Posted by: Bibi | 2009-06-25


I am in no way being judgmental by this post or assuming something is " wrong"  i write this out of pure concern for the child involved as well as for my own child' s knowledge.

My 6yrs old daughter GR0 has a girl child in her class who is extremely quiet/introverted to the point where i have never yet seen this child smile. She always stands back from the rest, will play but mostly on her own without getting involved with the others, i' ve never seen her speak to the other kids, she has a really really SAD or rather traumatised look.

My questions around this are many to help me as a human to understand and learn something that i obviously know nothing about:

Can this really just be a genetic tendency i.e. a personality thing? i find it most unusual for a child of 5/6? surely at this age she should be a little more sociable or smiley.
Could it be that she has been through some or other trauma?
What makes me sad is that it would seem that because she is this way, most kids and adults just avoid her as i dont think we know how to deal with her indifference, i personally want to cry when i look at her so i can' t bear to even talk to her like i do with the others because i am constantly thinking, what is wrong with this poor child, maybe i am wrong in my approach and that is why i nd to know how to deal with it as a parent.

I also nd to know what to say to my own child re this child as she sometimes herself questions this, she once got a sad face herself and had tears in her eyes telling me how sad this girl seems, i just said we are all different and that is how she is, maybe she is not sad but shy. How to i teach my own child to cope with this situation also for the future, i dont want her to avoud and not play with the sad one in case the sad one really nds a friend, but i also dont want her to be too involved with this child in case it impacts on her own personality and starts changing her from the happy child she is, i say this because i have seen my child copy other kids behaviour whether good or bad and she is particularly sensitive to others who seem sad and lost, it affects her little heart too. I guess the answer is for all to treat the child as we do the others, but its very difficult when you look into her eyes. I met the 1 parent who also seems somewhat shy but otherwise very nice, she also quickly gives excuses re the child is shy which i found to be so strange... strange as it would seem even her as the parent is uncomfortable.

How do i and my child deal with this, i want to reach out to this child without being forward either!

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Our expert says:
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A very sensitive, complex and difficult question, Bibi. As CTMom suggests, there are many possible reasons for the siuation you describe, many of them ather normal, and including a personality disposition towards being solitary and somewhat sad ; and of course, bereavement, trauma, or an unhappy home. As she also points ou, some kids are like this when in company or larger groups, and much more lively and content at home or in small groups. Maybe you could help your child, to invite this child to visit you at home, and se if she is different in a smaller group ; also it might become easier for her to feel safe enough to talk about whether there is anything troubling her.

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Our users say:
Posted by: CTMOM | 2009-06-25

Maybe she lost someone close to her recently or even a while ago and is struggling to adjust. Maybe her parents divorced or fight constantly, issues with being bullied at school OR it could just be her nature.

My one son is like that when we out, He is quiet, withdrawn, nervous. At home or by his grandparents, he is he bubbly and smiley. That' s who he is.

She might just be going through a phase as well . Maybe invite her to play over one Saturday and see how she behaves away from school. That way you reaching out in a nice subtle way and wont do any harm at all.

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