Counselling Corner

Shyness In Young Children

Shyness is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort and awkwardness when a child is in company of unfamiliar others. Shyness is different from social anxiety and can occur at any stage of development.

Signs Of Shyness

● Holding on to the mother

● Hiding behind the mother

● Demanding approval for every action

● Not comfortable in the company of others

● Thumb sucking/nail biting

Causes Of Shyness

● Insecurity - less than firm attachment bond between parent and child

● Over protection by parents

● No exposure to new people

● Extremely limited social interaction

● Criticizing the child in front of others

How To Deal With The Condition

● Encourage the child to discuss if any difficulty/fear

● Let the child explore, experiment and create on its own

● Prepare the child for an upcoming event, like explain before visiting a friend’s house

● Narrate your own instances of shyness during childhood

● Provide satisfying activities and achievable targets

● Give responsibility to the child like watering plants, filling water bottles

● Express your love by kissing and hugging more

● Reward your child whenever he/she makes an effort to speak to others

● Do not force the child to talk to others

● Invite child’s friends over to build friendship

● Suggest friendly phrases that can be used

● Do not overreact to his/her shyness

● Do not label the child β€˜shy’

● Let the child talk of his/her positives to the mirror.

Reeti Jain
Counsellor