Parenting a Shy Sadie Robertson

By Sheila Seifert
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With her parents' help, Sadie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame moved past her fear and anxiety to walk in a confidence that comes from God.

Sadie Robertson, wasn’t always as outgoing as she is today. “Sadie was our really shy child,” says her mother, Korie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame. “When we would go to church, people would wonder if she even talked because she would give them a blank stare when they spoke to her. She was just so nervous.”

Sometimes kids are shy around people outside the family, but outgoing within the home. This was true of Sadie. She wouldn’t want to order food at a restaurant, but was a ham outside of the public eye. Only there did she feel comfortable expressing herself.

“She was preaching on our table at 5 years old,” Korie says, “but she didn’t show that side of herself to people outside of family.” Korie and her husband, Willie, saw a spark of Sadie’s ability to speak before people, and they wanted to encourage her in this God-given desire.

Studying your child

Until fifth grade, Sadie barely talked at school. For Sadie, fear and anxiety played a role in her silence. But Korie and Willie refused to let fear hold Sadie back and prevent her from living her life and becoming the woman God wanted her to be.

To start, Korie and Willie talked with Sadie about how God gives believers a spirit of boldness, not fear. When an opportunity arose, they pushed her to do what needed to be done, such as getting in front of an audience with her class for a show — even if she cried through it. Slowly Sadie learned that her emotions didn’t have to dictate her actions.

Turning to the Word

The first step for Sadie to become more confident in public occurred in middle school. She wrote down all the Scriptures about confidence she could find and covered her mirror with them. As she read them daily, Sadie began to understand that her confidence should come from God, not from how she looked or whether she was the best student. When she realized this, she chose not to let fear and anxiety control her behavior.

This was extremely helpful during her years of being in front of the camera on “Duck Dynasty.” Of course through this time, she had the safety net of her parents and grandparents looking out for her best interests. But each appearance helped her become a little more of who she was, even when others were watching.

Despite her struggle with anxiety, Sadie wanted to be on “Dancing With the Stars.” She begged her parents and had gone in for an interview. Every week she asked them, “Have they called?” When the “Dancing With the Stars” producers called Sadie, it was Sunday and they wanted her to report on Tuesday. It was that sudden. Instantly, fear gripped her.

Dancing with stars

Sometimes, we don’t take risks because we’re afraid of the outcome. Once Sadie heard, she told her parents, “I don’t want to do it.” She worried about what people watching would say and think about her. She didn’t know if she’d be any good and knew she might fail miserably.

“I didn’t want to force her to do something she didn’t want to do,” Korie says. “This was supposed to be fun, so it was her decision. But I also didn’t want fear to keep her from doing what she really wanted to do.” They stayed up to 4 a.m. talking, crying and praying about Sadie’s response.

The next morning, her sister Bella said, “Sadie, is this you talking?” Sadie realized that her reluctance to appear on “Dancing With the Stars” was fear talking, not her. Her desire was to represent God to others, so she chose to compete on the show.

Korie and Willie believe this choice helped Sadie take one more step toward being who God made her to be and away from being controlled by anxiety or fear. Each time she makes a choice like this, she matured a little more. “I am very proud of the way she represents herself,” says Korie, as she’s watched her daughter’s popularity grow. No matter her fame, Sadie attributes her success back to God, who gives her His confidence.


Visit Sadie’s website Live Original.

Copyright © 2017 by Focus on the Family

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About the Author

Sheila Seifert photo
Sheila Seifert

Sheila Seifert is the editorial director of parenting content for Focus on the Family magazine, the author of over 20 books and the founder of Simple Literature.

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