Shy 4 yr old -- ideas?

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3254
Shy 4 yr old -- ideas?

Question for the Answer Box (i.e. responses from YOU!): My 4 yr old is painfully shy. Once she gets to know you, she interacts well but in settings like at the park she refuses to interact with other children. Is this just a phase or do you have suggestions to help her get over stranger-phobia?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I was hoping someone with more experience would answer but it's been four days so I guess I'll take a stab at it! Blum 3

My answer depends on if this is something new, or if she's always been this way. If it's something pretty new, then it's probably a reaction to something that happened, maybe a kid pushed her & she got hurt, or someone said something that hurt her feelings. I'd think back to when it seemed to start and have a talk with her about what might have happened and how we can't let one bad experience make us afraid of everyone. If she's always been this way, then I'd recommend preschool to help get her acclimated to other kids her own age in a fun, stress-free environment. Preschool teachers are very used to dealing with shy kids and the programs are set up to allow kids to get involved with things at their own pace. And if that doesn't work, then I'd suggest some counseling to help both of you figure out how to make her feel safe interacting with others but still respecting her personal privacy bubble. Good luck!