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To Help a Shy Child, Listen

Dr. Perri Klass examines the topic of shy children and how our society behaves towards them.

When a young girl confides in Dr. Klass that she is shy, the doctor asks:

“Should I have turned to her mother and suggested — a counselor? An academic evaluation? Should I have probed further? How do you feel in school, do you have some friends, is anybody bullying you?

Or should I have said: Lots of people are shy. It’s one of the healthy, normal styles of being human.”

Dr. Klass tells us: “Shyness reflects a child’s place on the temperamental continuum, the part of it that involves dealing with new and unfamiliar circumstances… But shyness is also part of the great and glorious range of the human normal.”

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