Your questions answered

Question: My daughter is very shy, how can I prepare her for nursery and help build her confidence?

Doctor Woolfson's Answer:

Once you have selected a nursery for your daughter, let her get to know the staff and children there before she starts attending regularly Take her on two or three short getting-to-know-you visits so that she is familiar with the environment before the first day. Her confidence will be much higher. You should also remember that some children are shy by nature, and they are just as likely to be happy as children who are more outgoing. In other words, there is nothing wrong with her.

But if you definitely want to try to reduce her shyness at this stage, you can ask a small number of children her age to your house to play. Make sure you have the time to supervise them while they are together, and to provide structured play for them. Toys such as a sandpit or a set of play farmyard animals provide great opportunities for children to play together. Don't push your daughter too hard to be talkative and outgoing in these situations. Allow her confidence to build gradually. The more structured play experiences she has with other children before she starts nursery, the better for her social confidence.