Helping Your Shy Child Start School

by Ann Douglas

Shy ChildIs your little one shy and worried about not making friends or fitting in with new classmates? These tips can help ease even the most hesitant child into the school year. 

It's never easy being the new kid -- and it's even tougher if you're naturally shy (as many kids are). Here's what you can do to help your child to feel more at home in school.

Find out which families in your neighborhood have children who will be attending the same school. You might not manage to find a child who is the exact same age and who will be in the exact same class as your child.

What you will find, however, is someone to talk to at the bus stop each morning, even if they are a grade or two ahead or behind. It can make a world of difference when you're the new kid. Ditto for spotting a familiar face in the hall during the day.

See if you can take a tour of the school before the first day. Just knowing where the classroom is, where the washrooms are, and where the school bus picks up and drops off will ease anxiety levels considerably.

No one wants to be the clueless kid who can't find the way around the school when everyone else is in the know.

Provide opportunities for your child to get to know some of the new classmates, once school has started.

Organize a back-to-school bowling party or movie night. Both activities work well for a shy child because the activity tends to carry the conversation.

What kinds of activities or tricks worked for you?

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site, having-a-baby.com.

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org.

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