How to get my almost 4 year old son to not be so shy?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

My son is a brilliant little boy, he talks very mature and can read some words and was just tested and is well beyond two years past his development...and very kind.But he is so shy that he doesn't know what to do sometimes when kids want to play with him..sometimes he growls at them.Hes gotten alot better in the past year, he actually plays with kids now but im afraid that when he starts preschool in sept the teachers wont see how smart he is cause hes too shy..what should i do?


[deleted account]

Is he less shy when you are with him? Try some "mom&me" classes. I took music, swim and martial arts with my boy when he was younger. It helped tremendously. Now that he is older, I have him in very structured social activities in addition to spending lots of time at parks and such for "free play." I like the structured activities because he is forced to interact with other kids in a very controlled environment with strict rules & guidance that helps teach him how to play and talk to other kids.

What kinds of activities do you have him in right now? Does he seem to do better in more structured or less structured environments? He might love drama too, my nephew is doing that and he LOVES it! It lets him escape himself.....sort of. :)

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[deleted account]

I'm not sure you can train that out of him. I raised an only son to 16-years-old before I finally gave birth to a second child. They are like night and day when it comes to shyness. As a baby, our son would go to anyone that smiled at him. His sister, on the other hand, would cry when the little old ladies would try to give her samples at the grocery store.
She was painfully shy up until she was 6 years old. One day it was as if a switch turned off and she was fine. Having seen both sides, I have to say I prefer the shyness.

He will most likely grow out of it, but not if you push. Provide opportunities for making friends and joining in, but let the child decide when they are ready.

Jamie - posted on 03/28/2010




I would suggest meeting with your child's future preschool teacher and w/ the director of the preschool prior to her starting and let them know of your concerns. It's better to be up front about them and they likely have dealt with some of the issues before and could be a source of reassurance. Also, once he starts preschool keep the lines of communication with his teacher open so you'll know if an issues arise. Our son is nearly 9 and didn't attend daycare/preschool until he was 3 1/2 and sounds much like your son. Our son is now a social butterfly and though he still has moments where he is embarrassed he has learned to laugh at himself and has become a real ham. Now if only we could figure out how to get him to not distract others when he gets things done so they can we could relax. lol

User - posted on 03/25/2010




My 3 year old is the same way! Not with adults just children. She is the life of the party and puts on a show if we are with adults, with children she acts like they have 3 heads! I've been taking her to the park and structured activities and have started to see some improvement.She will start preschool in the fall too so we are trying to have her ready by then!

[deleted account]

thanks guys..lauren we are actually a very silly family we joke around and sing and dance..even though we suck at just gets really nervous around alot of people he dont know.for instance when he first took swimming lessons he would not go near the teacher or the other kids..and when it came time for him to do things he said no.he got a little better by the end but still didnt pass.He tells me he wants to play but he doesnt know how to start i guess.i hope he grows out of it b4 school. I"m afraid to push him because i dont want to make it worse. thank you guys for the advice and good luck tarika i hopr she grows out of it too.

Tarika - posted on 03/24/2010




My daughter is the same way and she will be 3 in june...for some reason I cant get her to do as much with others...she makes the same sound at other ppl to when they try to talk to her...I wish I knew a better way to get her out of it as well...besides of just trying to make her do things with others...if you have or get any good ideas that work please pass them my way

Lauren - posted on 03/24/2010




I think your doing great by taking him to play group and things. When you find him dancing or singing really really praise him, he may be shy at first but once he realises it is a good thing then he may not be so shy about it. Do mummy&me activities as when he can see you being silly he may be more inclined to also.

I dont know your personal circumstances so please dont take offence to this but do you and your partner ever act silly. Dancing in the kitchen when a song comes on the radio, singing along in the car, getting messy and playing (not just with your child). Dont make a big deal to get him to join in but perhaps eventualy he will see that being silly is okay. Sing along with your partner in the car and encourage but dont force your son to join in.

Also try to find something your child is personally interested in, i was a particularly inteligent child but had problems with spellings (and still do) so i was shy in certain situations. I was interested in my books, numbers and calculations and felt like my family didnt understand me and so became very shy, often sitting in my room alone doing things i liked like reading. My mum used to call me a hermit crab ha ha, it wasnt that I was actually all that shy I just didnt share the interests that my family did.

You say he is very clever and perhaps this inteligence is linked to his shyness like autistic children are very clever but can be aggressive (im not saying he is autistic). Tell your child you can have fun fridays and on a friday he can pick anything he wants to do...... this may be reading, going to the park or another hobby he has not yet told you about, whatever it is tell him it sounds fun and throwyourself into it - maybe this will bring him out of himself as it is his choice.

Good luck with everything - sorry for reply being sooooo long ha ha xx

[deleted account]

hes not very shy when hes with me or his dad..but if we catch him singing or dancing or something he gets shy.he goes to swimming and playgroups at the local parent centre..still very shy.when the kids sing song and stuff he wont sing with them or anything.Hes not shy to kids when he goes to the maybe he feels like he free to play with them or not there.

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