How to help shy children to be confident

Posted On June 5, 2014

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Helping shy children come out of their shell can be difficult and needs to be handled delicately, especially if your child suffers from social anxiety.


Shyness is a very normal characteristic of early childhood – after all, the world’s a big place when you’re small. For some, shyness will be shed as they grow older and gain confidence. For others it will remain a long-term trait, right into adulthood.

Shyness may be caused by a combination of factors but commonly it will have been passed on to a child by their parents. It may also be shaped by other sorts of parental attitudes – where they are overprotective, for example – and other family relationships, such as those with domineering siblings.

You can do a lot of practical things to help gently encourage a shy child to be more outgoing. I’d suggest doing it very gradually, though, starting by inviting one friend over for half an hour at home, then moving to more friends, more time and then outside the home. We all have hopes for our children based on our own regrets, so it can be a difficult thing for a shy parent to have a shy child. The thing to remember is that the majority of children will find their way through all of this with a bit of guidance and good mentors.


For instance, if you accept it as a given and let the child go nowhere and do nothing (where you hear a parent say, ‘Oh, they don’t do that kind of thing because they’re shy’, for example) then you could be facilitating the shyness into a real barrier to life opportunities. Better to acknowledge that the child is shy – and therefore less likely to run head first into new, demanding social situations – and give them gentle support and encouragement to help them discover that these things may be enjoyable once they’ve tried them.

Thanks for reading!

I’m Cherry from Babeeniteam!


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