The first step to helping your shy child is to understand that shyness is a personality trait not a disability or a fault. Each of us are born as individual human beings, with different traits and characteristics that make us who we are. Being shy is a common occurrence for children and is something they may outgrow or continue being for the rest of their life. There are ways you can help your shy child to overcome this personality trait and thrive to do the best they can while living with shyness.
How to Help Your Shy Child
The best way to help your shy child is to accept that this is a part of who they are, stop apologizing to others for your child being shy. Statements like, “I’m sorry, he is a shy child” will only make your child feel as if being shy is a character flaw versus simply a trait they were born with. The last thing you want to do with a shy child is to discourage any advancement with them learning to open up. Start talking with your child about their shyness, learn how that trait makes them feel; after all it is them who will be living this way for a long time.
Once you have determined your child’s feelings on being shy, start working on slowly teaching your child small steps towards overcoming this trait. Bring your child to local small events, where they can learn to open up in a smaller crowd, if your child is a toddler, a weekly library reading group for toddlers is the best place to start. When at a small event, start interacting with the other children as a means to allow your child to warm up to interaction. If you lead by example, your shy child may be more apt to start engaging on their own and overcome that moment of feeling overwhelmed by shyness.
Set clear guidelines and examples, if your child is super shy and tends to cling to you at birthday parties or other gatherings, learn to give them guidelines as to how long they can stay attached to you. When you work with your child by allowing them their moment of being shy but to push them gently towards interacting, you are helping them build up their socializing skills as well as the ability to overcome their shyness in the long run.
Take the time to use your child’s shyness as a chance to teach them to grow as an individual, teach them coping skills and ways to work around their instinct to be shy. When you work to be the example and gently but firmly guide your shy children towards a more social comfort zone, you will have started the path towards future success when they have to work to overcome trait in adulthood.