I was feeling irritated that my four year old felt so shy around people he didn’t know. He didn’t want anyone looking at him, talking to him or paying him any sort of attention. Looking back, it was really quite normal. But at the time I wanted him to be that brave and friendly person I saw at home. What could I say to reassure him and to help him through this time in his life when other people seemed so daunting?

I remembered that shyness was merely just another feeling and that if I were to recognise it, empathise with him and reassure him by giving examples of this feeling in my own life, he’d feel calmer, acknowledged and not silly. This time has now passed and my four year old has become quite the socialite, happily shouting out and engaging with all of the grown up neighbours on my street.

~ SM