This week’s parenting challenge has been to try to figure out the borders between shyness, embarrassment and proper manners.
Michelle is not an introvert and has a hard time understanding Cecilia’s reactions and reticence to certain situations. For me, on the other hand, it provokes a sense of deja vu.
I was almost aggressively shy as a kid, especially with new people or unfamiliar situations. I still am. Cocktail parties are my worst nightmare. I still probably get many of the same feelings she has, I’ve just become much more adept at faking it than the average 8 year old.
So, while I feel her pain and anxiety, this also doesn’t excuse rude behavior. Putting your head down and not greeting someone or not making eye contact isn’t shy, it’s rude. I also don’t want to force her to be more socially outgoing than is comfortable for her. How do I help her?