My Child Is Shy. What Do I Do?
Created by Anurima Updated on Sep 24, 2018
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 If the child seems more troubled and withdrawn, refuses to speak when spoken to, or doesn’t even make eye contact, it is worth investigating further.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!
| 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.
| 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..
| 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
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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
| 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.
| 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
| 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
| 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.
| 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!!