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Childhood Shyness And Children

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    Understanding the Distress of Children Who Suffer from Shyness

    About everyone has felt shy at some point in his or her life. Feeling uncomfortable or dying in a new societal scene is non uncommon or something to be excessively concerned about ; nevertheless, there are many people whose lives suffer because of their shyness. Shyness can hold many harmful effects on a individual ’ s emotional and societal well being ( Bruch, 1999 ) . Even though research on shyness has chiefly focused on grownups, shyness can be merely as hard, if non more hard, for kids. Because societal and emotional development are so of import during the school old ages as kids are run intoing and interacting with their equals, we see it as really of import for instructors to be in melody with these types of developmental demands. Children ’ s literature is a great manner to convey up and discourse emotional and societal issues. We found some fantastic kids ’ s books that instructors can utilize in the schoolroom to discourse shyness, how it affects people, and how to do others experience better who are diffident.

    If you have of all time known a genuinely diffident kid, you likely know how hard being diffident can be for that kid. It can be really painful to see a diffident kid “ urgently desiring to be accepted by other kids yet non cognizing what to make to derive their blessing, or else excessively scared to take the hazard of seeking to make out to them ” ( Zimbardo, 1981, p. 4 ) . A adult females expresses trouble with holding been a diffident kid:

    Turning up is painful at best, but tormenting for the shy. When others could non understand the ground for my deficiency of gusto for life, I knew all along that my shyness was the existent job. I was awfully covetous of anyone who seemed comfy with people. Anyone who could show their ideas verbally. . . ( Zimbardo, 1981, p. 4 ) .

    A kid who is enduring from this much hurting demands to be of concern. Anything that makes a kid unhappy, such as being unpopular, non experiencing comfy around equals, and non being able to pass on ideas or feelings straight, is risky to a individual ’ s psychological well being ( Kemple, 1995 ) .

    Unfortunately kids who suffer from shyness often go unnoticed by instructors and parents. Shy kids are normally good behaved, quiet, and follow the regulations they are supposed to ( Zimbardo, 1981 ) . Teachers may misidentify a diffident kid as a content kid, when in world a kid could be enduring within. This is why it is so of import for instructors and parents to recognize the hurting many kids hold in due to their shyness.

    After looking at the research, we found that there are three chief grounds people are diffident. The first, and what seems to be the most hard for kids, is shyness due to low self-esteem. In this type of shyness people are diffident because they don ’ Ts like themselves and hence think that others couldn ’ t perchance like them either. The 2nd type of shyness is caused from holding been teased and the fright that it will go on once more. Peoples with this type of shyness are frequently concerned about one peculiar trait of theirs or are merely diffident in specific state of affairss. The last is that some people are merely of course quiet, so they seem diffident when people try to speak to them. This type of shyness is non considered harmful compared to the other two since quiet people are non needfully maintaining themselves from making things that they would wish to make. We were able to happen kids ’ s literature books that address each of these types of shyness.

    The one kids ’ s book we found that we feel to the full addresses the hurts that shyness can do is Let ’ s Talk About Being Shy, by Marianne Johnston. Let ’ s Talk About Being Shy is an informational book for kids on shyness. We were peculiarly impressed with this book as it discusses the broad scope of shyness and matches a batch of what the research states about shyness in kids at a flat kids can understand and associate to. The chief issues this book addresses are: what is shyness, when people feel diffident, why certain people are diffident, when cautiousness is good, when shyness is harmful, and low self-pride. The book does a great occupation at demoing kids when shyness is normal to when shyness can be harmful to a individual – i.e. when shyness supports you from making things that you want to make. How Do I Feel About Making Friends by Sarah Levete, another informational book, besides touches on how shyness can maintain people from doing new friends. One miss in Levete ’ s book replies to: “ Do you do friends easy? ” provinces, “ Not truly. Sometimes I think that cipher will wish me-that makes me experience diffident ( Levete, 1996, p. 13 ) .

    Hooway for Wodney Wat, by Helen Lester, is a book that has a character who demonstrates the 2nd type of shyness as he is concerned of his address hindrance. Rodney is a rat who has a address hindrance in which he can non articulate his R ’ s. At the beginning of the book Rodney is a diffident and reserved rat who hardly squeaks. All the other gnawers at the gnawer simple school make merriment of his pronunciations, which reinforces his feelings of shyness. It is non until the terminal of the book that the members of his category learn to esteem his differences and accept him as a member of the category. The credence that the other gnawers offer Rodney helps him get the better of his frights of rejection.

    Sometimes shyness is seen as the quality of being quiet. Some kids may besides demo merely really mild marks of being diffident. These types of shyness are non harmful and should non needfully be something to be concerned about. Peoples who are more open and noticeable often have more jobs so more quiet people. “ The absence of shyness has been recognized as an antisocial feature since at least the clip of the ancient Greeks, ” ( Seid, 1999, p. 43 ) . For this ground at that place may non be ground for parents or Teachs to force kids. Teachers and parents need to see to what degree a kid ’ s shyness is harming that peculiar kid. Some diffident kids come out of their shell on their ain and need to come on at their ain comfort degree ( Zimbardo, 1981 ) . An illustration of this is shown in the book The Shy Little Angel, by Ruth Brown, in which a small miss does non wish to take portion in the school drama. The other kids try to carry her to take part, but the small miss wants for the drama to go on without her.

    The small girl tickers from the wing as her schoolmates put on a fantastic show. As she watches she bit by bit gets closer and closer to the phase finally falling onto the phase and into the limelight. Dressed as the small angel, she makes her expansive visual aspect. She is so showered by hand clapping from the audience, and she overcomes her shyness. No 1 tries to force the miss about her shyness ; she is accepted for who she is and her shyness finally becomes adaptative behaviour. A 2nd book that allows a kids to merely be diffident is Stop That Garbage Truck, by Linda Glaser. Henry is a diffident male child who has establishes a relationship with the vicinity refuse adult male, Jackson. The lone unusual thing about the relationship is that Henry doesn ’ t talk to Jackson, he doesn ’ Ts like to speak. Jackson accepts Henry like this and is ever nice to him while naming him his brother. Then Henry overcomes his shyness one-day when the refuse truck leaves before Henry ’ s female parent is able to convey the refuse cans to the kerb. Henry runs after the truck in an effort to halt it, and so he finally musters up adequate bravery to shout halt! The truck so turned about and Henry feels proud for being the hero by halting the truck. Both of these books are good illustrations of state of affairss where the shyness is accepted and the kid finally comes into their ain.

    Parents and instructors play a important function in a kid ’ s life, because of this, parents and instructors can further shyness with their actions without even cognizing it. “ Not merely can a parent who is extremely critical train a kid [ to be diffident ] , but even the gentlest parent can raise a [ shy ] kid, ” ( Schrof & A ; Schultz, 1999, p. 52 ) . Parents can direct messages to their kid that the universe is full of abashing minutes by avoiding societal interaction or worrying what others think of them. One thing parents and instructors can make is to “ acknowledge each individuals single unity, to assist them develop a sense of personal worth, ” ( Zimbardo, 1977, p. 189 ) . Children most significantly need unconditioned love from their health professionals and instructors so they can research the universe while being comfy with themselves. For illustration in the book Owen, by Kevin Henkes, Owen has a deep fond regard to his babe cover. This fond regard is so great that Owen doesn ’ Ts have any other friends, his cover is his lone friend. His parents are really concerned about this fond regard and its effects on Owen. They try several tactics to acquire Owen to give up his cover, but Owen will non allow his cover go. Recognizing that Owen may experience better about himself when he has the cover, his female parent cuts the cover into little squares so Owen can ever hold the cover and his parents do non hold to worry that the fond regard to the cover will consequence his societal life. In this illustration, Owens parents recognize that the cover is of import to Owen and don ’ t want to traumatise or ache his feelings by taking the cover off, so they devise a via media that allows Owen to construct his self-concept.

    Christina Frank wrote her article, “ How To Help a Shy Child ” , through the eyes of person who suffered from childhood shyness. Frank offers several tips for parents to assist shy kids. First, she points out that parents need to avoid utilizing irony when talking to their kids. “Humiliation, in the signifier of badgering or irony, won’t work and doesn’t acknowledge that the kid is fighting with existent frights, ” ( Frank, 1998, p. 115 ) . Parents need to avoid comparing the kid to more outgoing kids. Parents besides need to formalize a child’s frights by stating something like, “I know traveling to a party where you don’t cognize anyone is chilling, ” so parents should seek to offer soothing words by sharing a similar experience from their childhood ( Frank, 1998, p. 115 ) . Following she suggests that parents should forbear from being overprotective, kids need to get the better of their ain challenges, if a parent stairss in every clip a state of affairs arises, it will merely reenforce the shyness.

    Third, she stresses the importance that parents need to pattern positive societal interaction. She goes on to discourse quieting techniques for kids and other activities to assist the kid overcome their shyness ( Frank, 1998 ) . Informational books for immature kids about being diffident and doing friends may be helpful to ease some of the anxiousness kids feel. How do I Feel About Making Friends, once more, is an first-class illustration. This book features images of existent kids traveling through the gestures and emotions about doing friends. It includes subjects such as experiencing lonely and hard times, two frights that many kids experience before school starts or traveling to a party. Another informational book that is good to portion with diffident kids is Let’s Talk About Being Shy, by Marianne Johnston. The book focuses on specifying shyness and who and when a individual may experience shy. The book is first-class to portion with a category that may hold diffident pupils in it. The book may do those pupils feel better approximately themselves as it shows that many kids feel diffident and can ache from it excessively.

    When shyness becomes a job there are several tactics that can be implemented to assist promote the symptoms of shyness. For adults drug therapy has often been an option. Children one the other manus are normally kept off from drug therapy for the concern of side effects, but besides because many kids may get the better of their shyness through behavior therapies, on their ain, or with aid from friends ( Zimbardo, 1981 ) . Much shyness in kids develops from a fright that everyone is concentrating on them. These diffident persons do non recognize that other people are normally non concerned with their actions. Bernardo Carducci, manager of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast, “ is convinced that switching the focal point off from the ego is the most curative thing a diffident individual can make, ” ( Schrof & A ; Schultz, 1999, p. 55 ) .

    In Shyness: What is it, What to make About it, Philip Zimbardo ( 1977 ) suggests a deep soul-searching as the first measure to get the better ofing shyness. In his book he has several activities that allow the diffident individual the chance the opportunity to acquire to cognize themselves. These activities will ab initio increase self-awareness, but will finally take to a better apprehension of the ego and hopefully less shyness. Next he suggests the diffident individual focal point on their peculiar sort of shyness, through studies and small activities. He so goes into constructing self-esteem and larning societal accomplishments. Zimbardo ’ s methods are merely one type of behavior therapy. Other methods include guidance, and group therapy. There does non look to be any kids ’ s books that touch on this topic. Most of the kids ’ s books focus on diffident kids get the better ofing shyness on their ain, or with aid from a friend.

    There does non look to be inordinate research on kids who overcome shyness on their ain. This is likely because these kids ’ s jobs were likely non brought to the attending of a professional. One book in peculiar Orlando ’ s Little-While by Audrey Wood focuses on a small male child who ab initio is afraid to seek and do friends in his new vicinity. He is foremost depicted as shy but so is able to get the better of his shyness every bit shortly as other playfellows from the vicinity befriend him. Research does bespeak that many diffident kids befriend others who are diffident ; this is consistent with the predominating rule that similar seeks like. “ The dyadic nature of relationships with friends may debar some of the edginess that withdrawn kids feel in big groups, ” ( Schneider, 1999, p. 115 ) .

    Shy kids may take friends whom they know see them positively as opposed to other kids whom they do non cognize their sentiments of them or see them negatively. By practising this method of taking friends diffident kids avoid the fright of negative rating, and are able to organize close friendly relationships with other kids who accept their diffident properties ( Schneider, 1999, p. 116 ) . These friendly relationships serve to assist shy kids overcome their shyness. Several kids ’ s books depict diffident kids get the better ofing shyness from the strength of a close friendly relationship. Fellow: The Very Shy Dog by Lisze Bechtold depicts a diffident character befriending another diffident character. In this book the two diffident friends through a birthday party together, which helps them both feel better about themselves and therefore a small less diffident. A 2nd book called The Blushful Hippopotamus, by Chris Raschka explores the relationship of a diffident Hippo with a less diffident bird. The Hippo named Roosevelt becomes blushing whenever his mean older sister is about. Then Roosevelt asks Lombard the bird if he is a blushing river horse, Lombard continuously responds that Roosevelt is non blushing and gives him assurance to halt blushing and to disregard his sisters twits. This conformation from a close friend gives Roosevelt the strength to get the better of his diffident side.

    Childhood shyness is a reasonably new subject, for merely in the past 20 old ages has it truly been focused on in the research sphere ( Kemple, 1995 ) . Shyness can be a existent job for many kids and it is of import that it, along with other facets of societal and emotional development, be addressed in the schoolroom. Shy kids need to cognize that they are non entirely in their feelings. This can be accomplished by sharing kids ’ s books that reference these issues. Many kids will non travel to a instructor to show their feelings of emotional hurt, particularly if it is a diffident kid. Teachers need to be cognizant that shyness is an property that can be really painful for some kids and that diffident kids can utilize reassurance that their feelings are adaptative. While researching this subject and combing the library looking for kids ’ s books that trade with shyness, it became evident that there is non an copiousness of books that deal with this topic. We had to do a great attempt to happen books on this subject. The deficiency of diffident characters in kids ’ s books may do diffident kids experience even more entirely in their feelings as many books focus on characters who are fun and surpassing. Children ’ s sentiments of themselves begin to organize really early on which means that instructors and parents need to reaffirm each kid ’ s image of him or herself in order to raise a happy and healthful kid. One manner to carry through this is to portion books with kids that have characters that they can associate to. While the books we found were surely non bad books, we do experience that there is room and the demand for more kids ’ s books to turn to the complex and often painful experiences of being diffident.


    1. Bruch, Monroe A. ( 1999 ) . Shyness and sociotrophy: linear and synergistic dealingss in foretelling interpersonal concerns. Journal of Personality, 67, 2, 373 ( 3 ) .
    2. Frank, F. ( 1998 ) . How to assist a diffident kid. Parenting, 12, 114-120.
    3. Kemple, K. M. ( 1995 ) Shyness and self-esteem. Journal of Humanistic Education and Development, 33, 173-182.
    4. Schneider, B. H. ( 1999 ) . A multimethod geographic expedition of the friendly relationships of kids considered socially withdrawn by their school equals. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27 ( 2 ) , 115-123.
    5. Schrof, J.M. , & A ; Schultz, S. ( 1999 ) . Social anxiousness. U.S. News & A ; World Report, 24, 50-54.
    6. Seid, R. P. ( 1999 ) . Diing of shyness. Joe Weider ’ s Shape, 18 ( 7 ) , 42-44.
    7. Zimbardo, P. G. ( 1981 ) . The Shy Child. U.S.A, Mexico, Toranto: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
    8. Zimbardo, P. G. ( 1977 ) . Shyness what it is what to make about it. Reeding, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
    9. Children ’ s Books
    10. Bechtold, L. ( 1999 ) . Fellow: The Very Shy Dog. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Co.
    11. Brown, R. ( 1998 ) . The Shy Little Angel. New York, NY: Dutton Children ’ s Books.
    12. Glaser, L. ( 1993 ) . Stop That Garbage Truck. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & A ; Co.
    13. Henkes, O. ( 1993 ) . Owen. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books.
    14. Johnston, M. ( 1996 ) . Let ’ s Talk About Being Shy. New York, NY: PowerKids Press.
    15. Levete, S. ( 1996 ) . How Do I Feel About Making Friends? Brookfield, CT: Cooper Beech Books.
    16. Lester, H. ( 1999 ) . Hooway For Wodnay Wat. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.
    17. Mathers, P. ( 1991 ) Sophie and Lou. USA: Harper Collins Publishers.
    18. Raschka, C. ( 1996 ) The Blushful Hippopotamus. New York, NY: Orchid Books.
    19. Wood, A. ( 1995 ) . Orlando ’ s Little-While ; A Scrapbook. New York, NY: Child ’ s Play International LTD.

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