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How do I get my painfully shy 4 yr. old to be o.k. with adults she doesn't know?

My daughter will be 5 in Nov. and she is terrified of adults,anyone outside our family.She stays home with me but we go to the store where she won't even take a cookie from the bakery lady or say thank you,I told her if she couldn't say thank you she couldn't get a cookie and she called my bluff,now she never gets a cookie because of my insistence that she say thanks.Her and I are doing a few parent participation classes and she loves to do crafts and be around other kids,she follows directions really well as long as the teacher is addressing the whole class,if they try to talk to her one on one she just shuts down and puts her head down and won't look at them.I realize this is partly my fault since I stay at home with her and she's never been with a sitter,only family members that she's already close to.I don't know where this fear stems from ,I mean we go out all the time it's not like she's been trapped in the house.

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Asked by lakegrglovr at 2:53 PM on Jun. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Ok, I know you have an issue here, but I would rather have your dd's issue than my dd's issue.

    My dd is TOO friendly. She will climb up in a strangers lap and give them a hug. She will run away from me and is not scared of anyone or anything.

    So, If given the choice I would choose your issue.

    With that being said, how about a part time preschool. I work at one, we go from 8 to 11:15 and this really helps kids open up.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 3:06 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • My daughter who is now 29 was SOOOO like this and now her youngest daughter whos is 7 was the same excact way. They out grew it...My grandaughter is still somewhat shy but in the last year or so has come out of her "shyness"....She's participating with other children so that is a good thing. Hang in there she'll be just fine

    Answer by 7257PamLaFs at 3:33 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • First, it is not your fault. I'm a SAHM, my daughter has never been left with a sitter, we also go to a few mommy and me classes. But my daughter's personality is different than your daughter's and she doesn't have the extreme shyness issue. Wipe the "MY FAULT" thought right out of your head. You have done nothing wrong and should not beat yourself up over it. You might as well get upset that she doesn't have a certain color of eyes... this is not something you caused or can control.

    I was painfully shy as a child. Still am though many don't realize it. Since she will need to deal with strangers at school - the teachers, the principal, the school nurse, the lunch lady - you need to get her help. Ask your doctor for a referral to a good child psychologist or simply look in the phone book. He (or she) can help her overcome this extreme fear. I wish I'd had help as a child.


    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:09 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • I was horribly shy as well. I even flunked my college required speech class because I got up for my speeches and completely frooze. She will always be shy but if she is determined and driven, she will overcome this. But having some guidance as a child would really have helped me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:31 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

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