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My Shy Child Won't Go to Parties

Child development expert and author Michelle Anthony, Ph.D., solves your trickiest kid problems.
 

Learning Benefits

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Social Skills

Question
My daughter is really shy and won’t go to parties unless she knows everyone there. How can I help her?

Answer
When a person is in a raucous setting (like a birthday party), it’s natural to feel more comfortable around the people she knows best. Some kids, however, are unable to participate in events without this feeling of familiarity, and they end up holding themselves back from fun or growth-producing experiences. To help foster your daughter’s social confidence, give these suggestions a try:

Practice at home
Have her invite a new friend over for ice cream or craft making. Then, have her invite three or four kids the next time. As her confidence grows, hold the get-togethers in a public setting where there’s likely to be more commotion, such as a skating rink.

Put your child in a low-stakes situation
Bring her along to a sibling’s event, where she doesn’t know many people. Have her join the activity and slowly reach out to meet other siblings or adults present.

Make her activities more social
If your child loves music, have her join the school band. If she is a fish at heart, find a swim team to join. It’s easier to make connections with acquaintances if all participants share a common interest.

Develop her skills
Be it with soccer savvy or artistic acumen, the more accomplished your child becomes, the more her self-confidence increases overall as well.

Encourage your child
Being shy as a temperament is not an excuse to avoid participating. For more help supporting her, take a look at resources such as shykids.com.

Plus:
More Tips For Shy Kids
Parenting Dilemma: He Let the Kids Play All Night!

Illustration Credit: Alli Arnold

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