Helping Shyness at School

When children first go to school, they still seem so little and for some, it can be a daunting experience to get used to. Some children can’t wait to get stuck in in this new environment, but others will feel more apprehensive about this huge life change. Here are some ways to help encourage a shy child:

Don’t worry too much initially, many children are still finding their feet and learning how to interact with their peers. They might still engage in parallel play as opposed to direct play and again that’s quite normal. The social process can take a while to bed in. It’s perfectly ok to be shy and quiet, some personalities are made that way. It’s not a big deal at such a young age. A little bit of encouragement and gentle coaxing over time should ease their fears and help them learn that school can be an enjoyable experience.

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Talk to the teacher

It’s important to make contact with the teacher and maintain that contact. Parent/teacher relationships are very important in helping shy children in school. You could have a chat about how your child acts at home compared with at school, what are the things the child dislikes about school and come up with a plan to make the classroom more comfortable and engaging.

Bring interests to school

If your child is into something, like space for example, the teacher may encourage them to bring their information/collection into class. They shouldn’t be expected to give a presentation on the subject but it’s a great tool for getting them to open up, talk and maybe answer a few questions about something that engages them. Just having some familiar and favourite items nearby can help to ease shyness.

Help at home

Increasing confidence and grasping new skills can often be achieved in a less hectic and quieter environment than the classroom. If they are struggling with writing or painting, practice these things at home when they are relaxed. Don’t make it seem like work and don’t pressure – all children develop at a different pace. Writing and reading practice can be made into a fun game, maybe using interesting equipment like Dry wipe magnetic whiteboards. For more information, visit

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Go into school

Ask the teacher about helping out occasionally in class. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment but even just an hour a week to help with reading can make a huge difference in making your child feel more comfortable and giving them a special treat. It’s also helpful for you to see what’s going on and get a feel for the atmosphere.

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