Essay about Childhood Shyness and Childrens Literature

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Childhood Shyness and Childrens Literature Understanding the Distress of Children Who Suffer from Shyness

Almost everyone has felt shy at some point in his or her life. Feeling uncomfortable or anxious in a new social setting is not uncommon or something to be overly concerned about; however, there are many people whose lives suffer because of their shyness. Shyness can have many harmful effects on a person’s emotional and social well being (Bruch, 1999). Even though research on shyness has mainly focused on adults, shyness can be just as difficult, if not more difficult, for children. Because social and emotional development are so important during the school years as children are meeting and interacting with their peers, we
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After looking at the research, we found that there are three main reasons people are shy. The first, and what seems to be the most difficult for children, is shyness due to low self-esteem. In this type of shyness people are shy because they don’t like themselves and therefore think that others couldn’t possibly like them either. The second type of shyness is caused from having been teased and the fear that it will happen again. People with this type of shyness are often concerned about one particular trait of theirs or are only shy in specific situations. The last is that some people are just naturally quiet, so they seem shy when people try to talk to them. This type of shyness is not considered harmful compared to the other two since quiet people are not necessarily keeping themselves from doing things that they would like to do. We were able to find children’s literature books that address each of these types of shyness.
The one children’s book we found that we feel fully addresses the distresses that shyness can cause is Let’s Talk About Being Shy, by Marianne Johnston. Let’s Talk About Being Shy is an informational book for children on shyness. We were particularly impressed with this book as it discusses the wide range of shyness and matches a lot of what the research states about shyness in children at a level children can understand and relate to. The main