FOR those who know me from the TV, believe it or not, I was a really shy child.
It’s something that I have grown out of as I have moved into my adult years, but there are certainly still elements of myself that are more reserved and self-deprecating, which could perhaps be labelled as shyness, and possibly a bit of a behavioural and emotional hangover from my childhood.
Anna Williamson has shared her advice for parents with shy childrenCredit: ITV
Being shy is something that affects lots of people, and it typically starts in childhood. It can often be misconstrued as just being of a quiet disposition, thoughtful, or being ‘slow to warm up’, and it’s important to differentiate what is unhappy or unhelpful shyness (perhaps fuelled by anxiety, worry, sadness), and what is just a perfectly normal (and ok!) personality and behavioural trait ie a quiet disposition.
As an expert for the Baby Annabell Ask The Experts campaign, people have asked me if having a shy trait is something we are born with or if it’s something we develop based on our experiences.
In essence, it can be either or a bit of both. I had pretty outgoing, confident parents, and there are some studies that suggest the more confident or outspoken a parent in childhood, the shyer a child could potentially become.
Some research has shown that the more sensitive the parent is to their child’s needs, and responds appropriately to them, the risk of shyness decreases. In my case this is what happened – my parents tuned in to me and my needs and the shyness all but disappeared completely over time.
On the other hand, a persons temperament has a biological basis, and has long been said can be identified from babies only a few months old.
A baby who becomes easily overwhelmed or emotionally distressed is likely to become shy as they get older. That may play out in that they are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment, even simple mundane things such as the postman knocking on the door, or going for a ride in the car can cause upset.
It’s important to recognise though that a child’s temperament can change, and gradually as they are exposed to more and more people, objects and situations, signs of shyness can ebb away.
There is also nothing wrong with being a little bit shy, many find it an endearing trait, and …….