It can be painful to watch your child experience loneliness. Shyness can be the cause of bullying and self-esteem issues, but there are various methods that you can use to bring you child out of the shy shell and encourage friendships.
Shy children have little confidence in taking social risks and prefer to remain alone pretending that nothing is wrong. Shy children stand out. They observe situations and can be more aware than most children, but when it comes to making friends, this scene is terrifying and makes the child seize up inside. When social rejection eventually sets in, the child is already wounded, especially in the areas of self-confidence and group activity.
Research has shown that children can be encouraged to open up in-group situations by applying understanding, skills and love to the child. Anxiety can affect everyone, but children are most susceptible and can be helped through the use of coping skills. If you want to help your child grow in confidence and social situations, try one or more of these proven methods.
Encourage Your Child Without Force
You can damage a child by forcing changes upon them. If your child is shy and introvert, why not encourage your child to write a daily journal. As a parent, you want to learn what is going on in your child’s mind. Are there are anxieties or troubles at school that your child has to contend with? Do you know when your child is experiencing problems? Have you switched on your sixth sense of parenthood?
Read and learn about body language. Learn to read the body language of your child so that you can learn when tension has set in. Shy children rely on structure, encouragement, compliments, sensitivity, and non-judgment. If your child looks approachable and friendly when they smile, this will implant self-confidence and encourage your child to socialize.
Try the Tension Scale
Shy children can have a difficult time in voicing their concerns. A tension scale that is the alert to when your child feels fearful or tense. Ten is when your child is feeling at their worst and one is calm and content. If you continue to use the tension scale you will be able to read the body language of your child and support them with a healthier mindset.
Climbing Out of the Introverted Shell
Children can be encouraged to break free from their shy shell, but if you have brought your child up in a hostile environment then it will a difficult cycle to break free from. However, Jerome Kagan, a renowned child psychologist, carried out a twenty-year study and discovered that one in three introverted children were able to break free of this cycle. Encourage your child to grow rather than be overprotective.
Focus on Successes Not Failures
Shy children tend to focus on the negatives, so always bring up your child’s successes. You may want to mention a happy holiday memory, a school certificate, sports award, or even the moment when your child made a new friend. Any social efforts made by your child must be encouraged.
Maintain One-on-One Friendships
A shy child may only have a selection of friends, but be willing to open up when it is just two best friends together, rather than a crowd. As your child gains confidence, encourage them to invite more and more friends for group activities. Older children can be especially encouraging toward younger children in social situations.
Allow Your Child to Make the First Move
Do not force your child to enter into a social circle, especially if your child is nervous and shy. Let your child make the move. Be encouraging, patient, and not forceful.
Wendy Derbyshire is a writer who believes that shy children can socialize and open up in an area where professional playground inspections are regularly maintained.