he's never really gone anywhere without me around.
This has been done in part because of his preferences and in part due to mine. I never liked new situations as a child and so I instinctively avoid them for J because I assume he wouldn't like them. One of my many excuses for not working out is that J wouldn't like being dropped off at a gym daycare. Now that he is 5, there are lots of cool summer camps that J could attend, but I don't sign him up for them because I figure he wouldn't deal well with being dropped off in a new place with a bunch of children he doesn't know.
I'm afraid that I've projected some of my own issues onto J and have made his own inclination toward not wanting to go new places alone worse.
J is actually a very social child. He loves being around other children. He plays quite well with others. It just usually takes more time for him to assimilate to new surroundings and new people.
The play date was delayed until Thursday, but I'm still not sure if J will be willing to go without me. The little girl who invited him over is one that he's known since he was two, but we've never been to her house before.
I hate that J is afraid of the new and unknown. I hate that I've missed out on opportunities in my life due to my own reluctance to try new things and go to places unknown. I don't want my children to miss out.
I want to help us all step outside our comfort zone. I'm just not 100% sure the best way to do this.
Any thoughts or suggestions?