Does anyone have any pointers to battle shyness?

Jennifer - posted on 08/09/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 5 year old daughter starts Kindergarten this month. We went to an open house and she would not speak to anyone. I'm worried when school starts that she won't come out of her shell. Does anyone have pointers for battling shyness?

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Sylvia - posted on 08/10/2011

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As a shy person myself, I'd say the first thing you need to do is stop thinking about your daughter's temperament as a problem that needs to be fixed. You can't make her not shy. What you can do is help her cope with how hard it is to be an introvert in an extrovert's world. (How hard is that? REALLY HARD. Especially when people try to "help" you by making you feel bad about your personality.)

Did the open house upset her? Was she hiding behind you, or crying, or making a scene, or was she just not ready to talk to anyone yet? Some people need more time to process new experiences.

Look, she may not talk much for the first few days of school, and that's probably okay. She may not have dozens of friends at school; that's okay, too, as long as she's not feeling bullied or ostracized. (Having one or two really good friends is as satisfying for a shy, introverted person as having a huge circle of more casual friends is for a more social, extroverted person.)

If she's the kind of shy that gets panic attacks at the idea of meeting new people or talking to strangers, then that's a problem. If she's just slower to warm up to new people than you are, the best thing you can do is not rush her.

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