It’s a personality trait.
Shy people often make great
listeners. This can help them in school. Their quiet ways help protect a deep sense of well-being. And they radiate inner peace.
Shyness is only a problem when it’s the result of low self-esteem or another emotional problem. Your child probably doesn’t have a problem if she:
• Looks others in the eyes.
• Is polite.
• Seems happy with herself.
• Generally behaves well.
• Is nice to be around.
There might be a problem if your child avoids eye contact, is withdrawn, or has continuous behavior problems.
To help a shy child:
• Avoid labeling your child “shy.” She’ll think there’s something wrong with her. Then she’ll be even more timid.
• Speak about your child positively. Refer to her as “reserved,” “focused,” “thoughtful” or “cautious.”
• Ease your child into meetings with strangers. Greet and talk with people new to your child. Simply let her observe. Once she knows these are “parent-approved” people, she might feel more comfortable.
• Never put your child on the spot. Get her consent if you want her to perform for Grandma.
• Help your child establish who she is. Before visiting with someone new, suggest she bring a prop—such a favorite toy or game.
• Avoid talking for your child. Give your child time to share her feelings and concerns.
New York, NY 10020, 1-800-759-0190), ISBN: 0-316-77749-8, paperback, 278 pp., $16.95.
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