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Helping my child conquer their shyness

August 11, 2021 | In collaboration with School Success

All children can be timid on occasion: When going back to school, at the doctor’s office or the first time they go to a new friend’s house, for example. The problem is when their shyness hinders their development.

All children can be timid on occasion: When going back to school, at the doctor’s office or the first time they go to a new friend’s house, for example. The problem is when their shyness hinders their development.

Difference between introversion and shyness

Even if one can accompany the other, there is a big difference between an introverted and shy person. Shyness is a behaviour that manifests itself by being afraid when one is in a social situation, whereas introversion is a personality trait characterized by a need for solitude and calm. At the park, Émile who is shy, is swinging by himself because he is afraid to bother the other children who are already playing together. On the other hand, Élodie, who is introverted, is also swinging by herself, because the effervescence surrounding the « King of the mountain » is exhausting for her.

A sympathetic ear

Your child knows that he is shy: there is no need to drive the nail down by constantly reminding him. Quite the opposite, talk to him about why he is afraid to go and play with the neighbours or answer his teacher’s question.

One challenge at a time

Overcoming blockages will take a lot of effort from your child. To help him, give him one challenge at a time, gradually:

• Answering the telephone

• Ordering his meal at a restaurant

• Answer the dentist’s question

• Participate in an extracurricular activity

Congratulate him on each of his successes. You will see, he will gain confidence one small victory at a time.

What if nothing works?

Do not let the situation deteriorate as it could handicap, in the long term, all the spheres of his life (social, love, professional). A professional could help him find the origin of his blockages and defeat them.

To go even further

Super moi surmonte sa timidité, by Nathalie Couture and Geneviève Marcotte, Éditions Midi trente

This intervention guide, written in clear language and abundantly illustrated, will allow your child to find a host of concrete strategies to overcome his shyness, enrich his social skills and develop positive attitudes that will allow him to take action and feel good about himself. (Available in French only)

Mon premier livre de yoga, by Sophie Martel and Marie-Hélène Tapin, illustrations by Isabelle Charbonneau, Éditions Dominique et Compagnie.

Deep breathing, relaxation and yoga can help your child manage anxiety situations. This book proposes 40 different postures each representing an animal or an element of nature. Your child will have fun reproducing the position of the frog, cheetah, koala, camel, sun or mountain. He will be able to integrate yoga into his daily routine to calm his anxieties. (Available in French only)

Incroyable MOI maîtrise son anxiété


With this illustrated intervention guide, youth aged 6 to 12 will be able to better understand the manifestations of their condition and manage their anxiety. (Available in French only)

2208098 | $19.95


Soothing tools

You can also get your child items to manipulate such as stress balls, a “tangle” or stress cushions. An interesting reference is the book 10 questions sur… l'anxiété chez l'enfant et l'adolescent. Furthermore, the Retour au calme cards provide children with the tools they need to manage unpleasant emotions.

Coussinets de manipulation


Manipulating this cushion helps relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Made of Lycra and polyester satin in shimmering colors.

Age: 5 + | Starting at $7.95


10 questions sur...l'anxiété


Develops effective skills to accompany youth with dexterity and sensitivity. (Available in French only)

Age: 3 + | 2035012 | $17.95


In conclusion, it is important to remember that everyone experiences stressful situations in their own way. What may be perceived as stressful for one, is not necessarily so for the other. The important thing is to adapt to the child, reassure him and accompany him in the search for ways of calming him, and above all, avoid sentences like: "It’s nothing, don’t worry" since the child will feel misunderstood and this offers no support.

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