question-icon

Suggest Ways To Deal With Shyness In A Child?

default
Posted on Tue, 11 Aug 2015
Question: Hi,

I have a question on child psychology.

My son is 4, very intelligent and communicates clearly. Grasps things, loves it if I read to him.

Lately he has become very shy.. especially of adults like teachers, neighbors etc

im kinda worried cos he ws not like this... with kids he mingles quick
How do I help him... he seems to avoid situations where he has to talk to his teachers or unknown/acquainted adults
lik he likes to play with my neighbors son... bt he wouldn't ring the bell to ask my neighbor for her son... hes scared to ring the bell also... n my neighbor is a sweet lady...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Try to reassure him and teach him to greet others.

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries

I can understand your concern. He is just 4 years of age and is having good intelligence and communication skills. But he is showing shyness with adults especially with teachers or neighbours. He doesn't like to ring the bell to call his friend because of fear.

It is common to develop some shyness in a child when he starts going to school. Child might difficulty to talk with strangers or even teachers. When any child start going to school then this is the first time he gets separated from secure base of attachment that is parents especially mother. Most of children show tantrums while going to school. Some children develop shyness after they start going to school.

Considering your baby, he is 4 years old and at this stage he is learning the things and exploring the things. He might have some underlying psychological phenomenon and this is the probable reason he is remaining shy in front of adults while at the same time he is behaving normal with children. Try to ignore his behaviour and no need to panic. Just provide him a warm loving support. While going out for shopping or even in park on meeting a friend teach him to greet. Reassure him if he doesn't like to talk. With progression of time he will start greeting them spontaneously and his shyness will reduce.

Even you can make a token economy schedule or positive reinforcement. While talking to him with love teach him to talk with confidence and don't remain shy in front of adults. When he shows desired behaviour give him a token and tell him that on collecting some particular number of tokens he will be rewarded with any good thing he likes. Similarly on seeing positive behaviour reinforce this by giving him reward. This will help to improve his behaviour.

Keep one thing in mind "Don't pressurise him for anything, never think to punish him"

He is absolutely normal and with age he will improve. Non need to worry.

Thanks, Hope this helps you. Please don't hesitate to ask again for more doubts.

Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (11 hours later)
Thank you Doctor

As in when he was in his pre school he was mch more outspoken... he ws shy with stranger adults... does not greet or tell bye

now hes very conscious.... n he tells me i cant do it mama...when i tell him to ring my neighbors bell... he wants me to go n ask for his friend to come out n play

in school he finishes his homework full and dat too neatly... bt doesnt proactively return the book if teacher fogets to ask... basically avoids situations to talk and teacher mis understands he has not finished his work

if i talk to him... he tells me nxt time il tell mama
w
any classes or anything wil help... hes my only son... and v r only 3 of us at home....
doctor
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (12 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Try to reassure him and provide a loving care.

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for asking a follow up question

Just try to accept his behaviour as normal behavioural pattern. Some children are shy and some children are extrovert. But with age his behaviour will change. Just try to follow the behavioural methods I have mentioned like Token Economy, Positive Reinforcement etc. This will help a lot.

One more thing, try to find out the behaviour of his teacher at school or any rare evidence of being bullied at school. Just rule out these two things and if nothing significant found then no need to worry.

Don't be worried about his behaviour, he is conversing with his peers so there is no need to worry. Love him and provide a supportive care and his behaviour will improve.

Thanks, Still have more doubts please don't hesitate to ask again.

Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 5193 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

152 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Suggest Ways To Deal With Shyness In A Child?

Brief Answer: Try to reassure him and teach him to greet others. Detailed Answer: Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries I can understand your concern. He is just 4 years of age and is having good intelligence and communication skills. But he is showing shyness with adults especially with teachers or neighbours. He doesn't like to ring the bell to call his friend because of fear. It is common to develop some shyness in a child when he starts going to school. Child might difficulty to talk with strangers or even teachers. When any child start going to school then this is the first time he gets separated from secure base of attachment that is parents especially mother. Most of children show tantrums while going to school. Some children develop shyness after they start going to school. Considering your baby, he is 4 years old and at this stage he is learning the things and exploring the things. He might have some underlying psychological phenomenon and this is the probable reason he is remaining shy in front of adults while at the same time he is behaving normal with children. Try to ignore his behaviour and no need to panic. Just provide him a warm loving support. While going out for shopping or even in park on meeting a friend teach him to greet. Reassure him if he doesn't like to talk. With progression of time he will start greeting them spontaneously and his shyness will reduce. Even you can make a token economy schedule or positive reinforcement. While talking to him with love teach him to talk with confidence and don't remain shy in front of adults. When he shows desired behaviour give him a token and tell him that on collecting some particular number of tokens he will be rewarded with any good thing he likes. Similarly on seeing positive behaviour reinforce this by giving him reward. This will help to improve his behaviour. Keep one thing in mind "Don't pressurise him for anything, never think to punish him" He is absolutely normal and with age he will improve. Non need to worry. Thanks, Hope this helps you. Please don't hesitate to ask again for more doubts. Take care