Shyness is an inherited characteristic. As long as your child warms up to a situation after 10 or 15 minutes of standing back, the shyness is normal. The following steps may help your child adjust to this trait:
- First: Refer to your child as "quiet". Never label her as "shy" since this term has a negative connotation in our society.
- Second: Don't try to hurry her into new situations. It's normal for shy people to want to size up unfamiliar activities before getting involved.
- Third: Give her lots of opportunities to mix with age mates. Have friends over frequently. Enroll her in a play group or preschool.
- Fourth: Don't rescue your child if you see that she is hesitant or threatened by something. Be supportive, but let her handle it.
- Fifth: As your youngster grows older, help her rehearse in advance how she will handle new situations.
- Finally: Remember shyness doesn't mean your child is insecure.
If you have questions about shyness, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.