I was painfully shy as a kid. My own kids are also pretty shy, except for one, and she even acts pretty shy a lot of the time. People worry about shy kids not learning social skills and being over looked but here’s what I’m thinking: Do less social kids have an advantage because they are exposed to bad behavior less often?
In the book Hold On to Your Kids, Gabor Mate explains how peer-attached kids get into trouble because they rely on their peers for direction and values. He explains how to keep your kids attached more to you than to their friends. It’s an excellent and important read for any parent.
Three of my kids had just a few friends when they were little and have play dates only occasionally. My least shy child plays with multiple friends every day. And she’s picking up behavior that my other kids never did. She’s sneakier, more dramatic, and gets into cat fights with her friends.
So what do you think–Does playing with lots of kids make your kids worse? Are they learning bad behavior from their little pals? Are my backwards darlings better off than your social butterflies?