Our Experts

This month, we ask. How can I help my kid improve her social skills? She's so shy.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
This month, we ask. How can I help my kid improve her social skills? She's so shy.
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Often, we view successful "socialising" as having an out going personality and being able to quickly embrace a new group of people. Some children with a more introverted personality may enjoy such an experience without being the loudest one at the party. They play alongside others, watching the interactions and may share in the joy initially from a distance.

Before your child is expossed to a new social situation, it helps to role-play how to begin joining others in play and parctising communication. If she has difficulty separating from you, start with settings where you can be involved- but follow her lead, let her respond for herself and avoid doing the socialising for her. This will eliminate the fear of separation and enable her to focus on the social element of the experience. 

Not everyone is happy to have many friends; some feel joy with one or two close companions who share the same interests. Respect who your child is and what her needs are. 

Leanne Sunarya, Etonhouse International Education Group


Brian Caswell is the dean of Research and Program Development at Mindchamps. He has 15 grandchildren.

Helen Marjan is the joint managing director and director of Studies at Lorna Whiston Schools. Her three children are in their teens.

June Rusdon is the chief executive officer of Busy Bees Asia. She has three kids in their 20s.

Leanne Sunarya is the executive director of Etonhouse International Education Group. Her two children are in their 20s.


Dr Cornelia Chee is a psychiatrist and director in the Women’s Emotional Health Service at the National University Hospital. Her daughters are aged 11 and 14.


Dr Richard C. Woolfson is a child psychologist based in Britain. He has written 15 books on child and family development, and is Young Parents’ long-standing Age by Stage columnist. He’s also a grandfather of four.


Dr Chan Poh Chong is the head and senior consultant with the Division of General Ambulatory Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Khoo Teck PuatNational University Children’s Medical Institute, National University Hospital.

Dr Natalie Epton is a specialist paediatrician and neonatologist at the International Paediatric Clinic. She has three children aged three to 10.


Dr Goh Shen Li is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in the S L Goh Women’s Clinic at Mount Alvernia Medical Centre. She has three children aged one to five.


Kang Phaik Gaik is a senior nurse manager and parentcraft/ lactation consultant at Mount Alvernia Hospital’s Parentcraft Centre. Her two children are in their 20s.


Pauline Xie is a senior dietitian with the Clinical Services Division at the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. Her three daughters are aged three to 10.


Dr Rashid Tahir is a paediatric dentist at The Kids Dentist. He’s also the president-elect of the Pediatric Dentistry Association of Asia. His two daughters are in their teens.


Alfred Tan is the chief executive officer of Singapore Children’s Society. His two children are in their 20s.

Any views expressed by the Members of the Editorial Advisory Board in this magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of, or are sanctioned by, this magazine. Members of the Editorial Advisory Board do not, by virtue of their membership, endorse or support any product or service advertised or articles featured in this magazine. The articles in this magazine are for your information only. Do not substitute it for the advice of a qualified health-care practitioner or professional adviser.