Shyness in children: What attachments can teach us about conscientious behavior in young children?

I want people to stop calling my child shy. To be fair, I have to stop calling her shy too.

It’s just an easy word to come out of your mouth.

My nearly three year old son, Remy, and I were having lunch at a cafe one day. It was a weekday and we arrived early, so we were the only customers there.

A waiter greeted Remy as we entered, trying to get a response from him. Remy answered nothing but smiled. He held my leg.

“He’s very shy,” said the maid. I said “Yes” or some other vague, non-committal answer, and ushered Remy over to our table.

While we were waiting for our food the waiter came and pulled up a chair to try a second time to get Remy to talk to him.

He’s intense: Making faces. Baby voice. Even tried to tickle him. Remy, who didn’t have my leg guards by his side, backed into his chair.

The waiter once again said, “He is very shy”. I just smiled politely.

‘I wish people would think twice’

It’s not an isolated incident, but the day bothered me for a number of reasons.

I know he doesn’t mean anything bad, but I really hope people will think twice before they forcibly try to get a child to get involved with them.

And Remy is now starting to call himself shy whenever he needs some time to warm up with someone new. And when he did, there was always an expression on his face, like he felt he had let me down.

I don’t know if it was the cafe incident that prompted Remy to call himself this or just the culmination of months of hearing the word circulate; not only by strangers but by their own parents.

However, for the most part, I was just mad at myself for letting that maid get so close to Remy and making her back off in such a way. And I got mad at myself for not coming in and asked him to back off.

I guess I’ve gotten used to Remy as a baby that we can say anything without consequences. Now that she is older, I am still adjusting to her being aware of the world around her and finding her place in it. He was now someone who really understood what was being said about him.

Leave a Comment