It can be a daunting task for shy children to step out of their comfort zone and become the person they want. A shy child has difficulty making friends or expressing her feelings to others. For children to develop confidence, they need to express themselves freely without fear of rejection from their peers. They also need opportunities to practice these skills with other children.
There are many ways that parents can help their shy children gain more self-confidence. These include giving them time alone when possible—in addition, encouraging them to join groups such as sports teams where they will have an opportunity to make new friendships. Helping them learn how to deal with teasing, providing positive feedback about their school efforts, and teaching them appropriate behaviors like sharing toys playing fair.
Since parents can’t change their child’s personality, they must take extra time to introduce children to others and provide opportunities for them to practice socializing skills.
There are eight steps that parents can follow so that their shy children will feel more confident around other people.
1. BE PATIENT AND TALK THE CHILD OUT OF HER SHYNESS
Shy children believe that other people will not like them and will reject them if they reveal their true selves. They fear that if they reveal their true selves, they will be ridiculed or made fun of, and this will cause others to treat them as “different” and not want to be around them. Therefore, your job is to reassure your child that you are on her side. If they say something that is not funny or silly, encourage her to talk about it again and make it funny. Encourage her to add details about the new version since these details create laughter in children.
2. CREATE AND ENFORCE RULES THAT ENCOURAGE SOCIALIZING
Ask your child to play a board game or use her imagination to act out a creative story. Encourage your child to cooperate with her peers and suggest they make up rules for the activities you are participating in to interact more. You will need to help your child follow the rules and be clear about when the games are over. In addition, find ways to get your child involved in activities with other children like dance, music, sports, and theater.
3. RECOGNIZE AND REWARD BUDDING SOCIAL SKILLS
Shy children feel confident and gain self-esteem when they do things that help them develop social skills. They feel most confident when you acknowledge their efforts. For example, you can show your child you like her by complimenting her efforts to do homework, go to school, or even take the garbage out. On the other hand, if they make a mistake, encourage her to try another way of doing it.
4. FOSTER THEIR INTEREST IN SPORT/ARTS ACTIVITIES
Encourage your child to participate in activities that have rules. For example, swimming, skating, and dancing are opportunities for children to learn how to follow directions and do essential things in life. Help your child discover which activities have a sports component to practice skills like teamwork and communication techniques.
5. SURROUND THEM WITH “YES” PEOPLE
Shy children often feel more comfortable around people who like them even though they are shy. When your child has a friend who is also shy, this helps her to feel more comfortable in their presence or the family circle. Praise your child for seeking out friends and let her know you support her efforts to be with others.
6. BE AN EXAMPLE: SHOW YOUR CHILD WHAT CONFIDENCE LOOKS LIKE
What does confidence look like? When your child is confident, they will be more relaxed and comfortable in the presence of others and will make friends. Encourage your child to take risks by going out with other children or trying new activities such as playing the guitar. For example, if the child is learning how to play the guitar, let her know that you see her dedication and perseverance as an example of what they will need to succeed.
7. FUNDAMENTALLY SUPPORT THE CHILD’S EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Shy children feel safe when they have rules to follow, but sometimes they want to push the limits on these rules because they don’t want others to think they are babyish or silly. Therefore, it is essential to foster their social skills and emotional development by having rules that encourage them to grow. Be consistent with these rules but then help her work around them so that your child can learn how to be a caring friend.
8. EMPATHIZE WITH YOUR CHILD
Help your child understand that other children struggle with social situations too. Empathize with your child’s feelings and try not to make negative comments or tease her about her shyness.
If you are a parent or a teacher, you must consider the above eight steps when dealing with shy children. You will need to take extra time to create an atmosphere that allows children to overcome their shyness. If your child is shy, you can learn from other parents and teachers and look at these eight steps to help this child overcome the problem with her shyness.