Sunday, April 17, 2011

The 'Shy' Child

Shyness is a common, but an misunderstood emotion. All children are not extroverts, every child is not popular, and many children identify with just one friend. Not all parents can accept this fact with a smile. They fail to see this as a personality trait, and treat it as a drawback. And above all this, family, friends, neighbors come up with their own set of advices. Many a times, even school teachers call on the shy child, encourage, and at times, indirectly force the child to talk or interact with other classmates. This makes it very difficult for the child who is forced to talk and interact, instead of being left free to mingle, at his will.

Shyness is not a problem or disorder which needs attention. Most shy people outgrow their shyness with time. Those who don't, often, themselves develop effective coping strategies to deal with their shyness. It is not often that shyness in children, can be a sign of something deeper, as in a personality disorder. So, as a parent, you need not worry in most cases. Just listen to your loved one and help out your shy child without being forceful or judgmental.

A few Do’s and Dont’s that might be helpful in this matter:-


Don't label your children.
Don't forcibly try to change them.
Do not force your children into being what they are not.
Dont try to push or pull your child from their dens. The more you do, the more the child will retreat.
Dont discuss the child and her problems in front of the child or the other children or adults in the family.


Help them in social situations.
Build up their confidence.
Be patient and listen to them.
Build a relationship of trust with your shy child.
Know, accept and love your child.

Be loving.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely and necessary post!

    I have seen a lot of parents doing the "don't's" and I feel for both them and the child. I think many parents, even if they *aren't* trying to "fix" their shy child, *are* trying to conform to the social pressure to have a polite, well-adjusted-seeming child. So they will push the child to speak, or talk about them to others, or label them, just to try and smooth over any potential social faux pas.

    I also really like that you point out that shyness is not a sign of dysfunction. I think it is helpful for concerned parents to be reminded of this. There is *nothing* wrong with feeling shy, and *no* reason for parents to try and force their children to feel differently.

    Be well,
    Nathan M