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Helping Your Shy Child

Have a shy child? You are not alone! Shyness is a common issue among children. The problem with shyness is that it can be painful for children as well as parents who witness it and aren't quite sure what to do. Shyness may keep kids from getting involved in social activities or even prevent them participate fully in the classroom. Have no fear, when it comes to shyness, help is here!

If You Have a Shy Child, Keep in Mind:

Having a shy child is probably hardest for a parent that is really outgoing. Some parents just don't understand how they can be so outgoing and have a child who is so shy. But, kids are shy for many different reasons some of which may be credited to genetics. Others learn to be shy by their experiences. Either way, there are things you can do to help a shy child. If shyness is an issue, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid labeling your child as shy. If your child is labeled and you are always telling people he is shy, he will end up living up to that label.
  • Focus on the positive. Provide plenty of positive feedback.
  • Children who are shy may lack self-esteem or confidence, so focus on trying to increase your child's self-esteem. You can do this with positive reinforcement and finding non-competitive activities he can do.
  • Encourage participation but don't force it. If you force your child to participate in activities, he may withdraw even more. Ease into the situation by asking your child what he is comfortable doing.
  • If your child suffers from extreme shyness that does not subside, seek professional help. Shyness may be a symptom of a bigger problem.

Coping with Shyness

Try as you may, some children may just be shy, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Your child may simply have a more reserved personality. Either way, there are things you can do gently to help your child blossom and be more comfortable in social situations. Helping your child overcome or work through his shyness just takes patience, understanding, and consistency.