I think he is wrong in issuing this type of punishment. I believe that every child has his/her own comfortable pace and not all are a hyper. Am I wrong in my views? What can I do to make my child speed things up? Anna, Houston, Texas
A. I think that he is probably wrong to try and punish and threaten her for these things. It probably doesn't get her moving any faster anyway, right?
Kids all have different temperaments. Some are very outgoing and quick to try new things, while others are more shy, hesitant, and resistant to change. Or one child might have a very high activity level, while another is slow, stubborn, or intense.
And none of these temperament traits are necessarily bad. It can be a problem when they either don't match a parent's temperament (like shy parents with an outgoing child) or interfere with a child's day to day activities (like if a child is so hyper and inattentive that they can't do their school work).
So if your child has a 'shy and cautious' temperament, try to work with her instead of trying to change her. For example, you might:
- prepare your child in advance for activities, especially if a lot of other people will be around
- avoid activities with large groups of people and instead plan more activities with just one other child or just a small group
- give her extra time to get ready for and complete things
- help build her self-esteem by giving her lots of praise and opportunities to do things that she is good at
- look for positives in her behavior, like the fact that she likely won't get in trouble or hurt herself rushing into things impulsively
If the shyness is really causing a problem, these books might also be helpful: