Every child has a different personality. Their interactions with surrounding are one of the factors that make them become a shy child.

Many people think that “being shy” is a mistake or negative character that needs to be changed. Parents also become afraid when their child grows up to be shy. In fact, shame is neither a mistake nor a negative. Shyness is just a personality trait that defines your child.

An example that we find in the life of a shy child is seeing a baby who may be clingy to his/ her parents and cry in social situations. For toddlers, maybe you see some of them or maybe your own child does not want to talk to strangers.

For school-age children, tend to avoid answering questions in class, less active in class discussions, have difficulty making friends, and prefer to do activities that can be done independently.

We live in a society that values ​​extroverted personalities. We tend to accept people who are socially active more easily and tend to judge people who appear silent either directly or indirectly.

As parents, we must eliminate this kind of thinking. Especially if you have a child who has a shy personality. Parents can see this situation as an opportunity. You can tell your child that it is okay to talk a lot or a little if they are comfortable.

Andrea Nair, a parenting educator from London, Ontario, says parents need to have less judgment and shame. She said that we need to have empathized more with our shy children and let them know that we understand their feelings.

From the teacher’s perspective, students who tend to stay quiet in class cannot be classified as having difficulty in learning. They usually will observe those around them and be more careful in their attitude. There is no real negative effect when a child has a shy personality.

Supporting Shy-Type Children

Shyness cannot disappear easily, but children can learn to be more confident and comfortable interacting with other people. There are a few tips that can help you as a parent to support your shy child.

Tips for Baby and Young Kids:

  • Give your child enough time to feel comfortable. Do not turn them into an unknown adult’s hug. The first thing you can do to introduce them to new people is to play with existing toys using a calm voice.
  • Stay around with your child when there are people that they do not know, such as playgroups or parent groups, while encouraging them to explore. As the child feels more comfortable, parents can gradually move away for a short time. For example, sitting in a chair with other adults while your child is playing on the floor. You can return to them if they need you again.
  • Soothe your child and let them know that their feelings will be okay and you as their parents will help them. For example, “It’s okay, you’ll be alright, son. Let’s see together”.
  • Avoid calming your child too much. Too much calming and attention towards them indirectly tells your child that you think this is a scary situation. Extra attention can inadvertently increase your child’s shy behavior.
  • Praise their ‘courageous’ behavior when they open, such as responding to other people, using eye contact, trying something new, or staying away from you.
  • Be a good example for children in your social interactions. This will allow your children to learn from you. For example, when someone says hello, you will immediately say hello back.
  • If other people say that “your child is shy “, in front of your child, you can explain gently in front of your child. For example, “My child needs a little time to get to know his environment. Once he is comfortable, he’ll be happy to play”. This sends the message that you understand your child’s feelings.

 

Tips for School-Age Children

  • Let your child spend time playing with their peers. If your child is invited to a friend’s house, he or she may feel more comfortable going out with him first.
  • Train children’s skills in doing presentations, for example by encouraging them to explain their daily life at school. This will help them feel more comfortable when they must stand in front of the class.
  • Encourage children to take part in extracurricular activities that involve social behavior – for example, sports, drama, etc.
  • Avoid comparing your child with those around them who seem more confident.
  • Do not call your own child shy in public because you unconsciously invite others to label your own child as a shy one.
  • Often involves children to interact with people around them, including with people they do not know, for example asking your children to pay for groceries during shopping to training children’s courage in public places.
  • When children fail to do something, do not scold or punish them with bad words. Continue to provide support and assure them that you will continue to support and help them.

Accept your children and understand that shyness is just a personality. Paying less attention to their shyness gives you a chance to see them develop. Stay by their side and support them in any behavior and development that they show.

May 9, 2021

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