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?
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: July 2015
|American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.|
|American Psychological Association (APA) The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.|
|5 Ways to Shake Shyness If shyness is putting a hold on your social life, here are 5 ideas that might help.|
|How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out A clique is a group of kids who hang out together. It's kind of like a club. The trouble is, the leaders of a clique won't let everyone join. Find out how to handle cliques in this article for kids.|
|Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem Self-esteem is a child's armor against the challenges of the world. Here's how you can promote healthy self-esteem in your kids.|
|The Story on Self-Esteem You need self-esteem, but it doesn't always come naturally. Find out what it means to feel good about yourself.|
|How Can I Become Less Shy? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Raising Confident Kids It takes confidence to be a kid. And while each child is a little different, parents can follow some general guidelines to build kids' confidence.|
|Shyness Lots of people are shy. Are you? Find out about shyness in this article for kids.|
|Shyness Shyness is extremely common, especially among teens. But lots of mild to moderate shyness melts away with practice and familiarity, making social situations easier and easier to handle each time.|
|What It Means to Be a Friend Thousands of you filled out our friendship survey. Find out what some of you said about being a good friend.|
|Feeling Left Out? Being alone in a crowd is no fun. Find out what to do if you're feeling left out.|
|Dealing With Peer Pressure Did you ever feel like another kid was trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do? If so, you've felt peer pressure. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Body Image and Self-Esteem When your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.