(Closed) Parenting a shy child

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
3485 posts
Sugar bee

It must be somewhat challenging to raise a child in a society that glorifies outgoing, extroverted personalities.  What you are doing currently – speaking for your child – seems to be a good thing. There will come the time, however, when your child will need to handle his social interactions on his own.  As soon as your son is able to understand, you could explain to him that being shy is totally fine, that indeed it has many positive aspects to it, and it will not really hamper his ability to have friends. 

Post # 3
Member
1132 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

It sounds like you’re doing a great job being his advocate. That is exactly what he needs right now. I have a feeling once he’s past the toddler phase and just a normal, boring elementry age kid, people will become less interested in interacting with him and he (and you) will be able to feel more comfortable with his natural personality.

Post # 4
Member
5082 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
Sunshine09:  I don’t have any parenting advice, but I was also a very shy child. I hated being left without my mom or my grandmother and I had a hard time joining in with the other kids. I don’t remember being a toddler, but I remember being probably about 10 years old at a summer rec program. A bus took us to the school where all the kids could play sports, do crafts, etc. for the summer, kind of like a big daycare for older kids. I didn’t have any friends there, so I just sat on a swing alone all day (or in a corner inside if it was raining) for the entire summer because I was too shy to join in with anyone. I’m obviously better now, but still painfully shy around people that I don’t know. Around people I know well though, I’m a total center-of-attention type person. 

I think you’re doing the right thing, helping him make the transition at daycare. Giving him topics to bring up with the teacher and helping him get comfortable. As he gets older, you can help him with tips on how to initiate conversations or join in with them. Build up his confidence and such. I wish someone had helped me with that more earlier in my life. It’s harder to change things once you’re older. 

Post # 5
Member
694 posts
Busy bee

Poor kid. My sister was the same way as a kid. It helped her to really find some hobbies she enjoyed and to join girl scouts, clubs, dance class, etc. It helped her confidence and her flexibility in dealing with people. It sounds like a shot of confidence may be what your son needs to feel OK. Also, I know it may be hard for you to just “let go” at the door of daycare, etc., but you may be making him feel like “letting go” is a big deal and that anxiety can trickle down to him.

Post # 6
Member
380 posts
Helper bee

My daughter is shy too, and it’s hard when adults expect her to like them instantly. I don’t understand why some people don’t allow kids to have personal boundaries, as you’d expect adults to. I mean, you wouldn’t just get up in some adult’s face or walk up to someone and hug them. I’d be upset if a daycare worker took my daughter out of my arms, since you obviously have a routine.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. Am I “overprotective” because she’s clingy, or is she clingy because I’m overprotective?  But, i try to give her space – she just doesn’t want it. And I feel it’s better to respect that shy part of her and encourage her than to force extraversion (not sure if that’s a word).

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