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Helping my daughter get over her shyness

she's so shy, and never talks to people in public, even her peers. now i only say public because she has no problem at home. I'm afraid that when she get's out in the real world something bad's going to happen because she doesn't speak up. Are there any techniques you used to help your teens get over being shy?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:24 AM on Jun. 9, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (9)
  • All I can say is I hope you find a way to help her. I was just like her and instead of helping me, my parents kept putting me down and my mom always used to tell people "she's just not social". I'm in my mid 40s now and still shy and sometimes people mistake that as being standoffish (which I'm not). Please help her and NEVER put her down.

    Answer by Ashoonik at 12:33 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • O.K is it just with peers or also with adults? Does she have any other learning, developmental or mental health issues? I'm not trying to be nosey. I ask because sometimes shyness is not just shyness, it can be much more serious. I have twins who have social anxiety or selective mutism. They talk to no one outside of our home.
    I don't know if there are special techniques but finding other ways she excells and encouraging her to be involved in those things, especially if there are others involved. Sometimes an older friend can help too.

    Answer by quinnmommy at 1:02 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Just don't embarrass her, tease her about it, or demand that she get over it.  One thing that might help is counseling with the right kind of counselor who knows how to help shy people. Besides not talking to people does she also have any other symptoms of avoidant personality disorder?  I grew up being very shy except for at home. I was teased and made fun of by peers, teachers, and my family and it only made it worse. As an adult I learned that I had/have (it's not nearly as bad as it used to be for me) avoidant personality disorder and had it as a child. My life as a teenager  sucked because of it but I didn't know how to fix it on my own. I hope you're able to find something that will help her.Continue being patient with her and letting her know that you love her and that she is valued.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:14 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • The other responders could be right & it's definately worth checking into, but she could also just be shy - I think sometimes we search so hard for a reason our kids are the way they are that we jump to labels & disorders that may not be correct. encourage her to find an outlet. A lot of "shy" people learn to express themselves through art & then when they are recognized for their talents it brings them out of their shell a bit. Never put her down or use those horrible words "why aren't you more like ____?" Just enourage her to try new things.

    Answer by shareleann at 3:34 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Are you sure that she is shy when you are not around? My 23 year old was like this and at 16 decided she wanted modeling lessons. She went from one extreme to another. I have an 8 year old that will not talk to anyone if I am right there. Turn my back and she chatters away. She is going to a new camp on Monday and she doesn't know any of the kids there. I was a little concerned but when I asked her she said, not to worry, just send her a little notebook so she can write down their phone numbers because she might not have friends going to camp but will have a lot coming home. And I'm talking this child will still stick her head under my armpit when someone asks her a question in front of me. I agree with the mom who said not to jump to labels.

    Answer by attap5 at 9:14 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Try getting her a Ventriloquist Puppet, I have heard many famous Ventriloquist puppeteers started out very shy and the puppet helped the socialize. maybe she can practices at home a little then bring it to school for show and tell or use it to tell younger kids a story! It's only a suggestion for a small step one of many small steps.

    Answer by Mommy_Aiken at 10:02 AM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • She could have social anxiey disorder. I would talk to a counselor and get her some help. There are medications that can help if you want to try them. My son is 20 and in his second year of college. He is shy and had a tough time in high school and hasn't made many friends in college. He has been done with school for the summer since the beginning of May and won't even go look for a job. I think the thought of having to interact with people is just too much for him. He and a friend are running a business though. Please get her help now. She may never become a social butterfly, but her life would be so much more fun if she came out of her shell a little.

    Answer by jcm62497 at 1:43 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • start with the phone. She should be in charge of ordering pizza or any other phone related issues. Then when you go out to eat, she is in charge of asking for ketchup or maybe ordering for the whole table. Alot of child/teen shyness starts when they don't think they are important enough to listen to. If you order meat or cheese from a deli, she should order it.... the same at Subway. If she can learn to talk to strangers in the service industry, it will eventually get easier to talk to her peers.

    Answer by hollydaze1974 at 2:03 PM on Jun. 9, 2011

  • Thank all of you so much!! I will definatly try it! Like I said before, I'm terrified that something bad could happen because she can't speak out in front of people! again thank you guys so much, means a lot to me that you stopped to help me out!! :D

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:05 PM on Jun. 12, 2011

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