My son is quite sociable and plays with other kids, when either of us (father or mother) or either his grand-dad or grand-mom is near him or in the vicinity of the play area.

But when we are not around (parents\grandparents), then he becomes an introvert (at school, at daycare). He does not talk to other kids or play with them.

Teachers and other kids have told us that he is quite shy and does not talk with anybody at school or the daycare.

I am wondering why he displays this behavior? Is there anything I can do to help him overcome this behavior?

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    "4.8 year old"? That's 4 years, 9 months and 18 days (assuming 30-days months)? – user7953 Nov 1 '14 at 10:26
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    yes around 4 years and 9 months, i have updated the questin – nmdr Nov 1 '14 at 13:23
  • Did you ask him? If he's quite sociable around you, he very well may tell you why. If that isn't constructive, is is possible to observe him out of his sight? You will be able to "read" him more than they will since you know him far better. – Sylas Seabrook Nov 2 '14 at 4:57
  • I did observe him out of sight, all though appears to be interested in the activities around him, he seems to be holding back and does not participate – nmdr Nov 2 '14 at 14:30
  • I think as soon as he makes a friend at daycare the intimidation will melt away. Maybe daycare teachers could encourage other boys to play with him more, invite them for play dates etc. Kids before preschool are very used to and comfortable with adults. – Mr. Tony Jessup Nov 2 '14 at 15:56

He clearly feels safe and secure with you around, and much less so when you're not around, which is normal to many degrees.

We have had some issues with this kind of thing, and what we did was to make friends with one of the other parents at the daycare, and then he has a friend we can invite round and play with consistently. Once he then feels safe with someone else, and then playing at someone else's house, he may then feel comfortable to be playing away from Mum and Dad.

The fact is that it won't last. As I said, you can help him make friends by inviting them over for tea and so on and see how things progress.


I have an 19 year old, who spoke one word a day at school for 2 years, "here", when the teacher called her name for class register. Please believe me it will get better, take the advice given above and invite a few classmates round, please note the plural, don't restrict their safety net, widen it. You don't have to invite 2 or 3 kids at the same time, but do make sure you invite different friends. Also a wee tip, I was given - when they are playing, you should leave the room for a few seconds, then build it up to minutes. I'm not suggesting you leave them unsupervised, but that the other parent stays in the room. I remember picking my daughter up from school and persistently asking her what she did at playtime, who was her partner at lunch, and feeling distraught, at her being left out, but, truth is she was shy. Baby steps, don't force it, honestly it will come, he will find his own comfort zone and peer group. Soon you will be wondering what you were worried about.

  • Hello Wilma, thank you for sharing your story and perspective, its very helpful – nmdr Nov 13 '14 at 7:34

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