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The Quiet Struggle of Having a Shy Kid

Posted by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM
  • 5 Replies

The Quiet Struggle of Having a Shy Kid

Posted: 10/05/2012 11:01 am

I have a shy child. Maybe even two of them. And if I work really really hard at it, maybe I can achieve the coveted shyness trifecta when my third child is old enough for us to know for sure!

Ha ha ha, oh... sigh... (mirthless laughter slowly fades).

Listen, my children come by it honestly. I, dear friends, am a shy woman. A shy woman, who started out as a shy baby, morphed into some weird human/shy-person/performer and a woman who will most definitely enter her Golden Years as Shy Oldie, Person Least Likely To Attend The Shady Acres Holiday Mixer.

Believe me, I do not relish my shyness. (And let me say up front that I am only talking about plain old, run-of-the-mill shyness here, the terrible at small talk/party-dreading kind -- but it still sucks and it always has.)

The only reason I bring it up is that now I see it so clearly in my kids, and ugh, and argh. Crap. Hell. Flargh.

Man, did I ever try not to pass my shyness down to my kids. I can't even tell you the number of times I braved children's pizza parties and American Girl Doll Dolly Spa Days to forestall the progression of their shyness, all of it against my will since I, as previously mentioned, am shy myself. I was really brave. I gave myself a sticker.

Anyway, here we are, the first week of school has passed, and it was not, shall we say, smooth. My 6-year-old is now taking a morning bus, a bus with older children, a scary (not scary), unsupervised (fully supervised) gigantic (state-of-the-art, half-sized) bus, filled with strangers (lots of friends and familiar faces) all the way across town for an hour (5 minutes)! And the bus driver yells (one time he said "keep it down" to someone else)!

School itself is great, but the morning bus has been challenging -- it's just so sad sending a shy, crying child who came out of your body onto a bus she so clearly dislikes. What a terrible way to start all of our days, and yet, for now, it's our only option.

If I'm being honest with myself, I would have hated the bus, too. I would hate it even as an adult. (Wait. Is there coffee on the bus? Can I read the paper by myself? Is it a quiet bus? Hold up -- I think I just changed my mind.)

But still, I totally get that feeling of watching other people cut loose and have a good time, while you yourself feel powerless to join in, of appearing to others that you are the Fun Police. I was so bad at cutting loose myself as a child, that my family doctor prescribed a placebo medicine for me, a bottle of sticky green syrup that my grandmother would give me just for these types of social situations. That, and coffee cake, of course. There's always the coffee cake.

We're completely torn between "Gentle child, I honor your bus related anxiety, come nestle in my warm bosom" and "Suck it up. I love you, but suck it up."

Ultimately, I think that navigating the waters of your comfort zone is entirely personal. There's no avoiding the fact that once you go to school, there's not very much your parents can do to insulate you from all negative experiences, as hard as we all may try. ACK. So stressful!

(Just writing this blog post, I bit all my nails off.)

The Takeaway: Nobody look at my hands again until my youngest child is 30. This is going to be one hell of a bumpy bus ride.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/babblecom/shy-kid_b_1913544.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents


Proud Navy Wife since 1/10/06; toddler girl Mother to McKenna since 12/11/08,  toddler girl McKaela since 5/27/10 & baby girl Maisie since 8/15/11.

 Due in September? Join us in September 2011 Babies!

by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM
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Replies (1-5):
Harris06
by Megan on Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM

I was always misunderstood for being shy or stuck-up because I stand back and watch and assess the situation and people for a while and then I jump right in. I have always been that way. My oldest is just like that. It's not that she is necessarily shy but even on Sunday's when she goes to her class at church she watches first and then she jumps right in.

elasmimi
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:26 AM

I suffered many years from terrible shyness, and it is miserable at times. I raised a very shy grandchild, and I never pushed her into uncomfortable situations the way my parents did me. Everyone has to find their own comfort level.

Harris06
by Megan on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I agree, I think that forcing a child only makes it worse and doesn't help them overcome it at all.

Quoting elasmimi:

I suffered many years from terrible shyness, and it is miserable at times. I raised a very shy grandchild, and I never pushed her into uncomfortable situations the way my parents did me. Everyone has to find their own comfort level.


Proud Navy Wife since 1/10/06; toddler girl Mother to McKenna since 12/11/08,  toddler girl McKaela since 5/27/10 & baby girl Maisie since 8/15/11.

 Due in September? Join us in September 2011 Babies!

Madelaine
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Sounds like me.

Quoting Harris06:

I was always misunderstood for being shy or stuck-up because I stand back and watch and assess the situation and people for a while and then I jump right in. I have always been that way. My oldest is just like that. It's not that she is necessarily shy but even on Sunday's when she goes to her class at church she watches first and then she jumps right in.


JoJoBean8
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I;m still a very shy person. Even when I am no longer shy around a person I don't talk much. Outsiders always think I am rude or a snob. 

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