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Is being shy OK?

As a child I was shy – were you?

Have you ever wondered why you were like that?

And can a ’shy-as-a-child’ parent support their own shy child?

My Selective Shyness

I have been thinking about this today as the main character in my story, ‘A Prayer from the Heart’, Chris, is shy. If you have read my story, you will know that he is finding it difficult to make friends with a particular girl at school. That’s when shyness often shows up…when you want to make friends!
I remember being a quiet and fairly shy girl at school myself: I held back and watched others interact rather than pushing myself forward…in case I made a mistake! Now, I am not shy at all! But I think for me it took a lot of pushing myself forward and trying to make conversations over and over till I realised that I was likeable and fully capable of making friends.
As a little girl at home, I was quite the opposite! I would say what I wanted, when I wanted and pretty much barged myself around our family home.

Shy parent and shy child

So how can a parent help their shy child when they have been shy in their own childhood? There is a lot of good advice in the link below, which is a short video I found on Youtube by a Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Robert Coplan here


Children are naturally anxious about new situations

This video above seems to really accept shyness as a trait that normally stays with people in one way or another. It also says that this is because children are afraid and anxious in some situations – especially new situations.

When I think back to my childhood, I came to England as part of an immigrant family from Sri Lanka. Both my parents were loners, without many friends themselves, and so it’s hardly surprising that I had a ‘fearful’ tendency about relationships too. Living in a country they didn’t know, my parents were probably wary about a lot of things. I know that they were wary of whom I played with. They were happy with me playing with some neighbours but not with others – they were both very protective and didn’t trust many people.

So, it was no wonder that I was afraid and not trusting of people! Whom could I trust to love the real me?! What would have been really good would have been to have a very nurturing mum. It’s this type of mum who will be the ‘wind beneath my wings’. This next video portrays a nurturing mum as well as a more forceful mum in a fun way and, I feel, is worth watching, here

Supporting a shy child

So, supporting our shy child takes sensitivity, using the right side of the brain….and it also takes courage to stay in that zone even when you are amongst a bunch of parents with children who are not shy and are throwing themselves into life! So being shy is perfectly OK…and it just needs 2 well-adjusted nurturing parents to support their child to take small steps to becoming their more confident self.