6 ways to help your child overcome shyness
As a concerned parent, you must be looking for ways to help your child overcome shyness.
But first, you must understand that shyness is a personality trait and not your child’s fault.
Accepting it is the first step to help your child. Let us see what else you could do to develop confidence in your child and to help him overcome shyness.
- Discuss the issue: Kids become submissive and shy if they observe their parents arguing or other similar things. Keep them away from such situations as much as possible. Seek professional advice if your child has been exposed to any trauma. Speak to his teachers and ask about his behaviour in school as this will give you insight into your child’s personality. Share strategies you have learned over the years to overcome shyness. Practice them along with your child which will enhance his confidence.
- Encourage communication: You can ask your child to interact and speak openly with children of his age. Organise a play session on weekends and invite neighbours, school kids or cousins of his age so he can be in control of his behaviour. Encouraging your child to open up and display emotions openly is one of the best ways to promote interaction.
- Show empathy: It is best not to sympathise with shy kids at this could encourage such behaviour, and he/she could feel more ashamed. Do not be judgmental and reiterate that he is a fine human being and doesn’t have to feel bad about himself.
- Motivate and encourage: Most parents don’t know how to help their child overcome shyness, but it does not need any special skills. Encourage the child to create his own identity by doing things he likes to without worrying about others. Point out his strengths and skills and help him grow as an individual.
- Avoid tagging: While you are at a social gathering, do not label your child as a shy kid as this will shatter his confidence. Tell him how you found him to be excellent at handling a particular situation while at a party or an event. Encourage positive behaviour whenever you notice it as this will enhance confidence and he will repeat it every time he is in a group or a large gathering.
- Help your child meet and make friends. Try to expose your child to new children and settings. But do this gradually. For example, you might visit a park where the same children play on a regular basis. Don’t force him to interact with unfamiliar children right away. Be sure to give him plenty of time to warm up. Arrange play dates for him at home, where he feels comfortable and safe. During first interactions, give your child the words he needs to talk with new friends.
With time and effort, a shy child can learn that interacting with people can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. While shyness may not be erased completely from a child’s temperament but parents can play a role in giving emotional support and confidence to the child.
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