View trusted insights from KidsHealth.org, the No. 1 most-viewed health site for children, created by the experts at Nemours. We've also provided information from the most-respected non-profit organizations.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
- 504 Education Plans
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- About Teen Suicide
- Disciplining Your Child
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Temper Tantrums
- Your Child's Habits
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- Understanding Depression
- Helping Kids Deal With Bullies
- Childhood Stress
- Kids and Alcohol
- Separation Anxiety
- Taking Your Child to a Therapist
- My Child Is Stealing
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Teaching Kids Not to Bully
- Taming Tempers
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- What Is ADHD?
Trusted External Resources
How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
I'm worried about my daughter because she is extremely shy and has a difficult time making friends. Is there anything I can do to help her?
Being shy isn't a bad thing in itself — but if shyness is keeping your daughter from fully enjoying and appreciating the joys that go along with being young, there are some things she can do.
One of the best ways kids can let go of some shyness is to think of a few simple behaviors they would like to improve, then practice them. Let's say your daughter wants to work on talking to a friend. She can practice thinking of how she'd do it if she weren't so shy. Just working on smiling and saying "hello" is a good start. Complimenting a schoolmate on a job well done in class, a play, or a sports competition is another icebreaker.
Some kids find it helps to practice in front of a mirror, like they might practice lines for a play. This might help your daughter feel more comfortable with a new approach. Then she can practice smiling and saying "hello" in real life. It often helps to start with one or two people she likes.
She also could join some activities that she's interested in — whether it's the school newspaper or a sports team. She may feel nervous at first — that's perfectly normal. More practice will help the butterflies go away, so encourage your daughter not to give up.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: October 2012