Telling Kids to Be Shy: Feeling More Comfortable Around Others

Does your child feel very embarrassed in the presence of unfamiliar people? Does he dislike oral presentations and public presentations, or any context in which attention is drawn? Does he blush easily? Does he become clumsy when someone watches him or approaches him for the first time? Does he tend to calm down in groups? These are signs of shyness, and physical therapist Emmanuel Yasmine offers many smart tips for learning to recognize and accept them in her new book, What was said about shyness for children.

Through the story of young Camille, who tends to get into her shell like a snail in certain situations, Emmanuel Jasmine tells us what shyness is, how it manifests, and how it feels when one is shy.

Once the situation makes her uncomfortable, little Camille withdraws. However, she is a clown girl who loves to entertain her family and friends. Through acting lessons, you will learn how to tame this aspect of her personality.

Emmanuel Yasmin, an occupational therapist, full professor and director of the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Sherbrooke, knows shyness all too well: she experiences it herself, in certain situations.

“I was inspired by my experience and my experience, as well as by the kids I met. I’m a shy person, it’s part of my personality,” she said in an interview.

“When I was a child, I remember that he appeared mainly in school, and that is where I felt most of all. I write it in Camille’s story: you feel uncomfortable in presentation situations in a class, group or group. There is some discomfort. Or with people new ones. “

“It’s not a disease and it can happen to all of us, in certain situations,” she said. You have to see if there are any effects on the person’s well-being or performance. »

C’est le cas, par exemple, si la timidité est vraiment persistante, si l’enfant ou la personne s’empêche de faire certaines activités, si on se prive de certain occasions, si l’enfant a de la difficulté à se faire friends.

Emmanuel Yasmine reminds us that we live in a society that values ​​extraversion very much.

“There are people who are introverts and not necessarily shy, and that’s okay too! I think we still have to promote personality diversity. You just have to be careful: telling the person that he is shy and showing that he is a problem, it will not help him, I think it will make him more annoying.”

good approach

What is the best approach to confronting a shy child to belittle the situation and make the child feel more comfortable?

“At the level of class climate, for example, we can ensure that children feel confident and secure, and have activities where children also get to know each other. We must not neglect this aspect of climate: being less competitive and more cooperative. As an adult You have to be more welcoming, validate your feelings, and make yourself feel normal.”

And the famous oral performances?

“The more we talk about something we’ve been through, and know about, the more comfortable we are, it helps too. Sometimes the themes for presentations can be imposed and it can be more challenging.”

♦ Emmanuel Yasmine is an occupational therapist, full professor and director of the Occupational Therapy Program in the School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke.

♦ Holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation sciences from McGill University and a doctorate in education from the University of Sherbrooke.

She has practiced occupational therapy with children in various contexts, particularly in pediatric psychiatry and social pediatrics.

She is the author of the photo album Agnes crap (Dominique et Compagnie) and educational work From social sciences to occupational therapy (pee).

♦ She lives in Sherbrooke.


Emmanuel Yasmine

I no longer remember exactly when shyness appeared in my life. I only know that it arises if I find myself with an unknown or unfamiliar person, or if the attention of others is directed towards me. Suddenly, I felt embarrassed and feel weak, almost completely naked! And there, like a snail, I immediately return to my shell. »

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