Ideally issues with shyness are best tackled prior to your child entering mainstream schooling, but of course, with child development being malleable and differing from child to child, issues with shyness are often unnoticeable or non-existent until they are submerged in a new environment. With issues with shyness and confidence often not being recognisable whilst in the family home, parents often have to tackle issues when child development and intelligent has improved, which is usually once in the schooling system.
Parents should be aware of the difference between a quiet child and a shy child, and also acknowledge that shyness is often a stage most children go through and can emerge from without a considerable amount of assistance, but, in order to make sure that shyness does not evolve into a long term issue that has a detrimental effect on their later years, here are some gentle ways to help encourage your child to become more confident.
Let Go in Social Situations
Parents of shy children that are clingy in social situations may feel the urge to protect and allow them to stay by their side, despite being well aware of the importance of letting go. By allowing your shy child to constantly hover around you, you are preventing them from building their confidence around others.
If you find it difficult to ‘push’ your child away because of the temporary hurt it causes, then try gradually distancing yourself completely from social situations, such as birthday parties. Start with simply leaving the room for a few minutes whilst your child is playing, then build up to dropping them off a social events and not staying.
Discuss with School
Those that are unaware of a child’s shyness do not know how to encourage and react to their sometimes unresponsive behaviour, so it is necessary for parents to discuss their son or daughter’s shyness with teachers, coaches and group leaders so that they can be fully included in their activities.
By telling your child’s school teacher, you are allowing yourself to gain advice on how to encourage your child to become less shy, and are also helping them to plan extra time to help your child to get involved in group activities.
Enrol in Extra Curricular Activities
It is generally considered that there are two main activities that can gently help children develop their confidence and feel less shy in regards to social situations; drama and sports. Working in different ways, partaking in sporting activities and attending drama lessons help your child learn ways to cope with shyness and build their confidence-
A team sports group or coaching session, will help your child discover their natural physical ability and therefore improve their confidence. A trained coach with know how to encourage a shy child to participate in group games, and with congratulate and reassure their ability throughout the session.
A drama lesson for a shy child is not aimed at transforming your child into a future star, but should be focusing on helping your child become more confident with their social situations. By teaching relevant acting techniques, your child can learn how to confidently speak, and even cope with shyness until it is naturally overcome.