How to parent an independent child?

Does anyone have a strong will, serious, and independent 8 year old daughter. As her mother I have always been the more serious type too, dont get me wrong we get fun with people we are comfortable with like anyone else. She is mixed with Asian culture and Hispanic/Latino culture just for background. We don’t really see family often just birthday parties and or other family events not very active. Immediate family such as grandma’s and uncles she is active with that is about it. Grandpa’s not active (both sides divorced) or great aunts or great uncles or 2nd cousions and up. she’s an introvert type who does not like to say hi or talk and people get kinda upset at her that she won’t even smile at them. My daughter is seen as rude when she’s just shy. As her mom I don’t see a problem with it your not in her life she does not have to hug you if she does not want too. However, with culture sees her as rude and disrespectful. I guess I’m asking should I try to do “manners” ? At school no issues its more with family. I have never questioned it until now. Please no mom bashing or rude negative comments. I appreciate some sugar coating. Also I would more like to hear from parents who have introvert, shy, serious, and independent kids only just because I feel you would get it more.


My daughter isn’t a big people person at all. When someone asks her for a hug she turns her back to the person and let them hug her that way. There is maybe handful of people she actually gives hugs to and even less people she will actually run up and give hugs to without any prompts. I tell people shes not a big people person and she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do and if they have a problem with it they can get over themselves. As a culture thing I’m not sure how to go around that. You may have to explain that she isn’t a big hugger and shouldn’t be forced to be uncomfortable when she doesn’t see them much.


I was like that as a little girl lol and they would think I was “stuck up” but my mom never ever made me hug people or change and I love her for that, I was just being me and still am like that.

Nope. Let her be herself and do what she’s comfortable with. She doesn’t owe anyone any kind of attention

As a very shy kid myself, I completely understand. I am still kind of shy around people I don’t know. I would just have talks with her, explain they are family. I don’t believe that anyone should be made to hug anyone. She may or may not outgrow her shyness, but that could also be a good thing.
I would definitely teach her good manners to at least be courteous and not be rude.
She will be ok.
I don’t even think that you should have to explain to family who are not active in their lives why she won’t hug them. They should already know

Support her in feeling closer to folks. Sometimes shy kids(I was one), need to be push a bit.

They should be calling themselves out on your daughter not knowing them well instead of her reaction to acquaintances. The issue is with them, not her. She should say something to acknowledge them but I wouldn’t force affection.

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I don’t think you should make kids hug anyone even family. If my grandson is in a mood and I ask for a hug and he says no and someone says give mamaw a hug I tell him he doesn’t have to. It’s fine. He usually is just joking but I let him know he doesn’t have to

I don’t think you should make kids hug anyone even family. If my grandson is in a mood and I ask for a hug and he says no and someone says give mamaw a hug I tell him he doesn’t have to. It’s fine. He usually is just joking but I let him know he doesn’t have to

Dont force her to do things she isnt comfortable doing just because family or someone else is getting butthurt. Youre doing right by your little mama

I was like that as a child. Don’t force her to hug anyone. If she wants to talk she will do so. You will do more harm emotionally if you make her do things. I outgrew it as a teenager. Maybe she will too

Manners, like please and thank you…of course. And she should at least acknowledge someone if they say hello to her or speak to her. Even if shegicves a quick hello, a smile or nods her head at them. Hugging and stuff though, she doesn’t have to hug anyone she doesn’t want to. Including family.

My kids are very shy but are still taught manners, and if spoken to to speak back. Lots of cultures even if they don’t see family or now family will hug and kiss each check. (Not my culture bit my kids are still taught it is custom in Certain cultures and it’s rude in there culture not to do so. But everyone raises there children different, and your family should respect that to.

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I say don’t force her to speak to people. If they want her to be more social with them then they need to be more active in her life. I’ve never forced my kids to speak to anyone but I’m also not a very social person unless I have to be.

I was very much like that as a child and was extremely hard for me to open up and the more people forced me to talk to them and touch other people (hug) the harder it got for me and the more I learned that if an adult says to something just to do it, believe me that’s unacceptable. Now as an adult and a mother, I can see how important boundaries are. They allow your child to know that they have a choice with their body and mind and feelings. Support her and love her and don’t force her to do anything that makes you or her uncomfortable to please anyone else. You are her mother and her first line of defense against the world you teach her how to stand up for herself and how to love and care and if the only problem is with people who don’t really know her that you are doing a wonderful job.

Teach her about consent, and never force her to hug or be friendly with someone she doesn’t want to hug or be friendly with. There’s a huge difference between manners and forcing someone to be incredibly uncomfortable. Then you need to teach all of the family members the same thing. Don’t get mad at someone because they don’t want to hug you, that’s selfish, rude on your part, and disgusting. A lot of older people, especially, may not realize this because THEY were taught “manners” where they feel it’s okay to force someone to do these things. You are your child’s ally and their voice. Don’t start to second guess yourself or her and don’t start sacrificing her comfort over someone else’s wants. Good luck! :fist:t2::fist:t2:

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My son is like this.
Simply tell them, She doesn’t know you and isn’t obligated to put on a show to make you feel better." 🤷
Ruffle feathers, who cares. Let them know how it is.

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I don’t force my children to hug or kiss but I do think manners are important… so instead of forcing them to hug I say acknowledgement is important. A high five, a fist bump or simply a wave hello and goodbye. Whatever they are comfortable doing. Some family men like it some don’t. :woman_shrugging:t4:… oh well!!


I have a shy,introverted 7 year old boy. He has always not liked big gatherings of people. Most family/ friends understand he is quiet and shy. I try to at least have him smile or wave hi. But i don’t push him. All children aren’t the same. Just let her be. Explain to her it’s polite to acknowledge when someone is speaking to them. I wouldn’t worry to much. She is her own person.

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As a child, I was so shy that I’d hide when people came to the house. When we went somewhere to see relatives, I’d amble outside, find a spot and stay there. Some outgrow it. Support her, don’t give in to the other family members.

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I don’t like hugging much. Only certain people. I was forced to hug family members and I despised it. My family learned I didn’t want to be hugged so it’s just a wave and hello. Even if she won’t say hi have her smile and nod to at LEAST acknowledge the person. They will eventually get over her not hugging. Some people don’t like that type of affection. You are doing great mom. Don’t stress. Your family needs to be respectful of your childs boundries and feelings. She is shy. Let her be. She also may have anxiety which could also be a reason. If I’m not close with someone I willnot speak or acknowledge them bc my anxiety gets bad. Hopefully everuthing works out

I grew up in a non-hugging family. I was shy and kept to myself. When adults came to visit my parents I would have to leave the room. The only people I hugged were basically my husband, son and later my soulmate. My family basically was my Dad’s family. No affection there either. I always never wanted to be around allot of people. No matter who. Made it difficult in my professional life. It is just how we are.

I can make a suggestion my grandson is like this has very much many social problems but I have found if I make a point of introducing him to them tell them there family he comes around but I sont make him high I may suggest hanďahàke