Every child is unique and it is important to raise them as such. You may have been a boisterous and outgoing kid, or you may have forgotten all about the journey you overcame shyness. If you’re raising a shy child, there are ways to help them thrive. We asked parenting experts how you can best support your shy child.
Shyness is not the same as introversion
Contrary to introverted kids who prefer their own space, shy kids are usually quite sociable, they just need a little extra help. Parenting Coach Elisabeth Stitt says we should get rid of those labels and just support and embrace our kids.
“The important thing to remember about shy kids is that they’re not antisocial and they don’t have to be introverts. In fact, in environments where they are completely comfortable, shy children can be very talkative. Shy kids just need plenty of time to get used to situations in order to feel safe from being judged. However, like anxious children, the best course of action for parents is to gradually reduce their exposure to social situations. Avoid labeling a child as “shy” and simply explaining that they need more time. Prepare them before visiting by saying who will be there and allowing them to leave early if they are overwhelmed. “
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Create a comfortable environment
Since the act of socializing is scary for a shy child, help them overcome this anxiety by helping them socialize in an environment where they already feel comfortable. For example, organize a playdate with 1-2 peers at home where they feel safe and in control of their environment. Bring your playground to life with MyDeal sand pits and outdoor play toys for all ages. Allowing them to socialize in small groups in their own space can boost their confidence and lead to better social connections.
But it’s important for them to understand that this is the first step. Once they feel more comfortable socializing with their peers, you should take them to a friend’s house to hang out or hang out and go to a movie or similar activity. You don’t want them to rely on a comfortable environment to socialize. Only in the beginning can you use it to help get them out of their shells.
Remind them there’s nothing wrong with being shy
Richard Daniel Curtis is a leading behavioral expert, also known as The Kid Calmer. He works hard to change the way adults communicate with children, so we asked him for advice on how to understand your shy kid.
“Self-identity and security are fundamental to effective social skills. It is important that a child does not feel insecure or misled because of shyness or introversion.
Parents can focus their social time on one activity rather than trying and prompting social interactions. This will take the pressure off the kids and make them more likely to interact as they focus on something else. Another unusual thing that would be helpful is to make an All About Self book – a scrapbook of the things they love. “
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The power of creativity for shy kids
Simona Weinstein is a certified art therapist from Indigo Art Therapy. She firmly believes that art is a powerful tool to help shy children thrive.
“When kids are asked ANYTHING, something happens right away. For shy kids, that moment becomes challenging.
First, they are forced to find words to describe the reaction in their heads. Sometimes children don’t have a vocabulary due to their age. Sometimes they are unable to articulate words due to trauma or the reason for the initial shyness.
Second, they are forced to put their answers in chronological or logical order for coherence. Shy kids are so concerned with protecting themselves and managing feelings of intimidation, that logic may not be there for them.
The creative process allows the picture in their mind to be just… a picture, and without the need to be verbally transcribed, a process where meaning and intent can be lost and diluted. Creativity moves the shy child away from the analytical left-brain. When they feel shy, they just call themselves ‘shy kids.’ Creativity helps them connect with unconscious emotions (in the amygdala), where their inner strength resides. their oysters!”
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You know how amazing you are with kids and just because they’re a little shy doesn’t mean the whole world will know it anytime soon. Help them come out of their shell and learn to enjoy their journey from shy to performer.