Skip to main content

Search
Behavioral and Emotional Wellness

How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?

|

I'm worried about my daughter because she is extremely shy and has a difficult time making friends. Is there anything I can do to help her?
- Kathie

Being shy isn't a bad thing in itself — but if shyness is keeping your daughter from fully enjoying and appreciating the joys that go along with being young, there are some things she can do.

One of the best ways kids can let go of some shyness is to think of a few simple behaviors they would like to improve, then practice them. Let's say your daughter wants to work on talking to a friend. She can practice thinking of how she'd do it if she weren't so shy. Just working on smiling and saying "hello" is a good start. Complimenting a schoolmate on a job well done in class, a play, or a sports competition is another icebreaker.

Some kids find it helps to practice in front of a mirror, like they might practice lines for a play. This might help your daughter feel more comfortable with a new approach. Then she can practice smiling and saying "hello" in real life. It often helps to start with one or two people she likes.

She also could join some activities that she's interested in — whether it's the school newspaper or a sports team. She may feel nervous at first — that's perfectly normal. More practice will help the butterflies go away, so encourage your daughter not to give up.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: October 2012

License

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Cold Water Shock Can Quickly Cause Drowning
  • E-Cigs Are Addictive and Harmful
  • Bystanders Can Intervene to Stop Bullying

Download Spring 2014 (PDF)

Videos

Overcoming the Odds: A KING 5 TV Children's HealthLink Special 0:44:45Expand
12.30.13

In the spirit of the holidays, patients, parents and doctors share inspirational stories of healing and hope. From surviving heart failure and a near-death drowning to battling a flesh-eating disease, witness how the impossible became possible thanks to the care patients received at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Play Video
Miracle Season 2013 0:57:06Expand
12.11.13

Miracle Season, hosted by Steve Pool and Molly Shen, aired Dec. 8, 2013, on KOMO 4 TV. The annual holiday special celebrates the remarkable lives of Seattle Children's patients.

Play Video
Children’s Mental Health 0:00:30Expand
11.22.13

Mark Fadool, clinical director of mental health services at Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, provides early warning signs of mental health issues in kids and teens and urges us all to notice the signs and act early.

Play Video