Comments for Is severe shyness a symptom of child abuse?

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Jan 12, 2008
Not "normal" at all
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

There is ALWAYS a reason when a child does not want to go home. But it's the 'reason' that can be difficult to ascertain, especially with very young children who do not have adequate vocabulary or understanding to articulate what is the matter. We as adults have to make a determination based on the child's behaviour. When you say "crying when it's time to go home," I take it you mean the 'red flag' type of crying, not just that the child is a bit upset at having to leave a really fun environment.

Children are not born shy. Extreme shyness IS an indication that there is something amiss. There could be some type of emotional abuse going on. (Emotional abuse is the only type of abuse that can stand on its own, but it is ALWAYS present when there is neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse in the child's life.) If there is abuse happening in this situation, it could be with a caregiver, a parent, a sibling or someone else in the child's day-to-day life. There are many possibilities. But when you add to the fact that the child is crying at having to go home, shyness to the point of almost withdrawn, and extreme clinginess when around adults; these are DEFINITE signs that something is wrong.

Pages on this site that detail signs of abuse include:
emotional abuse signs
physical abuse signs
sexual abuse signs
child neglect signs

Pages that details the effects of abuse:
emotional abuse effects
physical abuse effects
sexual abuse effects
effects of child neglect

The fact that you are asking me this question tells me that you suspect some form of abuse. In Canada, every citizen has a legal duty to report suspected or known child abuse. You MUST report what you've told me in your submission. DO NOT question the child, and whatever you do, DO NOT inform the parents. If this child is being abused, you have no way to know by whom. It will be up to the caseworker to question the child and to deal with the parents.

I hope you'll keep my visitors and I informed.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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