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  1. #1
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    Default How to help shy child advice please

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    Last edited by Sirena89; 18-06-2021 at 23:30.

  2. #2
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    I know your heart is in the right place so I am saying the following in the kindest way possible, but perhaps that child doesn't feel like they are missing out? What you might view as missing out, the child might view as observing and easing into a situation.

    And maybe they are content with talking to their peers and don't feel the need to engage in conversation with adults?

    Also, putting aside inborn personality traits, at only 4.5 years of age they are just barely aware of the rules of social etiquette.

    You need to ask yourself: Was the child actually visibly sad at not participating in sport? Or did they have a straight face, and combined with the non-participation the assumption was that the child was sad?
    Bare in mind that just because the parent or another well meaning adult said the child was looking forward to the sports activity, it doesn't mean that they were. The parent could be lying to save face because they don't want to be seen as the mum or dad with the awkward antisocial kid.

    I'm genuinely not having a go at you with my response - Like I said I think your heart is in the right place... I just want to give a different perspective.

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    i would agree with the above. i was a shy kid and it was really painful to me when adults would highlight the fact. it always felt like so what? i’m happy this way, why make it into a big deal?

    is it a possibility the child is neuro divergent and therefore isn’t overly social because of this? there may be history to which you’re not privy.

    i would continue to treat the child as you have been, friendly, inclusive etc. but beyond that there’s not much you can do and really, if there is an issue (medical or otherwise) it’s up to the parents to get it investigated.

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    Are you close with their parents, is it something they've mentioned? Are they concerned? Do you spend enough time with the child to reasonably think that you have a good sense of what's going on?

    You're family and care about this child, so I think it's reasonable to think about it and want to help, but I think you have to tread carefully at the same time - hopefully you have a close enough relationship with the parents to talk about it without them feeling criticised or attacked in some way. I'm a big believer in the whole "it takes a village" approach and talking, in a loving way, if you have a concern about a family member you care about.

    As for if and what help the child needs, that depends on whether the shyness is beyond what is normal for kids. If it is veering towards something like selective mutism then help from a professional can be useful, particularly before they start school. But lots of kids are just reserved, and that's fine - perhaps the parents could ask the child's childcare educators for their thoughts (if they go to childcare)?
    Last edited by Kalina; 18-06-2021 at 19:32.

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    Last edited by Sirena89; 18-06-2021 at 23:34.

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    Last edited by Sirena89; 18-06-2021 at 23:36.

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    This was my daughter. She was painfully shy to the point where I had to remind her to even say Hello when people spoke to her. She didn't like to engage with adults at all. It was somewhat embarrassing as a parent as the older she got, the ruder it appeared. Well, she is now 17yo...... she is outgoing, is in the leadership team at her school and her career aspiration is to be a nurse. She has done a number of work placements at hospitals and she is always complimented on her personality. Please don't worry, I am almost certain she will be ok.

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    Last edited by Sirena89; 18-06-2021 at 23:37.

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    I don't think there are easy answers, and I do wonder whether asking for input from the child's teachers (the parents asking, if they haven't already and if they're concerned) might shed some light.

    Our society prizes extroverts like the very fact of being outgoing is a virtue, and I think in some ways they generally get an easier skate through life. Nobody ever says "I really love the way I struggle with social situations". But I think it's important for the parents to work out whether their child is just an introvert, which is completely fine (more than fine in my opinion), or whether there is more to it.

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    Last edited by Sirena89; 18-06-2021 at 23:40.


 

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