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My 6 yr old is so shy

(16 Posts)
iwantsleep Mon 20-Aug-07 19:44:01

My son is 6 and is very shy. He won't respond to adults who talk to him, even my friends. He comes across as rude even though it is just lack of confidendce. What can I do to help him?

iwantsleep Mon 20-Aug-07 20:24:20

okay bit of a boring subject, but surely someone has an idea. He's a lovely boy, but I am worried that his unwillingness to communicate will hinder him at school.

DumbledoresGirl Mon 20-Aug-07 20:25:05

Does he have friends at school?

Biglips Mon 20-Aug-07 20:28:54

my 8 yrs old SD used to froze on the spot if anyone tried to speak to her or even at parties - she used to stare at the floor at the whole time. She started her ballet last year which improved her confidence abit...she is still a shy girl but not as bad as it was!.

fartmeistergeneral Mon 20-Aug-07 20:35:19

My 6 year old son is the same. I wish he existed in a world only of other 6 year olds - then he'd be fine!!! It's just adults he has a problem with, he won't speak or make eye contact - even has a bit of a problem with his own gran.

I don't know what the solution is except to encourage him to do activities where he has to cope on his own - football training, or a martial art. Not to put too much stress on him, but in a fun situation it will teach him to slowly come out of himself.

My son loves boys brigade, don't know how much he speaks - but it can only be good for him.

iwantsleep Mon 20-Aug-07 20:38:35

I think your right. Getting him to be in situations where he has to respond for himself. I think perhaps I jump in to quick sometimes because I feel embarrassed about the long silence after he's been spoken to.

iwantsleep Mon 20-Aug-07 20:42:52

DumbledoresGirl - he does have friends. I'm not sure how well he settles with them at times. I've noticed he gets silly with them if he feels uncomfortable, which comes across as irritating.

fartmeistergeneral Mon 20-Aug-07 20:47:16

yes, I know what you mean about the big gaps, although I'm at the stage now of getting annoyed with my friends (rather than at him) if they ask him a question - they KNOW he won't respond, so why put him in that situation - and me?? Some of my friends obviously are determined to make him speak, but I know he won't!!!! There's no point in them bending down and saying 'how's school??'.

The thing is, he is WILD at home - and I'm talking WILD. He runs about mad, screams, shouts instead of talks! I wish I could video it for his teacher!!

sunflowervalley Mon 20-Aug-07 20:50:30

iwantsleep-My son is just 6 and is exactly the same.

He will talk in certain situations he feels comfortable in and under no pressure to talk.
Completly understand about others thinking he may be rude but as you say it is just lack of confidence.
My DS also

I find with my son he is happier to talk in situations he has confidence and is interested in the subject.
For him that would be aeroplanes,motorbikes,gardening,drawing etc.

Try and find something your son is competent in and go from there.

Does your son talk in school with his peers?

My DS finds this difficult and does not like playtimes where he tends to stick with the assistant on duty.
Try not to worry that it will affect his progress at school as my DS has no problems academically.

sunflowervalley Mon 20-Aug-07 20:52:48

Meant to say my DS also goes wild at home and is completly different,which I think is his way of letting out his frustration at not being able to be himself at school.

Isababel Mon 20-Aug-07 21:05:54

I really don't know what you could do, as I been looking for the answer to that question myself for ages without the least idea about how to help DS.

What I noticed though, was that excusing him for the long silences with things like "I'm sorry, he is a bit shy" only reinforced the idea or give him the excuse not to talk (In terms of "I'm shy= I don't need to talk")

I also noticed that he may be playing fine with other children, feeling comfortable with other adults but the moment we say "say bye bye to xy or z" he just clams up. So I guess I should just allow him to do as he pleases as pressuring to say hello/bye bye stresses him out.

One day I explained to him that if he said hello, the other children will get nearer to him as they will know he had something to say and he would have far more fun. I also said that he didn't need to do anything drastic, even half a hand gesture would do, and that I would give him a sticker for each time he did it. He came from school very happy with a sense of achievement, next day was even better but one the third day he just forgot about it

So here we are.... and I also worry about how he would be perceived because of this. Last year teacher even told me that she was worried because he always was in his world, didn't do imaginative play or related to other children and didn't believe me when I said that he did (had to take her the photos of previous nursery but still, I think, she has her doubts! )

A couple of days ago, the head teacher made a fuss at him and then said, "Oh dear, always in a world of his own", if I were a bit more brave I would have said "he is not in a world of his own, he is just blatantly ignoring you!" obviously if instead of saying Hello my little darling how are you doing today?, she had said, have you seen the rabbit I have in my hands? he would have looked up in an instant!

sunflowervalley Tue 21-Aug-07 19:26:57

Isababel-Can't believe the headteacher said that about your DS.

"Always in a world of his own"

Well maybe as you say if she had try to engage him in something more interesting he might have responded.

iwantsleep Tue 21-Aug-07 20:21:21

Thanks Isababel & Sunflowervalley. Really helps to hear others are faced with the same worries. You're right about how friends talk to ds knowing he'll just look at them blankly and run off. Then they give me "that look" and I have to apologise for him. But I'm going to stop doing that and let him gain confidence in his own time.

Isababel Tue 21-Aug-07 21:05:50

I have explain a friend the things I written below when DS not hearing us, she understood perfectly and I do not feel the need to apologise more, she know is not lazyness or rudeness.

Now, I find it very difficult not to apologise to nice people in the street who are kind to him, or those we know but not that well as to give them an explanation.

I got a book that I found quite good although, shame to me, have not find the time yet to finish reading it and put it inot practice, but has helped me to see why DS may be acting like he does and to contemplate the idea that he is not really suffering through his shyness. The name is " The Shyness Breakthrough" by Bernardo J. Carducci. You can get it from Amazon.

Isababel Tue 21-Aug-07 21:06:23

I have explain? whatever happened to the remains of my grammar???

joana Fri 24-Aug-07 08:56:46

my son is 7 and for the last 2 months has taken to crying at the drop of a hat! he mostly was confident before but now seems to think he can't do things even though he can!! help!

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