Shy vs. Social Children


Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist. Rehabilitation Counselor


Shy vs Social

New situations can be intimidating for all of us, children and adults alike. There is an element of emotional risk involved when we deal with the unfamiliar. There is the possibility of rejection, judgment or criticism. Children especially feel awkward and perhaps shy when encountering new situations. They have not yet experienced many of the successes and positive outcomes that adults have learned from social interaction.

Encourage your child to participate in new experiences which will help them:

  • Learn new skills
  • Gather information
  • Make new friends
  • Build confidence
  • Discover their talents and strengths
  • Work with different authority figures
  • Follow rules
  • Meet people with common interests
  • Meet deadlines
  • Improve organization skills
  • Overcome challenges
  • Help others
  • Develop a sense of community
  • Take pride in their accomplishments

Hobbies and volunteer experiences provide excellent opportunities. Some suggestions are after school clubs, scouts, sports, church youth groups, or community service organizations. Volunteers are welcome at libraries, animal shelters, and walking for a cause. Groups often come together for the benefit of others, making hygiene packets for the homeless, collecting picture books for young children, donating canned goods to food banks, helping senior citizens with lawn care and home repairs and caring for animals.


Help your youngster be more confident, outgoing and socially aware as he or she grows into becoming a successful adult.


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Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She presents seminars for parents and professionals in the field of child development and has published two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

4 thoughts on “Shy vs. Social Children

  1. Interesting article! Shy is not necessarily bad, as long as it is not interfering day-to-day activities. Shyness can be genetic, and/or experiential. The suggestion given are good.

    Liked by 2 people

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