How to Help Your Shy Child

Simple Confidence Builders

Help your child become more independent and socially savvy by having her practice these skills.

You girl smiling and looking independent with her mom standing in the background

Andrew Parsons

  • Answering the phone.
  • Ordering her meal in a restaurant.
  • Handing money to the cashier at a store.
  • Calling a friend to make a playdate.
  • Saying "please" and "thank you" to unfamiliar (but safe) adults.

The Science of Shy

You were painfully timid as a child, and now your preschooler seems to be taking after you. Is there a connection? Yes, according to a recent study published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. Researchers have discovered what they call "the shy gene," which is passed down from parent to child. But not to fret, most kids with this inherited trait get over their bashful phase by age 7 if their parents have a social outlet. Remember, preschoolers take their cues from you -- and shy kids are especially observant. So make sure your child sees you interact with friends in social situations.

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