If you are a parent of a shy child, it really becomes difficult to see your little one become victim of not so welcomed behaviour, specifically if both mother and father are outgoing. The solution adopted by most of the parents is to forcefully work on their child against his natural tendencies. They usually drag him out of his comfort zone and make him stand in the spotlight.
Dr Carducci, director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany says that usually there are three things that your shy child may be thinking but it becomes difficult for him to put those feelings into words. Those three points are as follows:
- I want to be part of all the fun going around, but I cannot. Parents think that their kid is stubborn and avoids the social gathering but the reality is usually the other way round. Shy kids want to be part of a social circle around them.
- Who are they? Shy kids usually take more time to connect with the new faces as compared to usual kids. Parents thus need to understand the fact and should give their kid a space to get familiar to the new faces.
- New things, scares me. Wallflower (A shy or reserved person) kids usually like to be part of the routine circle. Any new thing makes them uncomfortable.
Though it is close to impossible that your child becomes shy-free but with continuous support and lots of encouragement, there are high chances that your child starts interacting with new people and starts making new friends easily.
Here are some of the strategies that could be adopted to help your child get over his/her shyness:
Share your own story about how shy you were at times
Once a child starts feeling that being shy is a bad thing, the situation becomes alarming. This is because of the fact that it directly hits the confidence and self-esteem of a child. The strategy that is advised to be adopted at this crucial time is to tell your kid how shy you were at his age and how you worked on it. Most of the time children view their parents as a powerful entity thus makes easy for them to follow their power model.
Showing empathy when a child feels shy
When a child feels shy to interact, the best you can do is to show empathy. Help them realize that you can understand that they are worried and the situation is difficult for them. Tell them that sometime you also feel worried to communicate with others and you too experience such situations. By showing empathy, parents show their child that they completely understand what they are being through. This way a child develops a sense to identify his emotional state and thus talks about it. Sharing could be a great help.
Avoid tagging your child as SHY
The biggest mistake parents usually make is to label their child as a shy kid. This results in confirming your child as shy and the child take it as if everything is fine and there is no need to change. Prudent parents never mark their child’s impression negatively as this can result in devastating personality. Other scenario is when someone else labels your child as shy in front of you, the better idea would be to tackle it amicably and let others know that your child takes a little to warm up. Smile and always replace the negative label with a positive reply.