Valorie Burton: Every parent knows that each child is unique, but accepting those differences can sometimes be a challenge if your child is shy. Parents of shy children often look at them as if something is wrong. The natural reaction is to help pull them out of their shell.
Sure, we want our kids to speak to adults, smile, and be sociable, but pushing too hard can be destructive. Sometimes shininess is a result of being hurt or rejected in the past, but most likely a shy child was simply born that way.
Shy kids naturally draw their energy by being more one-on-one and so being with a lot of people may be dreaming or feel overwhelming. If your child is shy, don't force them to be something he's not, accept it just the way he is made.
Remember, every child has qualities that make him unique or special. However, don't make excuses for your child. There is still a place for politeness, and a little coaching may be in order.
Try slowly exposing a shy child to social situations with other children or even have them attend to summer camp. Remember not to force them out of their comfort zone, but leave them, down the road to a more outgoing personality.
Accepting your child's shyness will eliminate a lot of frustration for both of you. It will also pave the way for your child to blossom over time.