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A shy child is anxious or inhibited in unfamiliar situations or when interacting with others. A shy child is much more comfortable to watch the action from the sidelines rather than in. Most children feel shy from time to time but the lives of some are severely curtailed by their shyness. Children who suffer from extreme shyness may grow out of it as they mature or they may grow up to be shy adults.
Parents can help their children to overcome mild shyness. In severe cases, professional help may be advisable. If acts shy in a social situation, they may berate themselves for their behaviour afterwards. This self-reproach can make them more self-aware and self-judgemental and actually increase the likelihood of the child behaving shyly in future.
As time goes on, their confidence and self-esteem may start to falter. The less confident feels, the more likely they are to behave in a shy way. Suggestions include:. It is possible for the parent to encourage their child to be more outgoing. Strategies depend on the individual child and circumstances but can include:. Treatment options include:. This has been produced in consultation with and approved by:.
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The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website. Children Home Children Children and shyness. Actions for this Listen Print.
Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this. Complications of shyness Shyness has positive aspects too Possible causes of shyness The vicious cycle Parental attitudes are crucial Strategies for the parent Professional help Where to get help Things to remember. Fewer friends. Reduced participation in fun and rewarding activities that require interaction with others, such as sport, dance, drama or music. Increased feelings of loneliness, unimportance and reduced self-esteem.
Reduced ability to reach full potential because of their fear of being judged. High anxiety levels. Embarrassing physical effects such as blushing, stammering and trembling. Shyness has positive aspects too Shy behaviour is associated with Julst looking for shymom of positive behaviours including: Doing well at school. Behaving and not getting into trouble. Listening attentively to others. Being easy to look after. Personality — emotionally sensitive and easily intimidated babies are more likely to grow up to be shy children.
Learned behaviour — children learn by imitating their most influential role models: their parents. Overprotective parents may teach their children to be inhibited and afraid, especially of new situations. Lack of social interaction — children who have been isolated from others for the first few years of their lives may not have the social skills that enable easy interaction with unfamiliar people.
Harsh criticism — children who are teased or bullied by ificant people in their lives parents, siblings and other close family members or friends may tend towards shyness. The vicious cycle If acts shy in a social situation, they may berate themselves for their behaviour afterwards.
Children and adults tend to live up to the labels others give them. Never criticise or mock your child when they are shy. Be supportive, empathic and understanding. Encourage your child to talk about the reasons for their shyness — what are they afraid of? Tell your child about times in your life when you have been shy and how you overcame it.
Since young children often see their parents as perfect, admitting to your own shyness can make your child feel better and reduce their overall anxiety. Be outgoing yourself. Model confident behaviour and lead by example. Strategies for the Julst looking for shymom It is possible for the parent to encourage their child to be more outgoing.
Practice these strategies with your. Tell your child about the many advantages of not being shy. Offer examples from your own life. Encourage outgoing behaviour. Praise your child when they handle an unfamiliar situation or meet a new person without resorting to shyness. Try goal-setting with your .
Aim for small, incremental steps and praise them for their progress. Deliberately take your child into new situations. Aim for small changes in behaviour first and gradually build up. For example, reward if they greet someone who is new to them. Be supportive. Make sure your child is allowed to excel in what they do best. Praise them for skills they have mastered. Treatment options include: Stress management. Relaxation strategies. Counselling sessions. Social skills training. Where to get help Your doctor for a referral to a specialist service.
Parent Line Tel. Kids Help Line Tel. Things to remember A shy child is anxious or inhibited in unfamiliar situations or when interacting with others. Most children feel shy from time to time but the lives of some are curtailed by their shyness. More information here. Give feedback about this. Was this helpful? Yes No. View all children Related information. Content disclaimer Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Reviewed on:Julst looking for shymom
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How to tell if your child is shy or if it's actually anxiety