My Little Guy Is So Shy – I’m Worried!
I wonder if you have any advice you could offer for my situation.
I’m a single mom with an 8-year-old boy called Christian. Chris is a lovely kid and has a very sweet nature – but he’s also painfully shy when we’re around people.
If I take him to a birthday party he just sits in the corner and won’t talk to anyone. He has few friends at school. And when we go out he never wants to leave my side.
I’ll be honest I’m really worried for the future as I won’t always be around and I don’t know how Chris would cope on his own.
How can I get my son to open up and get out into the world more?
Patricia, Ocean City
I can so relate to this as my Casey was a very shy child and still is in certain situations. Not knowing or seeing Chris myself, I can’t determine whether this is more serious and he needs to see a therapist but I can offer you a bit of insight from my perspective as the parent of a shy child.
Before I delve into that though, I want you to know that Casey is thriving and doing well. She has a core group of girlfriends and when she is with them she’s like every other teenager so don’t panic. Let’s take a look at some things that might help.
1. Set More Play Dates
What is it about our friends that make us like them? We share common thoughts and beliefs? We like them because they’re funny? They make us feel good? I ask this because I think it’s important for Chris to make friends that he shares those things with. When my kids were small, their friends were the children of my friends. When they got into school, they stated to make their own. You cannot micromanage this aspect of Chris’ life. If he’s eight years old, he’s probably in the second or third grade. He’s having an opportunity to work in group settings in the classroom and will naturally gravitate to those people he likes and who like him. I think that is the secret fear, that no one will like our child and he or she will be hurt. Don’t go to that dark place. Chris will make friends in time. Ask him about school, who he’s working with and what he’d doing. Then ask if he’d like to invite someone over after school and let him choose. Provide a safe environment for him to explore and expand his friendships.