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overcome shyness

Helping Your Child Understand and Overcome Shyness

A Walk on the Shy Side

Maisy, 3, has been going to playdates at her friend Hayley’s house since she was an infant. You’d think she’d feel right at home. But Maisy still spends at least the first half hour of every visit snuggled into her mother’s lap, cautiously observing. “I kept thinking, if I took her places often enough, she’d get used to it,” says her mother, Diane Hoffman, of New York City. “It never happened.”

There’s nothing wrong with being a little reserved. But if feeling shy keeps a child from enjoying new experiences and doing the things she truly wants to do, it can be a problem. “Being shy feels uncomfortable, and it causes us to miss out on opportunities,” says Renee Gilbert, PhD, a Seattle-area clinical psychologist and creator of the Web site shakeyourshyness.com. Added up, these missed opportunities can become huge, she says. Read more