Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to help your child overcome shyness

Our eldest daughter, Samantha 2.5 years old, is the sweetest and most caring little child. Around the house she speaks way beyond her years and plays endlessly with her sister. When guests come over shyness overcomes her and she curls up into her safety coccoon. She refuses to interact with others and it takes a few hours until she warms up enough to whisper a few words.

Like many children, when taken out of their comfort zone they loose their self confidence and the death grip on your leg takes control. You find yourself giving a half smile and saying, "She is not usually this shy," but deep down you know they are. This is the way she deals with a situation where she is faced with new faces and unfamiliar situations.

After countless hours of research on the topic, it is noted that shyness is normal. Most children are shy because they are unsure how to act in unfamiliar situations. Shy children are fueled by emotion instead of reasoning. The solution is finding ways to help your child gain the self confidence to be comfortable in any situation at a young age.

  1. Engage child in everday situations. When out, ask your child to pay the cashier at the store allowing them to interact with others out of their comfort zone
  2. Prepare your child when you know they will be placed in an unfamiliar situation
  3. Address your childs fears and concerns
  4. Allow your child to speak for themselves. If someone is asking them a question and they are not answering, allow them to speak. There may be a periods of akward silence but they will answer when they are ready and it lets them know that you believe in their ability to speak for themselves
  5. Empathize with your child. Acknowledge what your child is feeling and don't let them think there is something wrong with them. Empathizing with your child will allow them to develop empathy which will develop their social skills.
Helping your child overcome shyness by not fusing over them but by providing loving support eventually will lead them to find their way out of their shell.


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