Do you have a shy child? One that would much rather spend time on her own than play with friends or join an activity? A certain amount of shyness is acceptable and can even be an asset, but when it interferes with your child’s life, it can be very debilitating. As a parent, there are many things that you can do to help your child overcome her shyness without seeming pushy.
The Type of Shyness
Not every shy child is the same. Each child has their own reason for their timidness. It is your job to find out what areas your child has the most trouble. Is it at school, in groups where she doesn’t know anyone, in new situations or is it an overall shyness? Is it a particular activity that causes the shyness, such as talking or performing or is it in all situations? This will help to give you a starting point to help your child.
Be a Role Model
The best way to help your child is to be a role model. Even if you are shy, it is time to put your fears aside and show your child how to overcome them. Show your child that you are able to be assertive, helpful and friendly. This is easily done by being friendly in public, smiling at others, thanking those that perform a service for you, such as a waitress, holding the door for others or helping a stranger with their cart at the store. Any good deed that can help your child see you being a role model can help them become more assertive and want to be more like you.
Encourage your Child
Once you are sure of your child’s area of shyness, try to focus on that area. If it’s talking in front of people or to people, practice at home. Have your child practice conversations with you even it is just “Hi, how are you today?” As your child becomes comfortable practicing with you, slowly encourage her to talk to the cashier at the grocery store, her teacher or the waitress at a restaurant. Celebrate the small progresses that she makes and encourage her to keep going.
Keep her Social
As your child’s skills become better, make sure to keep her social. Whether you arrange play dates or sign her up for an activity that she enjoys, make sure that she has ample opportunity to be around other kids her age as well as older. This will give her an opportunity to practice her new found skills and continue to make them better, overcoming her shyness and finding her true passions in life.
Do you want to help your child overcome her shyness by relating to a character in a story? Read KP Baker’s book, “The Tale of Abby – The Second Grade Cheerleader” and help your child learn to find her passions in life.