How to Help Your Shy Child Make Friends

Posted on August 23, 2019 : Posted in Common Parenting Challenges, Parenting Tips

Nobody wants to see their child deal with loneliness. As a parent, you just want to take their struggles away and help them as much as you can. Shyness is a common problem with children. Many children eventually outgrow shyness, while many others learn how to handle their shyness as adults. If you want to help your shy child make friends, there are a few things that you can do. Take a look at the following list and see if any of these strategies work for you and your child.

Shyness and Introversion 

When you want to help your shy child make friends, the first thing you should do is ask yourself whether or not they’re actually shy. Some children aren’t shy but introverted, and introversion often gets mistaken for shyness.

So, what’s the difference? Shyness is a fear of talking to other people. In children, signs of shyness include hiding behind a parent, avoiding eye contact, and being afraid of speaking up. Introversion, on the other hand, is just a preference for alone time. Introverted children may avoid loud social situations in favor of coloring, looking at books, and other solo activities. Introverted children don’t avoid social situations out of fear. They limit socialization because they enjoy their alone time.

Of course, some introverted children are also shy. In any case, the key is to let your child move at their own pace. Don’t push your child to have tons of friends if they’re happy with just two or three. Even if your child is a shy extrovert, it’s important not to overwhelm them. At any age, the point of friendship is quality, not quantity.

Read Books

We always recommend using children’s books to help little ones make sense of things. When children can see their situations reflected in their favorite characters, they can feel less alone. They can also see how different solutions work for these characters, and they may feel more empowered to try those solutions for themselves. When you want to help your shy child make friends, try adding some books into the mix. Plenty of children’s books feature shy main characters. Read a few of these books to your child, and then take some time afterward to discuss how the characters dealt with their shyness.


One way to help your shy child make friends is to roleplay social situations. Not every child will want to use this strategy, so don’t worry if your child rejects this idea. For the ones who do want some social practice, though, roleplay can really help. A lot of shy children struggle with “what ifs.” They don’t like the uncertainty of socializing. You can walk your child through different “what if” situations and help your child feel more prepared.

Enroll Them in Preschool

Preschool is a great way to help your shy child make friends. For some children, the best way to make friends is to step away from their parents for a while. Making friends can be a lot easier when children can’t hide behind a parent’s leg. At preschool, children get an organic, easy way to make friends. The close proximity to other children makes the process a lot easier.

Host Playdates

Playdates are another great way to help your shy child make friends. Once your child makes a few friends at preschool, you can get in touch with those children’s parents to organize a playdate. Playdates help children deepen their friendships. When you host playdates at your house, you let your child socialize in the comfort of an ultra-familiar environment.

Help Your Shy Child Make Friends 

Looking for the best preschool environment for your shy child? When you want to help your shy child make friends, Legacy Academy in Chapel Hill is the perfect place. With our growth-centered curriculum, family-style dining, and plenty of time for play, we provide the most organic and simple way for your child to make friends. Contact Legacy Academy to learn more and help your child thrive.