If you are the parent of a shy child, you may look around, see all the extroverted children and feel that your child must act the same way that they do. Of course, being shy is not wrong, nor is it always a handicap to a child. Often, shy children are great listeners and thinkers, and most of them grow up to be perfectly well-adjusted adults. However, it can be beneficial for them to learn social skills early on and get out of their comfort zone. Here are some ways that you can get your shy child to warm up to social occasions.
Prepare the Child
Children who do not like social situations will need plenty of time to prepare before they go somewhere new or meet new people. You will need to tell your child where he or she will be going and who he or she will be meeting. You may even want to take your child to the new location a few days ahead of time and roleplay if they suffer from minor social anxiety.
Enroll the Child in Preschool
Children with mild cases of shyness may be able to overcome it simply by getting used to more social situations. By sending your child to a preschool like Youthland Academy, he or she will be able to get used to being around teachers and peers and will become more adept at responding to new situations. Be sure to find a school that has a very low student-to-teacher ratio.
Try One-on-One Time
For moderate cases of shyness, you will want to get your child used to being with new people on a one-on-one basis before introducing him or her to larger social situations. Your child will do best if you set up a play date with a child who has similar interests. First, introduce your child to the new situation before allowing your child to take the lead in playing and communicating.
Do Not Push
You may feel like you have to make your child enjoy being with others. When you push, your child may back away from social experiences even more. Allow socializing to develop naturally among your child’s peer group as well as with teachers and other adults. Give them a little bit at a time, and you’ll find that they will get better at feeling comfortable in social situations..
Talk to a Doctor or Therapist
If you are concerned that your child’s shyness extends beyond a little introversion and into the realm of social anxiety, you will want to discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician or with a therapist. Signs that your child may need to see a therapist include extreme nervousness, sleeping issues and a very worrisome personality. The therapist will be able to tell you if what your child is going through is normal.
Depending on how you as the parent handle your child’s shyness, this trait can be either beneficial or disadvantageous to your child. Many children simply take a bit of time to warm up to certain situations but are able to handle themselves perfectly well once they are used to a new situation. Be sure to watch your child carefully, and contact your child’s doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s behavior.