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 nonprofit organizations.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
- Helping Kids Deal With Bullies
- Your Child's Habits
- Taking Your Child to a Therapist
- Teaching Kids Not to Bully
- Childhood Stress
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- About Teen Suicide
- Temper Tantrums
- Taming Tempers
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- 504 Education Plans
- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Eating Disorders
- Disciplining Your Child
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Separation Anxiety
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- What Is ADHD?
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Kids and Alcohol
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
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: September 26, 2016