When I was a child, I was extremely outgoing. I would talk to anyone about anything. I was confident and loud and I didn’t care what anyone thought of me! Then, sometime after puberty, everything changed. Maybe it was because we moved into a new state where I knew no one, but I became extremely withdrawn and self conscious. Or maybe it’s just because that’s part of growing up. I still struggle with being shy today. Either way, I know how it is to be around (and BE) an outgoing kid, and also a shy, anxious one. As a parent, it can be like pulling teeth to get your introverted child to engage in social situations. My advice? Don’t force anything, and only make them do what they’re comfortable with. For more help on dealing with anxious little ones, read this post by Kristina at Toddler Approved. Heck, most of them can even be applied to shy adults:
-Stay in close proximity when around new people.
-Have low expectations and allow for choices… recognizing child is just trying to hold herself together.
-Recognize that the new faces, routines, situations can be uncomfortable/stressful/scary and acknowledge that verbally and offer emotional support.
-Encourage people to give child space and wait for him/her to come to them/initiate interactions with them.