Home > Behavioural Problems > Children and Excessive Shyness

Children and Excessive Shyness

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 28 Dec 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Shyness Excessive Recognising

All children exhibit shyness at some time or another but some children suffer from an overwhelming shyness which cripples them in social situations. This type of excessive shyness can harm their relationships with friends, leave them lonely and isolated, cause them to feel worthless and/or helpless, and leave them open to bullying and ridicule. Recognising the signs that shyness has become excessive, knowing how to help alleviate excessive shyness and understanding when excessive shyness needs professional help are all ways in which parents can better help their children.

Recognising Excessive Shyness

Shyness in children keeps them from fully and actively becoming involved in social situations. Excessive shyness can either be so labelled because it is excessively common for a given child (affecting most or all social situations) or excessively severe for that child (the degree makes it impossible for children to socialise happily). Common signs of excessive shyness in children include clinging to a parent or relative, crying at or at the thought of social situations, vomiting at the thought of socialising, an inability to hold eye contact with anyone other than close relatives and friends, very low volume of speech or an inability to speak in social situations and severe anxiety when confronted with new individuals or events. Often these symptoms lead to excessively shy children playing alone or only with very well-known individuals, to the point that other adults and teachers, including teachers and classmates, notice.

Alleviating Excessive Shyness

There are many things parents can do to help alleviate excessive shyness in children. Talking with them about how much fun it is to have friends and be social, reading books together about being shy and making friends, complimenting and praising children when they try something new and demonstrating good friendships and other relationships - are all easy ways for parents to address children’s shyness. Asking children what they are afraid of or what makes them uncomfortable in social situations and helping them to come up with strategies for facing these fears is also important. Though it may be hard, parents can also require children to confront the very situations which frighten them. This can be done in small steps, as pushing children to take each step in turn can help them ease into situations and become comfortable rather than forcing them to tackle certain situations all at once.

Excessive Shyness and Professional Help

Some children don’t respond to informal help in addressing excessive shyness, and for these children it is better to seek professional help than to let them remain frightened, frustrated and/or humiliated by their inability to join in the fun. Speak with your GP and be ready to detail your child’s symptoms, how long that has been going on, the effects it has had on your child’s and family’s social life and what you have done to try to help your child. If your GP recommends a referral to a mental health specialist don’t panic, these professionals will be able to tell you if your child is suffering from a phobia or illness and are best suited to providing an effective treatment plan for your child. It may be hard to believe your child needs this kind of specialist help, but to avoid it would only hurt your child further.

Excessive shyness can have a devastating effect on children and their families. Recognising and addressing excessive shyness and knowing when to seek professional help are all ways in which parents can help their children towards a healthier, happier life.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Socialise is also correct....much the same as color and colour...
VJW - 28-Dec-16 @ 9:17 PM
Why did you not enable spell check after completing this article? Socialize is repeatedly misspelled. Its difficult to consider any advice offered in the article when the author is derelict in his/her duty to avoid grammatical errors.
None - 21-May-15 @ 7:26 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sue
    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    My son is 4 and just recently started reception at primary school. He was in the same nursery for a few years prior when…
    14 November 2018
  • George
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Hi this has been going on for a few years now. My son is 9 he has been under the senco for a few years now and…
    13 November 2018
  • Bonsailady
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    I rocked until 6 years of age, when my father had enough of the car shaking back and forth and made me stop. Soon after being forced…
    10 November 2018
  • Annmarie
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    My daughter who is 6 always walks on tip toes has no concentration is really naughty and doesn't sleep sometimes…
    4 November 2018
  • anitsirhcoj
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    I’m a pregnant rocker. Will it hurt my baby? I am 8 weeks and I wish I could stop for once but I can’t. also it’s cool to know I’m not…
    3 November 2018
  • Snuggsey
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Our 9yr old son has been different since my dad died in 2012,but 2014 was the turning point. Hes become hard to…
    2 November 2018
  • HeIsIAndIAmHim
    Re: Smacking and Children
    Gods got nothing to say on it has he? because he can’t talk so why even bother to say it. Make your own decisions in life and treat each…
    2 November 2018
  • Mumof4
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Hi , my son is 2 from being a few months old he has always been very restless he has not attention span you can’t…
    29 October 2018
  • reets
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    Both my brother and I rocked from toddler hood until adults. No rocking chairs just back and forth on chairs and couches. It was…
    27 October 2018
  • Pinky
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Hi my 7 year old daughter has no fear of hight and dose not listen to instructions or she want change herself and…
    20 October 2018