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Avatar universal

How to cure shyness

My daughter is 7 yrs old. I got a lot of complaints from her school teachers that she does not talk to them.When asked a question she looks down and almost whispers the answer. She is free with other children of her age and a few adults.She behaves the same way with other people as well as some of her uncles whom she sees everyday.I dont know how to get her out of this shyness.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I suspect your daughter is not shy but is suffering from a severe form of social phobia called "selective mutism".  This is an anxiety disorder where the child is so stressed that he/she is unable to talk, perhaps eat, use the washroom or even learn while in perceived unsafe environments as school.  What your daughter needs are tools which will help her to learn how to control her anxieties/fears/stresses; I believe sm (as selective mutism is often called) is an anxiety disorder which cannot be cured but can be controlled and managed.  Your daughter is not doing this on purpose; these traits were inherited (probably from both parents) at birth.  

The best site on the internet for information re this anxiety disorder is "selectivemutism.org" which I would urge you to peruse.  Be sure to read the FAQ's and note that there are many downloads which will help explain this "invisible disorder".   After reading this information, please contact your family doctor for assistance in treatment for your daughter.  If selective mutism is the issue; then your daughter will not outgrow her anxiety nor will it go away.  But, this anxiety disorder is highly treatable - be sure to ask for a specialist with experience in anxiety disorders.  After reading the above site (and perhaps other sites on the internet), please write back if you have any additional questions.  I wish you the best ...
484465 tn?1532217632
Let her be.  She has no problem.  I was extremely shy all the way through elementary school around my teachers and any adults other than my parents and I eventually grew out of it.  Shyness is not a disease or disorder though it can be caused by some types of traumatic events but it doesnt have to be.  

Its better if you accept her behavior as part of her personality for now.  I have grown up to work with children myself and I hate to see shy kids get picked on for being that way.  I hate rude teachers trying to make them speak up and speak in front of groups.  As long as she plays with children her age and talks to you, understand that she is choosing to communicate with whom she's comfortable with.



Avatar universal
Teachers like that are just part of the problem. They're obviously lacking in patience and understanding and are rude and mean, thus making her afraid to answer. They're probably putting her on the spot and not encouraging her confidence. Ugh. I hate people like that. I was super shy all my life as a kid. It took me about 27 years to get my confidence up to where I had no fear. Now I"m a big mouth. :)

Be concerned but encouraging her is more important. Tell the teachers to go screw.
Avatar universal
i totally disagree with you. selective mutism is way more severe than that. i know because i used to volunteer to help a lady who dedicated her life on researching about this selective mutism. make sure to tell her teachers that too bad and not make a bigger emberressing deal out of it in class. teachers should know better and have more patience. as one of your comments said, let your daughter be. the more you push it, the more shes uncomfortable. if i were you, i would even ignore the shyness and pretend that i dont see it cause the more i mention it, the more its difficult for her to come out of it. she will be fine . best of luck
Avatar universal
I also have experience in dealing with this disorder.  You see, I am a retired teacher and volunteer as a child advocate for selectively mute children in our school district.  I  belong to a support group for teachers and parents of children suffering from anxiety which meets monthly.  We have a recovered selectively mute child in our family (she is now 12) and doing extremely well (we are so proud of her).  I have also conducted workshops for teachers re selective mutism in our local schools.  In addition, our group has been instrumental in furthering the information about sm locally, nationally and internationally ( this includes internet, radio, newspapers, magazines and TV),  as well as being involved in national research efforts  

By the way, I would love to correspond with the "lady who dedicated her life on researching about this selective mutism" - could you forward her e-mail address - perhaps, we have already met.


Avatar universal
i have lost contact with the lady three years ago. she also worked with kids with autism. her name was minoo . i agree with you too, but i just think in this case, its just beign shy. thats all
Avatar universal
i had selective mutism as a child and she just sounds shy to me. when i was little you couldnt even get eye contact never mind a whisper. i looked at the floor until eight grade. all of the other children thought i was deaf and mute as did the teachers. there are some things that i distincly remember as not being of any help to me.. do not ever call her shy it would be very helpful if her teachers were on the same page. if she ever does speak dont be shocked  as for family let them in on it to its important that they dont say things like " oh wow shes finally talking to me" and so on shy children are scared of being center stage with all eyes on them. just be casual with her and if someone says is she shy just say ah shes fine.  it also helps if you dont talk about them with other adults when they are in ear shot they are very sensitive and private and embarrass very easily!!
Avatar universal
i should add that come grade eight i grew out of it entirely as did my cousin who was shy but not so severe as myself.  i went on to be able to speak in front of hundreds of people it is possible .. your child i believe will be just fine
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