shyness - FamilyEducation
06/02/2007 at 12:27 PM

Can anyone give any advice at all on helping a 13 year old boy with shyness?  My son is recently very shy to face kids he grew up with and I dont know what to do?

Hi cici,


It is hard to encourage a shy teenager to come out of their shell.  I think that the only thing you can do as a parent is try to help your child find something that gives him confidence.  Perhaps a club or group that has something to do with what he is interested in?


What does he like to do, what are his hobbies?  Anyone else have any ideas?




I have to agree with the above.  Belonging to a group of some kind can make a real, real difference.  Also, it's important to make certain that the issue is truly shyness and not something like depression. 


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You used the words 'recently shy' describing your son's situation; I believe you should consider there may have been a triggering event where he did or saw something which caused him to be uncomfortable, embarrassed, or even humiliated. He may require more attention than a hug (although hugs are good).


Kids entering the teen years are subject to a wide variety of changes and pressures due to their varing degrees of mental, physical, and emotional development. Also, you may find he will talk more freely with a same-sex adult about certain things.


If  you need to seek additional guidance, consider speaking with the local mental health department, a pastor, or school counselor. But in the end you have to trust your 'well informed' gut feelings about your child. Show him you care, not just with your words, but, with your actions.






A few years ago, my then 9 yr old daughter, also became very shy and withdrawn from her friends and almost over night. She was afraid to call her friends on the phone because of the possibility of rejection. It was really hard on both of us. She was getting terrible stomach aches even when we were on really nice family hikes. I finally took her to our family doctor, mostly because of her stomach aches, and it turned out she was severely constipated. I also then took her to a naturopath and it also turned out she was sensitive to so many foods that she ate constantly and it also really effected her behavior. Although she is still a little shy today, it's nothing compared to what she was going through just a short few years ago. This may be a completely different situation than what your son is going through, but it was the last thing that I ever thought would bring on severe shyness. Good luck with your son. I know how hard it is to watch your child going through a difficult situation.