I have two daughters who are very shy, and don't like to hang around people, they have no friends, is this normal?

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Rebecca - posted on 01/17/2009

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At their ages I wouldn't brush it off but in the same token I wouldn't obsess either if that makes sense :)  In my experience with my daughter (she is only 10) I have found that kids can be really cruel and your child may not always fill you in on the whole situation.. My daughter was having a hard time at school for awhile and she complained a little but until the principal called me I had no idea how bad it was.  She was embarrased to tell me everything the girls were saying.  Luckily my daughter is very confident and assertive and it had no long term effects but most children aren't.  I would look for signs from your girls do they seem hesitant to go to school? Are they involved in extracurricular activities?  When they are home are they holed up in their rooms or hanging out with the rest of the family? Do they share alot of details about their day with you?  If none of this seems familiar maybe they are just homebodies.   I would try to have a sit down talk with them nonjudgemental or "hovering" if it is problems with kids at school you don't want to embarrass them.   With my daughter I would start a conversation with a story. For an example a not so great experience that myself or another family went through and check for reactions. The key is to empathize that unfortunately it does happen but to gain from the experience and remember your , your own best advocate.



Ask a few questions and go from the girls cues If this aspect is way off base try asking different questions.  If it is that they are just really shy what is it that makes them shy? is it the fear of rejection? Is it that they just haven't a group of friends with same interests?  I think you can see where I'm going with this.



And of course it very well could be a phase:) But it's better to adress your concerns and find out , they are at a very awkard stage in life.  I know when I was that age I wouldn't go to my mom with issues but if she started a conversation it was easier to open up.  Or if you had a cousin or neice or sister older than them but younger than you they might feel more comfortable too. 



I hope this helps some but really I wouldn't ignore it. :)

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Jill - posted on 01/19/2009

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This day and age there are so many new and exciting activities that are different from the school programs/sports and groups that we had as kids. Find out what they're interested in and send them to classes to hone their skills. It'll make them passionate about something and knowing something really well will give them the confidence to talk about it and open doors to new friends and experiences. Let them choose the class that they want to try. See if your community hosts any classes so they can meet others nearby. Or do a class together - yoga, salsa dancing, group lessons on a new instrument; beginner's classes are great because everyone there is unsure of the task at hand and will have fun learning together (squash, tennis, cooking/baking, knitting, web design....).

User - posted on 01/19/2009

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Your girls may be Introverts as opposed to extroverts, and this is a perfectly normal thing!



Introverts get their energy from being alone, and can become quite drained from being around too many people. They often have very  fertile imaginations, like to observe people and their energy fluctuates. Introversion is not a bad thing and many great writers, artists and poets are sensitive introverts.



There is a wonderful book called "the Introvert advantage" which is very enlightening and helpful, I recommend it!

Donna - posted on 01/19/2009

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hi paula i no its a worry when your kids dont seem to have friends but, some children enjoy their own company. My 13 year old daughter doesnt have any friends out of school but enjoys her own company. where my 14 year old son has lots of friends. I perodicly ask if every thing is ok. If u see any big changes check there is no bullying going on ect. hope this helps love.

Paula - posted on 01/18/2009

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I just want my daughters to learn to speak up for themselves and not to be bullied into harmful situations. It hasn't happened so far, but I tell them to speak up for themselves if someone makes them feel bad or tries to bully them. I think it can be a big concern these days if a person is too shy, it can make a child an easy target to be bullied.

Tanya - posted on 01/18/2009

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I have 3 daughters and my middle daughter, 9 is the same.

we tried everything to get her to socialise and this only seemed to make it worst.

What we are doing now is letting her take her time and she is slowly starting to interact but not for long.

I have found that having her around others where she can not retreat to her room is helping.

Donna - posted on 01/18/2009

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I don't think it is a big deal.  My son that is now 10 was the same way up until he went to 3rd grade and it was a whole different child.  He was so bad that when people would come over to visit and he didn't know them he would hide behind the couch until the left.  Never wanted any attention or nothing.. I was worried about it and the dr just kept saying it was his personality.  Believe me if they react like my son they will come out of it all at once.  It will surprise you

Paula - posted on 01/18/2009

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Thanks for all of the advice..I do worry about where my girls could be, and maybe getting into trouble. They do have cousins that they used to be close too, but don't associate because now they are into drinking and boyfriends, the cousins are only 14. Yes, my girls are like best friends to each other. I always know where my girls are too, there was a 17 year old girl that went missing in my city...that's pretty scarey! I do love my girls very much.

Paula - posted on 01/18/2009

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Thanks for all of the advice..I do worry about where my girls could be, and maybe getting into trouble. They do have cousins that they used to be close too, but don't associate because now they are into drinking and boyfriends, the cousins are only 14. Yes, my girls are like best friends to each other. I always know where my girls are too, there was a 17 year old girl that went missing in my city...that's pretty scarey! I do love my girls very much.

Christina - posted on 01/17/2009

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I have a 14 yr old who is a home body she has lots of friends however when she comes home she just prefers to stay home. In some instances this can be a good thing as you know where your children are you know that they are not getting into trouble. If you are that concerned maybe look into an afterschool program that you can get your kids involved with such as scouts or cadets (not sure where you live, I am in Canada) this way they can make friends outside of school. Or you could get them to volunteer at shelters or whatever they have in your area and this way they are busy as well as meeting new people and helping break the barrier of being "shy"



hope this helps



good luck

Kelly - posted on 01/17/2009

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I have one two kids who are shy but not to the extent that you have expressed. However, I used to work with a lady whose daughter was just like you describe as a teenager; she said she never could imagine her getting married or moving out of their house. The girl is now in her twenties, married, and a mother, so hopefully your situation will turn around eventually also. Maybe they just depend on each other as best friends, since they are so close in age? I would mostly be worried that they are being bullied or alienated at school. I would think you could ask their teachers about that. Even in middle school or high school the teachers should have some idea of the social actions of the kids. One other thought, my two high-schoolers attend a very small charter school instead of the traditional high school. They chose this school, because of the opportunity to earn more college credits, as well as the academically focused atmosphere, and they love it. Maybe there are options you could look into for your daughters that would take them out of a large school (as most public high schools are) and put them in a smaller atmosphere. BTW, a charter school or magnet school (and they are not the same thing) are free of charge, they are different than a private school. Best of luck!

Kayla - posted on 01/17/2009

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I would try not to stress to much over it at this point. I have a 6 year old son that was the same way when he was younger and is still very shy sometimes but now that he is in school and away from me to shelter him he has really opened up alot. HOpe this helps.

Paula - posted on 01/17/2009

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yeah they're still young a have there lives ahead of them..hopefully they'll grow out of it.

Tracy - posted on 01/17/2009

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How old are your daughters, if their still young i wouldnt' be stressing about it,  social development takes time but by keeping them exposed to social situations will help in building their confidence.  

Maria - posted on 01/17/2009

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Try not to spend so much time with them, send them outside to be around other kids.

Paula - posted on 01/17/2009

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Yeah they spend lots of time with me, oh yeah I encourage them to be in sports at school or groups. No they have no problems, my 13 year old is a loner at school, even though her class mates encourage her to talk. I think they maybe depend on me too much, their momma girls...LOL!

Maria - posted on 01/17/2009

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Are you sure they have no friends? I have a little girl but she is only 3 I do have a sister the same age as your daughter (she's 14) and she never wants to be in the house she would rather be with her friends.have you tired talking with them or getting them in a group with kids around the same age as they are? see what they like to do, try dance or after school programs. I hope that this give you some ideas .

Alison - posted on 01/17/2009

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I wouldn't make an issue of it. The more you tell someone their a certain way they tend to keep that behavior. For example if she hears she's shy all the time, she's going to think she's shy. I would try in put them in situations where they have to 'practice' their social skills (organized sports, drama class, clubs).They just need experience with people. You need to be in social situations sometimes to be good at them. Hope this helps :)

Kathy - posted on 01/17/2009

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I have a 14 year old cousin that stays at home most of the time.



when your girls are home do they spend time with you? I know when I was home at that age it was to just spend time with my mom. Are they going through any personal problems that they dont want to talk about?? I am not sure I am just putting things out there that I try with my neices...I hope that it somewhat helps,,,,,good luck

Kathy - posted on 01/17/2009

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What is the age of your daughters??



I remember with my older girls, who are 5 and 4, had gone through a thing like this before they went to daycare. I also have 3 neices, one of which had gone through having no friends but i dont think that she was shy, for her she is really hyper active. She is 10 today. My 13 year old is okay, shy but makes friends, and the 6 year old she is talkitive amd makes friends easy as she is not shy.

Kathy - posted on 01/17/2009

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What is the age of your daughters??



I remember with my older girls, who are 5 and 4, had gone through a thing like this before they went to daycare. I also have 3 neices, one of which had gone through having no friends but i dont think that she was shy, for her she is really hyper active. She is 10 today. My 13 year old is okay, shy but makes friends, and the 6 year old she is talkitive amd makes friends easy as she is not shy.

Kathy - posted on 01/17/2009

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What is the age of your daughters??



I remember with my older girls, who are 5 and 4, had gone through a thing like this before they went to daycare. I also have 3 neices, one of which had gone through having no friends but i dont think that she was shy, for her she is really hyper active. She is 10 today. My 13 year old is okay, shy but makes friends, and the 6 year old she is talkitive amd makes friends easy as she is not shy.

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