Thursday, September 20, 2012

Being timid and having a timid child.

Every now and then, I always remember what I was like as a child.
When I was 4 or 5, which is around the age of my eldest little girl right now.
Children all have different personalities and  mine as a child was a quiet one. Timid. Shy.
Some might say introvert.
I didn't talk much to grown-ups or look them in the eye.
I didn't like trying new things out, I was very comfortable with where I was.
It was a different story altogether when I was alone with my family.

It was a little traumatising when Mum tried to 'get me out of my shell' by sending me to some drama
classes for kids.
I knew Mum meant well but putting a 'timid' soul in an environment where some form of attention is put on you and people expect you to belt out some words from a script is scary.
I don't think I resisted much, I did go to the classes but I didn't particularly enjoy the classes.
They didn't really help me come out of my shell either. Drama class didn't last very long.

I also remember Mum sending me to art class.
I loved that.
Sitting down, having your own space, your own set of crayons, watercolours, being able to be quiet and do your own thing.
Totally loved it.
Art class lasted 6 years.

You might know that I have two little girls. Both of them completely different like day and night.
Sometimes, I watch Miss 4 and immediately see myself mirrored in her eyes, her expressions around other people and how she relates to everything.
I know what she likes and what she wouldn't be too keen on. Mini me much?

The world we live in always shapes us. But it isn't always very welcoming to children who are more timid than others.
Being timid isn't wrong. It shouldn't be discouraged.
I've had to stop myself a number of times from pushing my Miss 4 to being more upfront or confident towards others.
I don't want her to develop the idea that I might think that what she is doing is wrong.
She needs to feel loved and happy!
Not discouraged.
And she's not the only timid one. I see them everywhere.

Timid people can have amazingly strong points too.
She is such a big hearted girl.
She is so very loyal.
She makes friends but her friends are few and close.
I'm so glad she has made some steadfast friends at kinder and she gets so much joy just playing and chatting with them. She has even found a best friend. Another girl who was born 4 days before her and is exactly like her in terms of nature.
She has incredible insight and empathy because she watches.

And because of that, when I look at her, I get a little bit touched.
Because I see a lot of myself in her.
I think it is important to make sure she knows that being timid isn't a fault at all.
Sure. People who are extrovert, 'louder', chattier do get more attention.
That's just how the world is.
But attention doesn't always have to be in the form of big groups of friends or it doesn't have to be loud.
I think it is important for her to know that she has the ability and the position to watch and know when another timid child needs a friend. The ability to love others in her own quiet manner still.
Or to know when someone needs help.
She's brilliant one-on-one.

And that's the same for me. Learning as I live!
It is so easy to try and be sociable in an extrovert, loud and chatty style, just because.
But that isn't me.
And I don't think I should waste all this energy trying to be someone I'm not just to fit into a certain crowd.
Because then, I'll have all these 'friends' that I won't feel very comfortable with.
I like saying hi genuinely.
Sitting down on the steps at kinder with another mum alone, looking at her and saying 'how have you been?' and meaning every word of it. And being sensitive enough to carry on a meaningful, sociable quiet little conversation. Or knowing when someone might like or dislike something.

This is what I love about the internet as well.
It allows me to totally be in my comfort zone but still getting to know or find out about people.
And yes. I haven't met a lot of the people that I know online.
But being timid means knowing when, where and what to say and to whoever needs to hear those comments  of support, friendship or even just a hello. It means knowing what to type so that the other person knows exactly what you're saying. And not just another comment made without thinking.
And because of that, I have really met and made some truly special friends, mostly other mums around Australia and the world! (Thanks instagram)

Here's to the Timid Child. You are very much loved.


  1. Beautifully written Germaine. I was a timid child too and I still like to stand back until I have had the chance to assess a situation. It's only once I get really comfortable with someone that the extrovert in me comes out to play :)

  2. This is lovely Germaine. I was a timid child too but some what unexpectedly that all changed in my early twenties. I am not sure where the confidence came from but I started speaking out and saying what I thought and wanted instead of keeping quiet, like I was told and now basically I say exactly what I think (taking care of coarse not to hurt others) but I just feel that I want people to accept me for who I am so I don't want to hold anything back.


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