How to Deal with Shyness in Children

How to Deal with Shyness in Children

Shyness in Kids

If your kids aren’t the most social, there’s no reason to worry. Shyness in children is more common than you think.

There could be several factors that lead to shy kids.

  • Emotional sensitivity in kids is often a key reason for their shy behaviour, especially when it comes to social interactions.
  • If kids are isolated in their early years, their social interaction skills don’t get the development needed, leading to shy behaviour.
  • Higher expectations from family or schools can also lead to children fearing failure. Leading them to feel shy and not being able to achieve their full potential.
  • Overprotectiveness at home is one of the most common reasons for socially shy children.
  • As most children learn from parents and do as they do, seeing them be shy can lead to the child’s shy behaviour as well.
  • Growing up in nuclear families gives kids a sense of comfort that is hard to break out of when it comes to opening up to the outside world.

Whatever the reasons for shyness in your child may be, it can always be overcome.

How to help kids overcome shyness

  • Try not to label your child as shy. Referring to them as slower to warming up can motivate them to overcome their shyness.
  • Encourage social interaction in smaller groups that make them feel more comfortable, as opposed to pushing them to open up in front of larger social settings.
  • Empathize with your child. Perhaps by sharing a personal experience with overcoming shyness. This might give them the encouragement needed.
  • Be the confident role model that inspires them to follow. Seeing you be warm and friendly towards strangers will help reduce their social anxiety.
  • Use every opportunity to build self-esteem through positive reinforcement for everyday accomplishments.

How to help toddlers overcome shyness

  • Arrange frequent play dates or group play sessions that increase opportunities to develop social skills.
  • Maintain a consistent frequency in interactions with family members, immediate or extended. This will help them feel more comfortable with new faces and reduce chances of being sky as they grow older.
  • Motivate them to overcome fears of social interaction instead of giving in to them when they choose to avoid opening up.
  • Expose them to books and content with multiple characters. Seeing conversations imbibes a sense of normalcy towards conversing with others.

Kids who don’t talk much are also trying to tell you something. Their shyness is them asking for more support, encouragement and an environment that makes them feel comfortable. The more of these you give them, the more likely they are to grow up to be confident, outgoing, and bright individuals.

References:
https://www.chla.org/blog/rn-remedies/help-your-child-overcome-shyness
https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/is-your-child-shy-or-is-it-really-anxiety
https://www.nytimes.com/article/kids-shyness-guide.html

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