Do You Have a Shy Child?
Do you have a child that most would call ‘shy’? Not sure how to help them build their confidence? Here are a few tips from professional experts that may assist.
1. Don't Label Them Shy
Most people see shyness as a negative concept and it’s that perception by others that could make your child even more withdrawn. Most shy children are caring, well behaved and focused, so placing a negative label on them doesn’t help. Remember, what they always hear, they will believe in themselves. What’s important is not excusing your child’s behaviour to others. Just allow them to be as they are.
2. Be a Positive Role Model
Parents of shy children often display characteristics of being shy themselves. So if this is your case, it is important to overcome your shyness in order to show your child how to move forward and have a life without anxiety. Be brave, smile and say hi to a new person when you have your child in tow. Show them the way to meet and greet people. By role modelling such behaviour, your child will learn basic social skills that will assist them in making new friends more easily.
3. Don't Overprotect Them
While most parents are naturally protective, being over protective of your shy child can reinforce your child’s anxiety, enforcing their shy behaviour. However it is equally important not to ignore your child's anxiety. Be supportive and encourage your child to make friends at a slow and steady pace. It can also help to share your concerns with their school teacher and ask that they encourage friendships to be formed during school hours.
4. Relating to Another Shy Child
It can often help a young child to hear a story about a child like themselves who overcomes their shyness and makes a new friend. It gives them hope, builds their self esteem and helps them feel they are not alone.
Vicki Morrison, Founder of Mothers Moving Forward, is the author of ‘So Shy’. http://mothersmovingforward.com/bookclub/books-on-kids-and-parenting/