Do you have a shy child? If so, your child is not alone. It’s estimated that between 20% and 48% of people have shy personalities. Studies have shown that most shy children are simply born with that personality. However, there are some tips for helping your child become more confident and build relationships with other people.
In general, there is nothing wrong with being shy. Shy children are often better listeners and get in less trouble at school. However, if your child is unhappy, doesn’t want to go to school, has trouble making friends, or is anxious about being shy, it is important that you help your child become more confident in his or herself. Today, I'm going to go over some tips for helping your child overcome shyness.
Encourage Your Child
One of the best ways to build confidence in your child is to encourage him or her. Each time your child is in a stressful situation, tell your child how brave he or she was. Simple words of encouragement help children become more confident in themselves. Never discourage or discipline your child for being shy.
Be A Good Example
If you are outgoing and social, there is a good chance that your child will become comfortable communicating with others as well. When you speak to others, speak clearly and make eye contact. After having a conversation with someone, talk to your child about how you handled the conversation and ways your child can communicate as well. Children learn a lot from their parents, so make sure you are being a good role model.
Give Your Child Chances To Practice Social Skills
Just because your child is shy doesn't mean you shouldn't let him or her get out into the world. Even if your child goes to a public school, still encourage your child to do other things such as order his or her own dinner from restaurants. Invite a friend over to play with your child, and encourage your child to visit with friends at school. At every opportunity possible, have your child practice social skills.
Let Your Child Know You Understand
You should never show frustration at your child for being shy. Instead, let your child know that you understand what it is like being shy. Tell stories of when you were shy and overcame your shyness. If you still feel shy sometimes, let your child know. It is better to show empathy for your child than frustration and disappointment.
Let Your Child Explain His Or Her Fears
Always listen to your child when he or she talks about his or her fears. Let's your child explain why talking to others is difficult. Be there to offer support and encouragement to your child.
Give Lots Of Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is the key to helping your child overcome his or her fears. When your child says "hi" to someone, let your child know how proud you are of him or her. Never discourage your child, but instead talk about how he or she can handle situations even better next time.
Don't Put Your Child On the Spot
If you want your child to do something, whether it is to talk or perform a skill, it is important that you ask permission from your child first. Don't suddenly ask your child to play the piano for your friends without any warning. Your child may refuse to, which leaves you apologizing, and causes others to wonder what is wrong with your child. Never ask your child to do something on the spot. Instead, pull your child aside and gently ask him or her. Never force your shy child to do something either. This can damage the trust your child has in you.
Teach Your Child To Stand Up For His Or Herself
Unfortunately, bullying in schools and playgrounds is very common. It is important to teach your child to stand up for his or herself when bullied. Also, watch out for signs that your child is being bullied. Shy children make not mention to you if they are being bullied, so watch for signs such as if your child is more depressed acting or is afraid of going to school. For more tips on how to protect your child from being bullied, click here.
Give Your Child A Chance To Talk
When someone asks your child a question, don't coax him or her to answer. Give your child time to think of an answer. The more opportunities your child has to speak, the more confident your child will be of him or herself. If your child doesn't understand the question or does not know the answer, help your child come up with an answer. If your child takes a while to answer, don't tell the person he or she is shy. This can embarrass your child and will cause him or her to become shyer.
Don't Worry If Your Child Only Has A Couple Friends
It is common for shy kids to have only a few friends. This doesn't mean your child isn't good at making friends. Most shy kids seek only one or two friendships that will last a lifetime instead of multiple friends that may leave in a few months.
Have Your Child Practice Social Skills At Home
There are so many creative and fun ways for your child to practice social skills at home. One way is to play with toys. For example, pretend that the dolls your child is playing with are shy. Ask your child how they should handle the conversation and what they should say to each other. This will help prepare your child for communicating with others.
Don't Label Your Child As Shy
Although the word shy itself isn't bad, some people may think something is wrong with your child when they find out he or she is shy. If your child doesn't answer somebody's question, don't suddenly explain that your child is shy. Give your child a chance to speak, and if your child doesn't speak simply say that he or she isn't too talkative today. Always talk positively about your child when he or she is there. If somebody comments about your child being shy, answer, "Yes, he/she is very focused", or "He/she is a good listener".
Remember That Shyness Is Normal
Although social skills are very important, you must remember that shyness is normal. It is not a disease that must be cured, and it certainly doesn't mean that your child isn't smart. Encourage your child to communicate with others, but don't stress out about your child being shy. Instead, offer encouragement, patience, and lots of love.
I hope this article has answered all your questions on how to parent a shy kid. Shyness isn't necessarily a bad thing. Kids who are shy usually listen better, are kind to others, and do well at school. Although some children can have anger along with their shyness, most shy children are polite and considerate of others. Most children are born with this personality, but the personality of their parents and their environment can also cause children to be shy.
Are there any ways you can help your child overcome being shy? Yes, there are. Never become frustrated about your child's shy personality, but instead offer lots of encouragement. Tell stories of times of when you were shy and how you overcame shyness. Let your child know that being shy isn't a handicap, but means that he or she is intelligent and a good listener. Encourage your child to speak to others, but never force him or her to. Most importantly, offer lots of support, patience, and love.
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