Are you wondering how to support a shy child?
All children are different in temperament and personality. Some children naturally interact and socialize with other children, and are able to make friends easily.
Whilst for other children, making friends can be difficult due to shyness. There are many reasons why a child can be shy, which can make it hard for them to make friends and engage in social situations. Timid children can be helped to overcome their difficulties to be able to enjoy social situations more, and gain friends to share time with.
Here are some ways of helping a shy child make friends:
Read on for some top tips:
Never label a child
Shyness is a personality trait, and part of the child’s nature. Everyone is different and this is perfectly normal. Shy children shouldn’t be made to feel like there is something wrong with them, as this can damage their self-esteem and confidence, and hamper their chances of making friends and being sociable. Labeling a child is very discouraging for them, and can only cause damage to their spirit and self-confidence. There is nothing wrong with being shy.
Gentle encouragement is a great way to support
Always be gentle and subtle in approach, so as not to bring attention to a child’s shyness. Rather interact with the child to allow them to feel comfortable, once they have grown in confidence introduce other children into the activity. This is a technique that parents can use, or teachers can implement a similar technique to help shy children make friends. Observe the other children to see which are likely to interact and bring out the best in a shy child. Teachers can pair shy children for activities which encourages socializing and getting to know other children.
Another way to encourage shy children to make friends is to organize play dates. Only invite one or two children to make it easier on the shy child. Having a small group of children or just one or two gives the shy child more of an opportunity to get involved and not feel overwhelmed. Play dates encourage fun and socializing. Gentle guidance and joining in can help the children become acquainted. Choose activities that appeal to their ‘s nature that they particularly enjoy which allows them to be in their comfort zone. This can help to boost their confidence and engage and interact more.
Lead the way
Children learn by example, and can be guided by trusted people. Give guidance and be supportive in a way that doesn’t reflect their shyness to allow a shy child to shine and be confident. Show confidence and exhibit a positive and upbeat attitude but refrain from being over-the-top and overly loud. The idea is to be confident and upbeat in a way that a shy child doesn’t feel intimidated. Being overzealous can cause a shy child to recoil and become more withdrawn. Give them a chance to show their personality, and show great interest and engage with them.
Ease and provide comfort
It isn’t possible to take shyness away from a child, as this is part of who they are. Shy children are quiet, reserved and are taking in the world around them. Shy children can have many outstanding qualities, and they can shine as much as any other child given the opportunity. Instead of trying to change the child, change the way in which social situations are approached to ease the child. In addition, when planning social events make the environment calm and comforting to allow the child to feel at ease.
Shy children just need to be with people they feel comfortable with to be able to open up. Provide opportunities for them that put them at ease. Observe other children and introduce the shy child to the ones that seem right to try and spark friendships.
Give confidence to the shy child, and never draw attention to their shyness. Treat a shy child with care, but don’t make them feel different, as this only serves to cause them to feel more intimidated and nervous. By being supportive and introducing people can help a shy child make new friends.
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