Why is our daughter so shy?
Q: My daughter is 7 years and 4 months old. She is good looking, wears smart clothes, does well in studies, is her teacher's pet etc. She participates in extra curricular activities in school. But despite all this she is very shy in front of outsiders. She performs very well on stage individually or in groups but if asked otherwise she hesitates a lot and sometimes becomes very arrogant. She even feels shy to greet someone and if asked something she replies in a very low and undignified manner. She takes some time to open up with new people. It is normally said that the formative age for a child is 7 years. We are afraid that she might just remain the same for her life time. What is your suggestion regarding her personality? Do we need to do something about it?
A:My advice is 'Do Nothing'. Your daughter is talented and able to participate in many activities. Please do not expect her to be a genius and suit your view of what she should be like. It is only natural for children to be hesitant to perform in front of others. Even adults who are stage performers tend to hesitate to sing or dance in a small group, which is more informal. Let her develop at her own pace. Do not force her to perform for visitors. There is no rule about formation by 7 years. I have seen shy children become talkative later on and the reverse. Do not treat your child as a prestige symbol for the parents. Also do not keep raising the bar of your expectations. Relax and bring some fun and laughter in your interactions, rather than focus on achievement. The child is an individual with a right to develop naturally and with the affection and support of the family.