Both of my girls are frightfully shy in situations with new people or in situations with lots of people. Annika is slowly getting better, but it is taking forever. When we get to church, for example, and are greeted by a variety of people that we know and that the girls are familiar with, Annika will still not say “hello.” We’ve gotten her to the point where she’ll smile (Sofie just glares, which is what Annika used to do, but Sofie looks way meaner). Now what? I’ve tried using rewards (a star on the chore chart) as incentive, and sometimes, rarely, that works. Now I’m wondering if I should begin giving consequences in situations where I tell her to say, “hello” and she won’t. Any ideas? What kind of consequences would be appropriate?
I feel like it is getting to the point where it comes off as rudeness. Dave and I were both very shy children–we remember this about ourselves. I don’t remember having to say hello to adults, I think I was just expected to be well-behaved and quiet. I grew out of that quite quickly and by elementary school knew I had to be polite and say “hi.” By high school and beyond, I probably became obnoxiously friendly, although I do often still feel shyness welling up inside me. I want my children to be okay with being reserved or quiet, but I feel that it is important that they can at least smile and say “hi” to adults when prompted by Dave or me. Help!