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From Nemours' KidsHealth
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Kids and Alcohol
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- 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
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- Taming Tempers
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- 504 Education Plans
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Disciplining Your Child
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Eating Disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- What Is ADHD?
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Childhood Stress
- About Teen Suicide
- Temper Tantrums
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Separation Anxiety
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