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Thread: Overcoming shyness....

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    DianeL's Avatar
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    Default Overcoming shyness....

    twin DDs are not shy at home, but OMG they are painfully shy to the point it almost seems rude to others. They can't speak at school for presentations or projects either. One is way worse than the other.

    How can I help them feel more confident? I am having them order for themselves at restaurants. I will have then ask store clerks for help in the future. Any other ideas? They are beautiful, bright children. I don't want their fear to keep them from being happy. I don't see it improving with age.....

    BTW, I am the quiet, shy type, BUT I refused to let life go by... I made myself do some difficult things like public speaking, etc even though it was uncomfortable. I don't think anyone would consider me shy today. Obviously I made these choices when I was older. I don't want too much time to go by for them if I can help them along.

    BTW - they are 10 yrs old and in the 4th grade.

    Diane

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    midebbie is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Not with my kids but..

    I was super painfully shy as a child. I was very quiet and constantly hid behind my mother etc. Things I did to try to overcome... I joined a summer stock theater one summer (I think it was 5th grade..I only had two words in the play, but it was more the environment, and getting out in front of the crowd). Group activities (sports, music, dance) help the social aspects. When I got to high school I joined the speech team (competed in prose & poetry) which allowed me to work individually with the speech coach and learn how to speak in public. I think just continue to look for opportunities to make them step outside their comfort zone.

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    WasTarin is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default What makes their hearts swell?

    Young children? Animals? Art? Sports? Homelessness? Math? Whatever it is, let them immerse themselves in it and then advocate for it, whatever it is. We all have a fire; help them find theirs and then let them hear themselves, KWIM? Take away the barrier, the uncertainty, and let it be something they aren't able to be shy about.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    parus10 Guest

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    I recommend the book "the highly sensitive child" since shyness can be a mechanism for dealing with fear or discomfort (at least it is for my 4 year old). This book helped me realize what was going on for her and helped me see things from her perspective. Since I am also quiet, I learned a lot about myself, and DD and I decided to do some things together to make good friends. DD is also shy/rude - as in, she often finds it impossible to talk to others when they talk to her. I work hard to validate her feelings and not make her feel worse... and you often have to rebut other people's comments to do that. People are very fond of labeling - and in young children that can be a self-perpetuating observation... at least in my opinion. You can likely check the book out at your local library and see if it has any resonance for you.

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    zmaditto is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    How about Taekwondo classes? My sometimes bashful 8 year old ds is gaining a lot of confidence and public speaking skills in his program. He's been in for a little over a year and he is now responsible for teaching lower belts on his own (just forms and techniques, not full class) and leading classes through warm ups (including adult black belts). He's still a little quiet and flustered but he gets right up there and gets to it. He's so proud of himself for doing these things and doesn't get anxious about it at all...until he's up there. lol

    HTH,
    Lisa

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    DianeL's Avatar
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    Default we thought of this....

    Quote Originally Posted by zmaditto
    How about Taekwondo classes? My sometimes bashful 8 year old ds is gaining a lot of confidence and public speaking skills in his program. He's been in for a little over a year and he is now responsible for teaching lower belts on his own (just forms and techniques, not full class) and leading classes through warm ups (including adult black belts). He's still a little quiet and flustered but he gets right up there and gets to it. He's so proud of himself for doing these things and doesn't get anxious about it at all...until he's up there. lol

    HTH,
    Lisa
    Unfortunately, they want no part of it....again, I think it's fear holding them back. One might do this. I have one who played softball last season in the spring. She really enjoyed it and was learning a lot. She started later than most of the other girls but was holding her own. Fall is an instructional time and we were looking so forward to this no pressure season....it was cancelled due to hurricane Ike. The county owns the fields and they are being used for debris collection. Other twin is not aggressive enough for sports. They've taken dance since they were 3 and gave it up this year. I was disappointed, but did not want to "make" them do something they wanted a break from. They were good enough that they were in Tap V...they should have been proud. They told me one day - "mom, most of the girls in this class drive themselves here". Wow - but they found it intimidating. And I think for the first time they found this class a little more challenging and that may have been what caused them to back off. It was a huge class and they are small. I just dunno.... Thank you kindly for the response. I am taking this all in and I am going to work really hard to find something to work. Diane

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    DianeL's Avatar
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    Default Wanted to go to the bookstore today anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by parus10
    I recommend the book "the highly sensitive child" since shyness can be a mechanism for dealing with fear or discomfort (at least it is for my 4 year old). This book helped me realize what was going on for her and helped me see things from her perspective. Since I am also quiet, I learned a lot about myself, and DD and I decided to do some things together to make good friends. DD is also shy/rude - as in, she often finds it impossible to talk to others when they talk to her. I work hard to validate her feelings and not make her feel worse... and you often have to rebut other people's comments to do that. People are very fond of labeling - and in young children that can be a self-perpetuating observation... at least in my opinion. You can likely check the book out at your local library and see if it has any resonance for you.
    I will definitely get this book! I love the book "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway". They're not quite old enough to read that book, but the concept is what they need to understand. And my favorite quote is by Eleanor Roosevelt: " No one can make you feel inferior unless you believe it" (I may have that off a little.....)

    Thanks - Diane

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    DianeL's Avatar
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    Default If only I could find this...

    Quote Originally Posted by WasTarin
    Young children? Animals? Art? Sports? Homelessness? Math? Whatever it is, let them immerse themselves in it and then advocate for it, whatever it is. We all have a fire; help them find theirs and then let them hear themselves, KWIM? Take away the barrier, the uncertainty, and let it be something they aren't able to be shy about.

    Good luck.
    Dh and I have talked about this.... We've tried to expose them to as much as possible. Nothing has totally clicked. See my note below about softball...I think we were on to something there. She loved it, but was still so shy she made no friends and never participated in the cheers or chants, but always smiled. She was looking forward to this season for sure. Other one likes art and is pretty good. I found her a week long art class and more to sign up for after than one this summer and she was pretty miserable. I think she would have been fine if she wasn't so shy. She didn't know anyone and it was just uncomfortable for her. Maybe her artistic-ness is private to her...she doesn't want the teacher commenting or showing others. I don't know. And they gave up dance..... Dh says they will find something. My concern is that middle school starts next year and I want it to be something positive they find. I remember middle school and all of the outside influences and the extreme self awareness that REALLY begins (worrying about what others think!).....

    Thanks - I believe you are very right we just need to identify a passion. Diane

  9. #9
    DianeL's Avatar
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    Default Definitely doing that.....

    Quote Originally Posted by midebbie
    I was super painfully shy as a child. I was very quiet and constantly hid behind my mother etc. Things I did to try to overcome... I joined a summer stock theater one summer (I think it was 5th grade..I only had two words in the play, but it was more the environment, and getting out in front of the crowd). Group activities (sports, music, dance) help the social aspects. When I got to high school I joined the speech team (competed in prose & poetry) which allowed me to work individually with the speech coach and learn how to speak in public. I think just continue to look for opportunities to make them step outside their comfort zone.
    I think you are right and with every step - even ones that don't go exactly as they'd like they are making progress. I wish there were more opportunities now, but I know they will come with time. Perhaps patience is what I really need to keep in mind right now. I am patient with them, but I really want to help. I see everything they're missing and I also see them not enjoying things they should be right now....

    Thanks,
    Diane

  10. #10
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    Default I was also painfully shy as a girl...

    I hid behind my mom and hated having to answer questions from adults and having to speak in class, etc. I would always turn bright red when called on in class. I started to come out of it in middle school. I was friends with one of the most outgoing girls in school and that helped me become more outgoing, I think. I pushed myself in high school to go out of my comfort zone, and like midebbie posted, I also joined speech and debate, which really trained me to be able to think on my feet fast and how to speak without freaking out. ;-) I competed in extemporanous speaking and came in 1st in state, placed at nationals. I also was on the school newspaper and later became a journalist -- my job required me to be outgoing and nosey. ;-) I agree with everyone who posted to just find what they are interested in and, once they find their passion, they will probably become a bit less shy. It may take time, however, and that's okay! Hang in there!
    susie

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