Effective tips to tackle shyness in children
“Please don’t leave me alone, I would rather not to say hi! Can you be the one to tell the teacher that I am sick? I don’t want to participate in class because my colleagues will laugh at me”… We realize that our children are shy when they constantly try to avoid social interactions in their normal daily lives, and that makes us wonder if there’s anything we can do to help them overcome this problem.
Below is a list of some effective tips we as mothers, can use to support our little ones in getting over their shyness.
- Let’s encourage our kids to play with other children of their age, whether it’s at home or at their friend’s house. In case of the latter, we can accompany them and stay for a while until they feel comfortable, while making sure to gradually decrease our period of being around.
- Let’s train our children for the presentations required of them at school, so that they feel less nervous or anxious when it’s time to stand in front of the whole class.
- Let’s motivate our little ones to take part in activities outside the classroom, especially those that help develop social skills, such as group sports or the scouts.
- Let’s explain to our little ones how to behave in social situations and how to deal with others. And let’s not forget to remind them to look into the eyes of the person they are talking to and face them directly with their bodies while answering questions with a clear and audible voice.
- Instead of comparing our shy kids to their more outgoing siblings or friends, let’s try to focus on simple steps that boost their self-confidence such as teaching them a song that calms them down and can be a part of their preparations for any new social situation.
- Let’s avoid labelling our children as “shy” and make sure that no one else does so too. And in case someone else does, our answer should be: “My kid is not shy, he just needs some time to adapt and feel comfortable. He will join the others in a bit”.
- Let’s tell our children all about the benefits of acting without shyness, and let’s give them examples from our personal lives. We can say: “Do you know that I was just like you as a child, and I had to challenge myself to become a teacher because it required confrontation and open communication”?
- Let’s praise our kids every time they behave well in social situations without exhibiting any shyness. For example: “I liked the way you walked into the hall and said “Hello” to everyone”.
In addition to all of the above, let’s make sure to lead our children by example by having a social and outgoing personality that interacts smoothly with others.