Why is my child shy?
Shyness is usually caused by a combination of factors, some of which include:
GeneticsSome children are born with a tendency towards shyness; they are unusually sensitive as babies and find new situations upsetting
Shy parentsIf you are a naturally shy person, you will model your own shy behaviour to your child who may begin to act in the same manner
Attachment issuesIf your child isn’t strongly attached to you, she may lack the confidence to go into new settings. On the flip side, if you tend to be over-protective, you may teach her to be anxious about new situations
IsolationChildren who have had little opportunity to play with their peers, have often missed out on learning the social skills they need to be confident about interacting with new friends
CriticismFor children with tendencies towards shyness, being jollied along or being bullied by a parent into behaving in a more confident manner will only heighten her anxiety about social situations
LabellingDescribing your child as ‘shy’ in her presence, will only make things worse. Not only does it provide an emotional crutch for her, but you’re also communicating with her that you think there’s something wrong with her. And this will only make her feel more anxious about her shyness
Fear of SeparationMany children suffer from a sort of ‘shyness’ during the toddler years. This is usually temporary – and quite normal - and stems more from separation anxiety than true shyness.
Most babies between about 6 months and 3 years old are "shy" in that they are afraid of strangers and likely to cling to the people they know well. This is a normal part of developing trust in a scary world. By the time they are three or four most children want to join in and play with others, at least some of the time.
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