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Question about shyness

My daughter, who is almost 5, has untill recently been a pretty outgoing child in terms of forming friendships with other children. For example, pretty much every time we go to a playground she always finds someone to pal around with within the first few minutes. In the past two months, I have noticed that she is behaving in a more shy manner. This is especially obvious at playgrounds, where she is playing by herself instead of finding a friend. I can tell she wants to play with others, because a lot of times she'll ask me to introduce her to someone else. Is it possible that this is just a phase, or is this the age where shyness would start to show up, if a person really is shy. It seems to me, that shy behavior would have shown up earlier, if that is her true nature. Does anyone with older, outgoing children recall their kids going through a stage like this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:30 AM on Jun. 28, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (2)
  • My kids are not real shy, but I was/am. I was very outgoing all thru 8th grade. Then, when I started high school, I suddenly was super shy. No reason for it, nothing happened, I just all of a sudden was shy. So, it could be a phase, it could be that she is just going to be shy. Or maybe something did happen. Have you talked to her? I know she's only 5, but you could tell her that you've noticed that she doesn't introduce herself to new friends anymore, that she wants you to do it and you're wondering why. She might be able to tell you something. Maybe someone new said something mean to her or something, and now she's hurt and afraid of rejection. Granted, she won't say exactly that to you, but you get my point. I'd try talking to her.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 11:39 AM on Jun. 28, 2009

  • I think it would have shown up earlier if she was a naturally shy person. My 5 year old daughter is very shy. Especially around other kids, and she has been this way her whole life. I will admit it might be my fault. She was a preemie so I was very protective of her. She started a mother's morning out at 3, and it took her a while to warm up to the other kids. She still gets shy around the kids she has known for 2 years though. Like when we go to a birthday party for about the first 30 minutes she will only sit with me. After a bit she will join in, but she still stays close to me. I think you daughter just may be getting to where she understands what it means to be embarrassed or something like that, and she may think she will be embarrased if she asks another kid to play and they say no. That is why she asks you to introduce her, she feels safer having mommy do it. i think she will grow out of it.

    Answer by TeriMelisa at 12:47 PM on Jun. 28, 2009

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