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How Can I Affirm My Shy Daughter?

My daughter is really shy and has no confidence what do I do to affirm her?

Biographers describe Rosa Parks as a shy but feisty child. Yet reflecting on some of her early childhood experiences, it seems that she may have been introverted rather than shy. The distinction is an important one and can influence how you respond to your daughter’s behavior.

Shy? A shy child longs to be engaged in social activities but is hesitant to do so. Encourage discussions about desired activities and possible steps to reach those goals. Avoid using the “shy” label or pressuring her into social experiences beyond her comfort zone. Help her reframe her experience so that her “self-talk” is constructive rather than negative.

Or Introverted? Introverted children prefer more “alone” time than extroverted children. In fact, being around other people often drains their energy! Your daughter may lack confidence if her temperamental tendencies are not accepted in various contexts. Trying to get her to behave in the way that extroverted children behave increases her stress.

“And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kgs 19:12) When the Lord came to Elijah it was not in the loud wind, nor was it in the earthquake. Instead, it was in a gentle whisper. A person who is introverted finds renewal in quiet moments. Encourage your daughter to pursue interests that match her talents.

In her book Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation, Rosa Parks wrote, “I have problems just like everyone else. Whenever I do, I think about my grandmother and my mother. They were such strong women, who always taught me to place my faith in God and to read the Bible.” (p. 57) Affirm your daughter through your own faith.