Is your child shy?
Is your child shy? It can be frustrating, even irritating when you introduce your child to a friend and all your child wants to do is hide behind your legs!
How many times have you heard, or said to your child, “Oh! Don’t be so silly?” I know I have said it on many occasions as I’ve prised a child away from my bottom!
Don’t push it!
Some toddlers and children are inherently shy, others do ‘act’ shy on occasions where their self confidence is low or they don’t feel confident in front of the person to whom you are introducing them. Your child may not want to say “Hello” or wave or ‘High five’ especially if they feel that they’re on show. Things will get better as your child gets to know the person, but if it’s a situation where the two are unlikely to meet again, then it’s just not worth mentioning.
Encourage Social Activities
If your little one has not started nursery or preschool yet, there are many Mothers and Toddler groups that will have a meeting at least once a week in your local area.
I cannot express enough how important these sessions are for shy children, especially if visited regulary.
On the fist visit, if your child so wishes, let him sit on your lap, even if it’s for the whole session. He will want to watch from a safety point to take it all in.
Be sure to point things that are going on out to your child. for example, they may have the same trike that your child has at home. There maybe an art and craft table that your child might be interested in. But take their lead.
Even though you have your child on your lap, be sociable and chat to other mums, or arrange to go with a friend so that your child knows that this is not just a Mummy-time venture.
After one or two sessions of not being coerced into playing away from you, you will find that your child slips of your lap and goes off to play, because you have given him that initial security.
Yes, lots of praise to be given when your little limpet has joined in on an occasion. Whether at a Mother and Toddler group, birthday party or play date.
Oh my days! Those play dates when you have your child’s friend to play for a couple of hours and your child won’t play with them…I’ve been there, it’s painful!
Two hours you thought you may have to yourself is spent cutting and gluing with a bored three year old and a limpet!
So do praise your little one when showing signs of being sociable…
“Oh, I saw you smiling at that little girl over there! That was really nice, did you see she smiled back?”
And no negative comments when they are in “Limpet” mode. Even negative comments can be a reward for behaviour that we are trying to discourage.
But why is my child shy?
There are many reason, some are outlined below
- Just born that way– sensitive and shy babies are more likely to grow up to be shy children.
- Role models – children learn by imitating the most important people in their lives; their parents or carers. Shy parents may ‘teach’ their children to be shy.
- Early relationships – children who don’t feel securely attached to their parents may be prone to prone to shy behaviour. Overprotective parents can promote a sense of fear. Starting a new school for example can be very hard for parents to be “Laissez faire.”
- No social interaction – This is what I was saying about the importance of Mother and Toddler groups…
- Bullying – children who are teased or bullied by their parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, even if it’s “in fun” could go towards making your child shy and self doubting.
Peel off that label!
If children are called “Shy” or hear that they are “Shy” they are more likely to adopt shyness as part of their personality.
Instead of “Why are you being shy?” try “You’re not shy! Why are you pretending to be shy?”
Don’t let others label your child as shy either. When we label our children we are in danger of hiding a valid reason as to why they are behaving that way.
You know, I was Just the same.
Talk to your child and show understanding and empathy. Ask them why they are feeling shy.
If you were a shy child, tell your child how you coped. Give examples, even if you have to make them up! Children look up to their parents, and if you could beat being shy, then they want to emulate you!
And children love to hear how Mummy and Daddy were as children!
The My Mood Stars work book is a wonderful book designed to encourage your children to talk about their feelings. With a Mood Stars on each page and a space to write or draw, this work book is perfect for children who would rather relay their thoughts through writing or art.
The set of My Mood Stars includes a ‘Timid’ Star. This Star is ideal for self conscious children to take to school for the first day, or to take for “Show and Tell” or if they are doing a solo performance in front of their school friends.
Order your set today for happier, brighter, and emotionally competent children!
My Mood Stars are an emotion resource with a difference. They are soft, sensory toy Stars depicting different moods and expressions that children find really easy to relate to and talk to.