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Why does my son become shy in front of outsiders?

Q: My 5-year-old son is very extrovert, in the presence of his parents only. But he becomes very introvert and shy in the presence of outsiders. If asked to recite a poem or anything else, he fails to do the same in the presence of outsiders due to shyness. Ours is a nuclear family and he's our only child. My wife may perhaps be a bit possessive towards him. My wife is also anxious on the issue. Please advise.

A:I am happy to hear that your son is energetic and curious about the world around. It is a sure sign of health and good parenting. Sometimes parents tend to be too eager to show off their children to their friends and family. Even a child who knows his rhymes may hesitate to 'perform' for others. This is very natural. A year later you may find him different. The best thing is to leave him alone and let him do what comes naturally to him. Why should everyone be an extrovert? In any case, there are more than two kinds of temperaments and we all change at different periods in our life and in different circumstances. I know of quiet children who have grown up to be debaters and orators and talkative children, take to painting and sculpture in adulthood. Give the child freedom to express himself. Be available to him, but do not try to mould him into a set role. Give him a chance to do a few things by himself and he will be happier than being molly-coddled. Enjoy your parenting!

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