Parenting

My Child Is Shy. What Do I Do?

Anurima
3 to 7 years

Created by Anurima
Updated on Sep 24, 2018

My Child Is Shy What Do I Do
Reviewed by Expert panel

Father to a child psychologist ‘My 5-year-old daughter is very shy, how can I help her overcome this problem and help her become more social?’ The inherent problem with this question is that it is possibly heavily weighed down by judgmental labelling. I say “possibly” because the shyness could either be just a trait that the child has, and she is growing well emotionally, or in some cases it could indicate underlying issues. Read on to find out more.

Shyness In Children

In calling a child “shy” we are unnecessarily labeling them, and making excuses or being apologetic on their behalf. What a parent needs to understand is that a child can be shy, yet be completely comfortable in her skin. A shy child is capable of being a wonderful listener and showing immense empathy.

As Shelja Sen,a child psychologist and family therapist, rightly pointed out, in a workshop on Child Behaviour, that as parents, are we expecting ‘designer childhoods’ for our children. We want our children to strive in all aspects; Do we want our child to be a ‘perfect child’. She points out that parents need to understand that each child is wired differently, each child has her own set of capabilities and drawbacks and it is perhaps not fair to expect our child to excel in each and every aspect.

Also Read: Is Your Son Too Shy Of Girls?

How To Recognize If Your Child Is Shy, Or If There Is A More Serious Problem?

If she seems happy overall, if she seems to be at peace, if she makes eye contact and is nice to be around – then even if she speaks little, this is just the way she is. If the child seems more troubled and withdrawn, refuses to speak when spoken to, or doesn’t even make eye contact, it is worth investigating further.

How Do I Help My Shy Child?

Shyness is a personality trait and not a disorder. A child who is considered shy can be highly sensitive and very aware of his/her environment; and to some other people, it may seem as if they are very absorbed in their own ideas and less interested in social interaction. Such differences in personalities are usually taken as a negative trait by adults.

  • As Steven Rudolph, American Educationist, pointed out at a Parentune Parents day workshop ‘Do not push your child to be an engineer or a doctor if he doesn’t have an inclination for it. Remember an apple tree planted in Kerala will not flourish as it is a wrong environment for it. Same is true for children. Nourish them and not forcibly try and change their nature’
  • He also added ‘for an introvert child, do not push him, rebuke him or ridicule him. Accept his nature. But also equip him with the skills of dealing with a situation such as an interview or at a party where his introvert nature can perhaps cause him discomfort’

If you are a parent of a shy child, it can be frustrating to watch your child struggle in many situations, especially if you have been the outgoing type. The key is to help work with your child, rather than against, his/her natural tendencies.

Did you find this blog on helping a shy child, useful? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Mar 21, 2015

very nice blog.. very helpful for all parents also

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| Mar 22, 2015

There are multiple ways in which two children are different from each other perhaps more in number than their similarities. That's the most precious part.... diversity. not every child has to be an extrovert... won't it be beautiful if we let the innate diverse quality in each child bloom. Liked the blog a lot Anurima. Thanks for sharing it with fellow parents.

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| Mar 23, 2015

thanks for this informative & very helpful blog

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| Mar 23, 2015

good blog for parents to accept their children's nature

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| Mar 23, 2015

good blog for parents to accept their children's nature

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| Mar 23, 2015

Definitely something than I as parent can work towards wading off shyness my kid and understanding her better. Helpful tips.

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| Mar 23, 2015

Thks, very useful info

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| Mar 23, 2015

Nice blog Anurima, Thanks for it .My son who is Five year old now he is of same character,it takes some time for him to get set to the new environment ,people's everywhere. without me he will not even go down and play , this behaviour made me upset sometime, keep on saying and gave him his own time one fine day he started playing himself ,he made new friends and he s enjoying now..

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| Mar 23, 2015

Really good article... :):)

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| Mar 23, 2015

Nice article...

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| Mar 23, 2015

Nice article...

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| Mar 25, 2015

Vary nice and informative thanx a lot for sharing

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| Mar 27, 2015

I do agree every child is diff. ..... N d line abt designed childhood is so accurate..... We need to let them be themselves.... Really nice article.... Thnks

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| Mar 30, 2015

Thank you for your encouraging comments dear parents :) Yes, it is true that each child is different and we need to give them the time to cope with a different surrounding.

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| Apr 21, 2015

Thanks for the useful tips at right time

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| Apr 22, 2015

Good blog i really like the article but only 1 problem hear the weather is too hot and my daughter always wants to go out for play and her skin is very sensitive when she go our in hot weather not only in sunlight even in evening she got very bad reshash on her face so pls tel me how to control her so that she play in home by own We have very small family just 3 members me my hubby and palak(my daughter) PLEASE give an article and give your CONTACT DETAILS so I can able to call you

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| Apr 22, 2015

Hi Khushbu, you could ask your paediatrician for a sunscreen. these days very safe zinc-based sunscreens are available to use for children. also, once she is inside, wash her face with cold water and apply some aloe vera gel. very effective. i have tried with my own child.

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| Apr 22, 2015

Really Helpfull

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| Apr 22, 2015

Very nice blog. My 6 yrs old s

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| Apr 22, 2015

Son is also very shy. These days he is even reluctant to go to school. I am a little upset wid dis change in his behaviour. he doesnt like his new class. !! Tough to make him understand dat he shoul make new friends.

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| Apr 22, 2015

Nice blog.. Very positive way of handling this

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| Apr 22, 2015

Great help and it was comforting to read this

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| Apr 22, 2015

Hi thanx my son is very shy and i was always worried as to how will he deal i guess ur tips will help me.. However we r shifting to another place how do i help him adjust in his new school

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| Apr 23, 2015

Purva- a good starting point would be to help him by making a couple of friends

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| Apr 24, 2015

Nice blog..

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| Apr 24, 2015

Hi arunima,

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| Apr 24, 2015

hi arunima, really liked the blog... i am experiencing the same with my son. he was interested in learning drums, so we made him join drums classes, initially he was hesitant to go into the room but now he is so comfortable in the classes that he dose'nt even care that i am sitting outside waiting for him.

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| Apr 24, 2015

Very good Info

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| Apr 24, 2015

Arunima really good to know tips suggested by you. My child is also shy and i am already trying most of that on my son.

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| Apr 24, 2015

My daughter is two years old.... and she scares a lot wid strangers and new environment.... she started crying ....pls suggest

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| Apr 25, 2015

Nice article

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| Apr 25, 2015

Thanks for the article.. It wll help us a lot..

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| Apr 28, 2015

Good article

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| May 01, 2015

Hi my daughter is 4 years old and she doesn't mixup with child even her classmates also. Only she made few friends. and she doesn't speak loud very slow ..suggest me what to do ?

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| May 01, 2015

sharda Jha - Is this with her close friends as well or only with new surroundings and people? Anurima

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| May 01, 2015

She speaks loud at home & neighbour friend bt in school she speaks few words & very slow. With New surroundings she doesn't speak at all and always holds my hand

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| May 02, 2015

Tks for dis article

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| May 16, 2015

Great information

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| May 16, 2015

Nice

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| May 16, 2015

Really informative.. Thx

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| May 16, 2015

Thanks very nice article...

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| May 17, 2015

Nice article ?

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| May 17, 2015

Nice article,really helpful for my child,

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| May 17, 2015

Keep updating, thanks for info..

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| May 17, 2015

Very helpful blog

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| May 17, 2015

These steps which are explaining here, I think could be work if we follow these steps as they are telling, for me this can be prove positive for any child of this sort. Thankyou very much for reminding these things which use to tell our grandparents about child behaviour.

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| May 18, 2015

Very good information. Shyness can be improved with positive approach, social exposure and open discussion with child. With continuous efforts it can surely be changed at the right age.

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| May 18, 2015

Very helpful article, I like it very much.

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| May 19, 2015

I am really thankful for this important blog and information as I am facing the same issues with my 5 years daughter. But now onwards I support my daughter for what she does and help to boost her confidence and public facing.

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| May 20, 2015

Very helpful tips and information

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| May 20, 2015

Thnkz for sharing.... this is quite helpful....

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| May 21, 2015

Nice blog. very informative

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| May 23, 2015

I m very happy to be a part of parentune. thnx for very helpful n informative blog

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| Jun 01, 2015

thanx a lot

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| Jun 16, 2015

Thanks a lot

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| Jun 16, 2015

Thanx its very useful...

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| Jun 16, 2015

If child is thinking all the time what should be done

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| Jun 17, 2015

I have an occationally shy son but I've realised that im responsible for it as I'm overly protective about him and personally an introvert when it comes to meeting new people. So it could be u and not the child who is shy.

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| Jun 19, 2015

Nice article. My son also have some shyness. He don't speak in school and to new people. If tried he becomes anxiety. He just joined new school in I std. His class teacher concerned about his activity due to fiscomfort and looks she don't understand that complaining he is something wrong. Can I approach school teacher and principal to make them to understand the suitation ? I'm worried if things get worst. Suggestions please

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| Jun 29, 2015

Wonderful article. My son is 3. 5 years and he plays with everyone but whenever I am around, he keeps on clinging to me. He doesn't mix up easily with new people. He is okay with kids, but when it comes to grownups, he doesn't even smile or wave. I have tried explaining to him many times that you have to answer when someone asks you a question, but he never seems to understand. He would either keep smiling or turn his face. It is frustrating at times when he does this even to neighbors or familiar persons.

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| Jun 30, 2015

Amazing article. Thanks for providing valuable inputs.

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| Jul 17, 2015

Very useful n informative blog????

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| Jul 17, 2015

Wonderful. Kind of education to parents.

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| Jul 17, 2015

very useful blog

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| Jul 20, 2015

The upbringing plays a major role for your kid's shyness. So parents please keep a check on your short temper,yelling,shouting, etc.. All these can have a major impact on your kid.

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| Jul 20, 2015

Very helpful

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| Jul 20, 2015

Thanx ,so much ..It is so appropriate. one of ma elder son is an introvert n doesn't open up easily ,not even to my other family members like sis or even me for that matter .I try to accept the fact but I get angry. I am complete extrovert .ppl around say a lot of things that subconsciously show on us. ill try n not push him

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| Jul 21, 2015

Great blog really helpfull for new parents

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| Jul 21, 2015

Vry nice and helpful

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| Jul 22, 2015

Gud one... will try to implement

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| Jul 22, 2015

Wonderful way To go further and nurture child's emotion's

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| Jul 23, 2015

Hii,,I m Also vry worried abt my son ,,Bcoz he vry scared in class room ,he is now three years old ,, he is not comfortable in class room ,,every morning he crying loudly,,I will nt go ,,and his grand mother spport him ,,give me suggestion deAr what can I do for my baby

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| Jul 24, 2015

Hi, I'm facing d same problem. My daughter is now 4+. She doesn't talk to people. She had limited friends n I'm trying frm last few months to talk her out so that she can make new friends, but not worked. N when I'm talking to other parents she doesn't allow me to talk to them. She began cranky. At school also, she talk to one or two of her friends. What should I do, pls help me.

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| Aug 03, 2015

very very nice blog , ishould change myself from shouting , then only i an bring my child like a perfect T , thanks i realized my mistake . nice blog

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| Aug 03, 2015

very very nice blog , ishould change myself from shouting , then only i an bring my child like a perfect T , thanks i realized my mistake . nice blog

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| Aug 05, 2015

Hi all, few weeks back I also posted that my son not talking with new people and not talking in school. We went to counselling and we got advice from doctor to give occupational therapy we went to occupational therapy and also we spoke with school head master and class teacher about our kid based on advice given by occupational therapist. My son almost started talking with teacher and friends and new people. Infact, he made a public speaking session in his school which he did great. Parents advise you to consult doc and therapist because some times its easy to fix!!

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