Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Daughter Takes Her Time Before Warming Up

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter starts off shy and then warms up after a while. Because she is slow to interact with people, some think she is shy or unfriendly. That’s not the case at all. It’s more like she starts off as an observer, figures out who she wants to talk to and then slowly opens up to that person. In our fast-paced world, this can cause problems. I’m worried that now, when she’s interviewing for high school, that the first impression people may have of her is that she is not interested in their school. What can I do to help her to pick up her pace? -- Press Fast Forward, Brooklyn, New York

DEAR PRESS FAST FORWARD: Please know that your daughter is not the only student who can be a little shy at first. Many children need a little coaxing. What you can do to help your daughter prepare for what is a rigorous interview process in New York City is to get her a coach. She needs to practice speaking out loud and talking about herself with confidence and enthusiasm. Generally, that’s not a role best filled by you. It can be a friend who is good at coaching or, better yet, a hired professional to support her through the interviewing process. You can encourage her to think about what she likes about the school she is visiting as well as her interests. Practicing talking about herself is key to losing the butterflies.

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