My son is shy, said my neighbour! And mine is worse I exclaimed. When I was in school, shy children were always bullied, looked down upon and robbed of their confidence (which is one thing every child should forever hold unto). I was quiet but tried my best to snap out of my nest or else be branded ‘shy’. I watched on as my shy classmates gave up their lunch box and traded their favorite pencil case so as to be friends with the popular kids in school. They literally looked for belonging simply because they did not imagine themselves being important let alone being themselves. Every decision was centered on public opinion. Many children are labeled shy but it should not be a negative quality after all. Shyness can be a help or a handicap, depending partly on how it’s handled. It is a personality trait, not a fault. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever known are shy including, our son. They tend to be attentive listeners; private people who exude a welcome presence even without saying a word. There is no need to say apologetically, “He’s a shy child,” especially in front of your little one. There is nothing wrong, and a lot right, with being shy. Many people don’t understand shyness and equate being shy with having a problem. They believe a shy child must suffer from poor self-image—most times a label that couldn’t be more unfair. Shy children have a solid self-concept. They have an inner peace that shines; if the extroverts would be quiet long enough to notice. Parents worry when their child clams up in a crowd. Is he just shy or is there a serious problem? From my personal experience, here’s how to tell. A shy child with healthy self-worth makes eye to eye contact, is polite, and seems happy with themselves. He is just quiet but well behaved; is a nice child to be around, and people are comfortable in his presence. Some “shy” children are deep-thinking and cautious. They are slow to warm up to strangers. They study that person to see if the relationship is worth the effort. Our son, Jojo is one of the most peaceful, happy children to ever live on the face of this earth. He is cautious in his friendships, but once he makes a friend it’s for life. He warms up slowly to new acquaintances, but once comfortable in your presence he’s charming. In some children, shyness is the manifestation of inner problems, not inner peace. If your child is more than shy, he withdraws. And this goes on to affect them in future; they become lame at making positive decisions. It should therefore be every parent’s role to help their child to cope with shyness without it being harmful.