“MY CHILD IS PAINFULLY SHY. IS THIS NORMAL?”
: Social anxiety is a big thing now – I think with social media, there’s a lot of emphasis on being very confident and having this public persona of being very likeable. Kids from as young as seven can feel ostracised and isolated when they don’t fit into the mould.
“Yes, it’s normal.” Firstly, identify whether or not their shyness has begun affecting their ability to become a child of their age. Does it interfere with their daily routine? If the answer is no, then it is likely part of their personality and may grow to become functional in time. You are going to get some children who are more of a follower than a leader – and it’s important to acknowledge that this is completely alright.
“Should I be worried?” Body language is a very good indicator for kids. If you notice how uncomfortable your child is in a room full of other children – that’s usually a good sign that the level of shyness has become maladaptive. Also, take note if you’ve noticed a trend whereby she favours her own company or doesn’t have many friends, and is unable to start a conversation – especially in comparison to other children. But be wary not to compare too much or your child will start getting a little worried.