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Tips for Helping a Shy Child Gain Confidence

March 18, 2020

If you’re the parent of a shy child, you’re probably wondering how to help them gain confidence. There’s nothing wrong with being a little timid but you want your kid to be able to confidently communicate with other children and adults. If they’re in preschool, it’s important for them to be able to express their feelings and ideas clearly. In order to be able to participate in conversations and class, your child needs to feel comfortable speaking to others.

In this article, Tiniciti Preschool will provide you with some tips for helping a shy child gain confidence. This doesn’t mean you’ll change their personality, nor that they’ll suddenly become social butterflies. Helping your shy child means giving them the tools they need to navigate social situations and to build relationships.

Child Shyness

In children, shyness can mean several things. It could be a lack of self-confidence, a preference for being alone, it can mean social anxiety or a combination of all. There’s nothing wrong with being shy. In fact, shy children are reportedly more empathetic and better listeners than their outgoing peers. Usually, shy kids are born like this. However, negative experiences can play a role.

Shyness becomes a problem when it gets in the way of doing things your child normally does. If your kid has trouble making friends, gets extremely anxious in social events such as birthday parties and sports, or their social anxiety stops them from wanting to go to school, there are certain tips you can follow to help your shy child gain confidence.

Follow These Tips to Help Your Child!

Ask them questions and listen: Making kids feel included in conversations makes them feel like they matter and that they’re opinions are important – which they are. If you saw a movie together, for example, ask what part they liked the best, their favorite character, and similar questions. It’s very important you let them finish, when kids get interrupted, it’s hard for them to feel confident about what they’re saying. Also, don’t criticize their answers, you’re the person they trust the most, so feeling approved by you is vital.

Arrange play dates with a friend: Shy kids aren’t too comfortable with large groups, if they’re shy, they might prefer spending time with just one friend. As a parent, you can arrange one-on-one play dates with one of their friends so they can practice their social skills without pressure. Provide snacks and keep distractions to a minimum, letting your child socialize at their own pace is the best you can do.

Let them practice: Let your kids know that being shy isn’t a big deal and that it’s something you can work with. Teach them and practice with them social situations so they know what to expect. You can teach them conversation starters, how to introduce themselves, basic manners, and even how to say goodbye. One way of helping them practice is letting them order their own food at the restaurant.  

Praise them: If you notice your kid is putting extra effort, trying something new, or engaging positively in social situations, praise them! Showing them that you notice their hard work is very rewarding and encouraging. Compliments are a great way to motivate your child to keep up the good work.

Be an example: Children copy what they see. If you’re not the most outgoing person out there, you can’t really expect your child to be the opposite. When your child sees you greeting people, making conversation, listening to people, and being overall friendly, they will be inspired to do the same.

Be supportive: Shyness isn’t something you cure, it’s a personality trait and your kid needs to feel validated no matter how timid they may be. Motivate your shy child to be comfortable in social situations without making them feel bad about themselves. Be patient with them and don’t force them to be something they’re not.

Your kid may be an introvert they’re entire life, and that’s perfectly fine! All they need is love and support from their parents. Follow these tips to help them feel more comfortable in social settings.

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