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Tips for Shy Children

posted 8 years 2 months ago
My 5 year old son is extremely shy. I was also shy as a child, so I not only feel his pain, but I have very few ideas how to help him socially at his age. As an adult I try to be a good role model for him, being friendly with others, starting small talk, smiling and being confident, etc., so I just hope he is learning from my example. I try to talk to him about things I have learned through the years about interacting with people, but I have few ideas to give him that will be relevant to his 5 year old world right now.

Should I just keep doing what I'm doing, hoping he'll figure it all out like I eventually did, or are there things I could be saying or doing that could have a quicker, more direct effect for him?

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I would suggest putting him in social situations where he has to interact with others, such as sports, after school activities, clubs etc. I think most children can outgrow shyness. Perhaps you could talk to your child about the reasons for their shyness. Are they afraid of something? Do they feel they are on show? What you are doing sounds great. You are modeling for your child how to social and interact with others. Sharing your experience with shyness will also give your child an understanding that shy can be overcome.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I can relate to your situation. I was shy as a child and still am. My daughter was very shy but she has grown out of that a lot. She suffers from anxiety and that is what part of her shyness comes from. Starting kindergarten was real hard on her. It took half of the year to get into doing the activities in class and talking to the other children. Luckily, her teacher was real patient with her.

I think what you are doing is a good thing by showing him it is okay to talk to others. That was real hard for me to do but I wanted my daughter to see that it was okay to talk to some strangers to get to know them a little depending on the situation. Your son may gradually grow out of it once he realizes what you are doing to show him how its done and that it is okay. Maybe like purplepen said, getting him some activities with other children will help to bring out his social side more. I hope you find what works for him.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
Thanks for the ideas. I do think I probably should put him in more new social situations than I have recently. He has gotten very comfortable at preschool with a little group of friends is very outgoing with, and I think he is almost the leader of their little group. But when they are not around, he is once again painfully shy and does not want to participate. That's what I find so difficult, I think he is doing fine, then I'm reminded he's not.

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