Magazine article Working Mother

Ask Dr. Howard

Magazine article Working Mother

Ask Dr. Howard

Article excerpt

My young child is so shy in large groups. How can I help her feel comfortable at our big Thanksgiving family event?

Family gatherings can be stressful for adults, so just imagine what they're like for a young child who tends to be intimidated meeting one new person - never mind an entire clan of them. It can get especially tough when everyone wants to talk with her, because young children need to engage at their own pace. But there are things you can do to make group get-togethers easier, more successful and less traumatic for your daughter. Be upbeat and optimistic about the event instead of expressing your own anxiety or disapproval of her shyness. You might have been a bashful child, too (ft may be hereditary), and harbor negative feelings about large groups from your past. Help your child have a more positive experience by being cheerful and happy yourself. Talk about the people she'll see in advance, showing photos and telling your child something specific and positive about each one. …

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