At one time or another children struggle with being shy. It could stem from a lack of self esteem, fear of rejection, or maybe just having an introverted personality. No matter the reason there are times when parents feel that the child will always struggle in this area and they become worried and at times frustrated. However, just because a child exhibits this type of behavior doesn’t mean that they always will. Parents can use simple and practical methods that will help their little wallflower turn into a social butterfly.
Activities-When raising a shy child the first thing parents are inclined to do is enroll them in several activities. This isn’t a terrible idea but the child should always be involved in the decision. Discovering their interests will make it easier to select the right activity. For example, although a parent registers their child for soccer, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily make friends; they first have to enjoy the activity before they can open up to others.
Comparisons-Although having the best intentions parents can do more harm than good when trying to help their child. An example of this would be comparing them to other children. This will not have the effect that parents would hope, it will most likely cause the child to feel negatively about them self and no longer have the desire to try to make friends. It’s imperative that the child know that they are accepted and cared about regardless of how they interact with others.
Communication-Parents make the mistake of talking for their child when in social situations. Unfortunately, doing this will only hinder the child from making friends. Since communication is a vital part of any relationship it’s crucial that children learn to express themselves in their own way and in their own time.
Limitations-If a child remains inside the home for long periods of time they will not have the opportunity to meet new people. Limiting their indoor activities, such as the computer and the television will encourage them to be outside. This will not only help them to interact with their peers it will also give them an opportunity to exercise.
Being an example-In order to make friends one has to be friendly and parents can help their child do this by inviting people over. For instance the parent can host a book club, a pampered chef party, or a scrap-booking event and tell the guests to feel free to bring their children. Doing this will not only encourage a child’s participation but it will also allow the parent to lead by example.
No matter what kind of personality a child has their parent can be their biggest cheerleader. With a little patience, a lot of understanding, and much needed encouragement, children will ultimately come out of their shell and become a social butterfly.