Don’t Call Me Shy
 
 
I will tell you daily at least one thing that makes you wonderful. As you listen to my positive words, you will come to speak to yourself in the same way.
- Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 12
Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 12
 
Self Evaluation answers explained
 
1.    If a child is born shy, she/he is destined to remain shy.
 
False. The potential for an individual’s own personal development is directly related to how the person comes to see her/himself.
 
    Read the story of Eleanor Roosevelt (Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 4) and you will see that individuals can grow to develop a personality that is entirely different from what anyone would have originally thought.
 
2.    When we label a child as shy we help the child see herself realistically for who she is.
 
False. When we put labels on a child we are generalizing about one small possible way for her/him to behave. There are other possibilities.
 
    Explore how labels are inaccurate and unfair because people rarely behave in only one way (Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 6).
 
3.    Teachers can do very little to increase the level of comfort that a shy child feels in class.
 
False. When a teacher puts a shy child in control, with little pressure, the shy child comes to see her/himself as having the ability to be a leader and has more of a tendency to make further attempts.
 
    Read about a wonderful teacher who made a huge impact upon Eleanor Roosevelt and how Eleanor transformed from a shy child into a comfortable, self-assured world leader. (Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 4). Teachers can help shy children every day in the classroom by referring to Appendix I, a Teachers Lesson Plan: bringing out the social best in shy children.
 
4.    Parents pass on to their children not only their genes but also their expectations.
 
True. Parents let their children know what they expect of them and these beliefs are translated into what the child comes to expect for her/himself.
 
    Read Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 6 and discover how parental thoughts make their way into a child’s mind and how, as a result, the child forms ideas about what she can and cannot do.
 
5.    When you label a child as shy, you teach the child to blame shyness for her social discomfort.
 
True. By doing so, you remove the child’s power to change. Your label makes a statement to her that she is just shy and you give her little chance to grow.
 
    Read Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 7 which teaches you how a child who is helped to grow confident about what she is capable will come to view new situations with an expectation of success. As a parent or teacher you can help a shy child feel capable.
 
6.    When a shy child expresses nervousness about social activities it is helpful to reassure her/him by saying “there is nothing to be afraid of. You should have fun at the party.”
 
False. By responding in this manner you are telling a shy child that her feelings are not real and the way that she feels is inappropriate.
 
    Read Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 9 and see that an attempt to discard or minimize a child’s feelings will not make them go away nor will this approach help a child learn how to handle her feelings better and improve her behavior. Instead, this type of response will encourage the child to keep more and more of her feelings to herself.
 
7.    Once a child is older or becomes a shy adult, there is little that can be done to help the person behave in a more social manner.
 
False. A shy older child and a shy adult can learn to change their shy expectations for themselves – and therefore can change their behavior. Rather than allow the free flow of shy negative thoughts and ideas, the older child and shy adult can learn to replace these with more meaningful self-guidance techniques.
 
    Mastery of the Ready, Set, Go Social Readiness Program gets the shy individual in the habit of step-by-step thinking each and every time she/he finds her/himself in a social situation. (Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 13)
 
8.    To help a shy child feel more socially comfortable it is important to instruct them to “stop being so quiet.”
 
False. Instead of focusing on what a child is not doing, it is important to give positive attention for what your child can do.
 
    If you master the You CAN DO IT Program (Don’t Call Me Shy chapter 13) you will learn how to encourage a child’s social accomplishments, even if they are small. You will feel pride for the child that you have never felt before. The thrust of your interactions with the child will change from negative criticism to positive praise – and slowly the child will be willing to put her/himself into more and more social situations. The Ready, Set, Go Social Readiness Program is a step-by-step program that you can teach a shy child to use each and every time that the child is in a social environment. This systematic approach will help your child maximize her potential to be social.
 
 
 
Examining your views on shyness
 
    This may be the first time that you have taken a long hard look at your beliefs about shyness. Good for you for taking an important first step! Study the answers carefully and you will see that an individuals’ tendency toward shy behavior does not necessarily mean that the person is destined to remain shy. With patience, using a step-by-step approach, shy individuals can learn to change their thoughts about themselves, and, as a result, change their behavior. Shy individuals can function in a socially comfortable manner.
 
The author
    Laurie Adelman is a nurse and health educator, a shyness life coach, and a child advocate who is passionately devoted to teaching parents and teachers how to interact with shy children in a way which brings out the child’s social best.
 
Note: These techniques bring out the social best in shy adults too!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laurie Adelman
B.S.N., M.S. Family Health/Health Education
Don’t Call Me Shy...
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September 1, 2007
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