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posted: 8/13/2012 4:24 AM

Tips to help, signs to look for

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By Chelsey Boutan

Ways to help your shy child

• Introduce your child, and help him or her start conversations at new social settings.

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• When your child starts a new activity, stay for the first practice or lesson.

• Avoid labeling your child as shy, because it will make your child feel more self conscious and nervous in social situations.

• Don't criticize your child for being shy.

• Don't force your child to do something that he or she is adamantly refusing to do.

Signs that you may need to seek professional help for your child's shyness

• Your child's shyness is interfering with his or her daily functioning.

• Your child shows no interest in social interactions.

• Your child doesn't speak at school. This could be a sign that your child has selective mutism.

• You have talked to your child's teachers, day care, baby sitter, etc. to make modifications to help with your child's shyness, but your child is still uncomfortable in these settings.

• Your child is unable to interact with his or her peers.

• Your child hasn't developed any friendships.

• Your child isn't able to raise his or her hand in class or talk to teachers due to anxiety.

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