Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Super Shy 5 year old, need ideas on how to help

    Hi Mums! I need some help. Unlike her sisters, my 5 year old (she just turned 5!) is super shy. She's so shy she can't make friends even when we go to the playground. Does anyone have suggestions on how to help her overcome this debilitating shy-ness?

  2. #2
    Hello,

    Thank you for your post.

    I think that it is first good to consider the positives of being a shy or quieter person - more of a thinker. This can be a personality trait rather than something negative to try and change. Shy children and people are often very gentle and, whilst they may take longer to form friendships, they tend to be very loyal and caring.

    So, I would think about if your daughter is simply shy (part of her personality - which leads to many positive characteristics) or if she is actually not shy but withdrawing in certain situations because she feels unhappy or unconfident in these settings? Is your daughter happy and content for the majority of the time but just quiet? Does she want to make friends when she goes to the playground or is she genuinely happier playing by herself - this is valid and the way that some children choose to play.

    Have you looked at the resources from Dr. Sears (the attachment parenting paediatrician) on shyness? Your post particularly reminded me of some of the Q&As he posts and I thought this one was very relevant to you and your family.

    Do you think you have observed a recent change in her confidence levels? If so, can you put your finger on what caused it - a change to preschool, illness, finding bedtime difficult etc.

    What about having individual friends/ families over to play? Does she prefer to play with friends she is already confident with compared to new friends?

    Does she play differently when her older sisters are there?

    I also really like the advice AHA parenting gives here in these tips to support the socially worried child: 'It’s about respecting and honoring temperament and variation, and helping children navigate the world with their own instruments." Dr. Merikangas

    If you think it is a confidence issue, you could try using role play with your daughter to help her to practice how she could make friends at the park etc. Talking about feelings of nervousness when it comes up in stories together can also help young children to put into words how they are feeling. Does she like to paint and draw? Could you explore some of these ideas/ scenarios with her as you get creative together.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    I wish you and your family all the best,
    LJ

  3. #3

    Super Shy almost anxious?

    Thank you for the swift response!

    I know that being shy isn't a bad thing and I embrace my baby's lovely personality but this isn't just shy. She wants very much to play and have fun, but when a new child arrives, or when there are children already playing she will not play for several minutes, or will walk to the least fun thing and play quietly with that. When she's with her sisters though she is the complete opposite! She will make friends and talk laugh and share her toys with new people.


    Quote Originally Posted by ljmarsden View Post
    Hello,

    Thank you for your post.

    I think that it is first good to consider the positives of being a shy or quieter person - more of a thinker. This can be a personality trait rather than something negative to try and change. Shy children and people are often very gentle and, whilst they may take longer to form friendships, they tend to be very loyal and caring.

    So, I would think about if your daughter is simply shy (part of her personality - which leads to many positive characteristics) or if she is actually not shy but withdrawing in certain situations because she feels unhappy or unconfident in these settings? Is your daughter happy and content for the majority of the time but just quiet? Does she want to make friends when she goes to the playground or is she genuinely happier playing by herself - this is valid and the way that some children choose to play.

    Have you looked at the resources from Dr. Sears (the attachment parenting paediatrician) on shyness? Your post particularly reminded me of some of the Q&As he posts and I thought this one was very relevant to you and your family.

    Do you think you have observed a recent change in her confidence levels? If so, can you put your finger on what caused it - a change to preschool, illness, finding bedtime difficult etc.

    What about having individual friends/ families over to play? Does she prefer to play with friends she is already confident with compared to new friends?

    Does she play differently when her older sisters are there?

    I also really like the advice AHA parenting gives here in these tips to support the socially worried child: 'Itís about respecting and honoring temperament and variation, and helping children navigate the world with their own instruments." Dr. Merikangas

    If you think it is a confidence issue, you could try using role play with your daughter to help her to practice how she could make friends at the park etc. Talking about feelings of nervousness when it comes up in stories together can also help young children to put into words how they are feeling. Does she like to paint and draw? Could you explore some of these ideas/ scenarios with her as you get creative together.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    I wish you and your family all the best,
    LJ

  4. #4
    Thanks you for your reply - that's useful to know.

    Is it a new stage that she is spending more time playing without her older sisters present? Do you think it is adapting to this?

    Does she make eye contact with the other children?

    There is an awesome list of kids friendship books here and most of them are suitable for a 5 year old. I have found that reading together helps us to discuss and share ideas and new concepts easier than in day-to-day conversation.

    Did the Dr. Sears links help you at all?

    With best wishes,
    LJ

  5. #5
    Maybe you should take her to a safe, private place. Perhaps she really wants to open up to you but is afraid of being overheard by friends and strangers. Then you can gently initiate a deeper conversation. Be sure to start off with a positive topic. For example, protecting animals, having fun at weekend with your family, eating delicious ice cream, etc. And please, Don't pry. Let her steer the conversation. Good luck my dear

  6. #6
    Thank you for your post.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •