My daughter is 10.

She is very shy that she does not have friends at school.

currently I am overseas and try to video talk to her, but she is shy to talk to me and does not want to talk to me cause she is shy?!

I am worried that when she is grown up she won't be able to communicate properly with others.

I am not sure how to help her?

How can I help in this case?

  • 1
    Just a quick reminder - frame challenges are not permitted in answers on Parenting, unless the question permits them; so answers stating "don't" are not considered answers, unless OP is asking whether it's a good idea or not.
    – Joe
    Apr 16, 2020 at 17:46
  • Fair enough, although seems a bit strange to me to encourage explicitly bad answers, just because the person who asked the question doesn't understand that they're approaching the situation in the wrong way. Seems counterproductive to actually guiding the person who asked the question. Apr 16, 2020 at 19:41
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    – Joe
    Apr 16, 2020 at 19:56
  • Is she shy just about video chatting or too shy to even voice chat or text?
    – Kat
    Apr 17, 2020 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


You can build her confidence and social skills by getting her involved in group activities. Most people would agree that it's a lot easier to talk to strangers and turn them into friends when you're engaged in a fun or useful purpose together, rather than in the higher pressure small-talk situation where you have to come up with things to say.

The exact activity isn't really important, so much as the fact that your daughter likes it and is willing to weather the discomfort of learning to socialize in order to succeed or continue. Some possibilities are team sports, scouts, choir, dance or martial arts lessons.

You can also help her practice talking to peers by role-playing through conversations, giving her some sample icebreaking phrases to use with other kids, and offer her support and encouragement that she is a fun, likeable, interesting person.

I also want to mention that shyness is not an entirely bad characteristic, and it's possible that your desire to have her show a more outgoing personality, and the pressure of that, is part of why she struggles with video calls. Try to accept her own special personality, and realize that being shy is ok, and most shy people do learn to interact appropriately with others and have fulfilling social connections, even if they never become the life of the party.

Here's some more info about how to help shy kids thrive:

https://www.scarymommy.com/help-shy-tween-cope-school/ https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/parent-shy-child#1 https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/parenting/child-rearing-and-development/8-ways-help-shy-child https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201606/helping-your-shy-child


First of all, being shy is not a matter of not knowing how to communicate, it's a matter of it being uncomfortable. It is very rare for shyness to be disabling as an adult, when you have more control over the timing and manner of your interactions with others.

That element of control makes a lot of difference as a child too, but adults are not accustomed to allowing children to control a conversation. My 10 year-old daughter who at age 5 would stay completely silent when you attempted to make small talk, could easily interact at that age with a waiter or a cashier, because that was done on her terms and she was deriving something she personally deemed valuable from the interaction.

If you want your daughter to open up, you need to make her feel safe, and that means making her feel in control. Talk about what she wants to talk about and end the conversation when she wants to end it. For my 10 year-old that means learning way more than I ever wanted to know about inane youtubers. That's the price you gotta pay.

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