She is an only child, and I worry that she is missing out on being egged on by siblings

In helping your daughter, the best approach is to build on her strengths and expand out the situations when she is the happiest. Photograph: iStock
In helping your daughter, the best approach is to build on her strengths and expand out the situations when she is the happiest. Photograph: iStock

Question: Is there anything you can do to help boost confidence in a child? My 10-year-old daughter is painfully shy and seems to have no confidence at all. She has always been on the quiet side, but now she won’t even talk to extended members of the family, like her aunts and uncles (who she has been around her whole life).

Her teacher told me before the school holidays that she noticed that she was retreating from answering questions in class, and that when she asked her privately if there was anything wrong, she answered that she didn’t want to put her hand up in case she got the wrong answer and people might laugh.

The teacher doesn’t seem to think that it’s bullying, and says that she has a group of friends, but she is definitely the quiet one. She is an only child, and I worry that she is missing out on being egged on by siblings.

Is there anything that we can do to help bring her out of her shell?

Answer: Lots of children and indeed adults have quite introverted personalities and this not necessarily a problem for them. While in society we tend to over value confidence and people who are “out there” and the life and soul of the party etc, it is often the quieter people who often make the best contributions and indeed who are better at making and keeping close friendships. While you of course want to encourage your daughter to succeed and to not miss out on things that would be make her happy, you have to be carefully about making her “feel bad” about her quieter personality.

Like your daughter, lots of people don’t like speaking in front of audiences and asking questions in big groups. Indeed a fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears that people have and like your daughter, their big fear is often that “people will laugh”. It is likely that your daughter prefers interacting in smaller groups or on a one to one basis and this is all relatively normal. Your daughter’s age…

Mayra Rodriguez
Follow Me

Mayra Rodriguez

Content Editor at oneQube
Work from home mom dedicated to my family. Total foodie trying new recipes.Love hunting for the best deals online. Wannabe style fashionista. As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.
Mayra Rodriguez
Follow Me