capri49 asks:

How can I cure the shyness of my twin daughters?

I have twin daughters both of them are very shy. Main reason is that everybody pays spec attn to them and this attitude of people has made them very cautious.They are 5-1/2 yrs of age and they do not visit any others house in the cumminity and are reluctant to go to school even.Besides this they have child hood phobias and feel insecure and afraid.Please help me
In Topics: Parenting multiples
> 60 days ago



Hand in Hand
Mar 11, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Each child comes into the world with a different set of potential characteristics. As parents, our challenge is to find ways to work with, and celebrate, the people our children are. Some children are slow to warm to others. If your twins are shy, they need you to lovingly accept and validate them, just the way they are, while at the same time warmly encouraging, indicating that things are actually safer than she can tell.

Children benefit from information.

First of all, talk with your daughters before going into situations where she tends to become anxious. If she's very young, you might not get many words back from her, but you could start off with something like this: “It's almost story time. Remember how many children were at the library last time? Remember how noisy and busy all those children can get sometimes? Today when we go to hear the story, we'll sit at the edge of the circle so you can have some space around you and I'm going to hold you right in my lap like this. If there are too many people for you, or too many sounds, you can tuck your head under my arm like a little bird or take my hands and cover up your ears.”

See what you can do to get your daughters engaged in the plan to handle this situation. You might take a pile of stuffed animals and set one up with a book and play "story time.” You be the small animal that comes into the setting and finds it frightening. See what they think of to work out a solution for the small animal that is afraid of crowded spaces. If she begins to laugh, she’ll gain confidence in herself as you play this game over and over.

Children thrive on fun and connection.

Before going into a situation that you think your child may find frightening, try using our method of Special Time. Children clearly thrive on moments when we are just with them. Take ten or fifteen minutes before you get ready to go and shine your undivided attention onto your child, and do whatever it is that she enjoys doing with you at the moment. Play pillow fight. Drop lightweight balls down the stairs together. Allow some messy water play. Put your child in charge of the interaction and follow her, letting her be in control of the relationship for a time. Radiate enthusiasm for her ideas and desires. This will help to bolster her connection to you and help her store up a little extra confidence for the challenge ahead.

Fear releases in laughter.

Play that helps children overcome their fears starts by allowing a child Special Time—during which the grownup does whatever the child wants to do. During this time, look for opportunities to take the less powerful role. If your child is pretending to go to work, playfully cry and beg her not to go. If your child wants to play chase, try to catch her, but fail most of the time. If your child wants to pretend to go to the kid's gym, act playfully afraid and hide behind her. Your child's fears will release as she laughs while you play the less powerful role. The more you are able to the laughter going, the bolder your child will become.

Children are helped by your optimistic tone.

Before making the transition into a situation that has been troubling your child, talk her through what is about to happen with a warm, confident tone. Having a tone of optimism can help children feel close enough to their parent to flow better into the new setting. Then, when you get there, close and connected, you can make light overtures offering a gentle invitation to play with you or the other children. Allow a few minutes between overtures for your child to try using his own initiative to enter the group. Keep your tone warm and supportive.

Releasing feelings of fear.

If your child is having trouble breaking out of isolated behavior with simple encouragement, you might need to help her in a more active way. Get close and make eye contact. Listen if she begins to cry. Don’t try to talk her out of her feelings of fear or upset. Listening and allowing a child who is frightened to cry hard is the opposite of what most parents do. It works beautifully, but needs a bit of explanation!

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Additional Answers (1)

denise_ckjns writes:
I have twin daughters too. They are 6 yrs old and in the 1st grade. Before they entered school, they were both shy and reluctant to interact with other children. I got them involved in extra curricula activities such as girlscouts, karate, and dance, where there were other girls their age and it broke them out of the shy mode.
> 60 days ago

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