A surprising number of kids who are naughty and confident at home become nervous and tongue-tied in front of others. This problem, if not addressed, can cause serious problems as social skills are one of the pillars of success. This is why you as parents should start making a serious effort to help kids in overcoming shyness right from a young age before it ends up becoming their weakness. After analyzing the existing literature on the topic, we’ve managed to compile a few tips on how you can help shy kids over their shyness. Take a look.
Start with Yourself
According to a study published in the journal named Current Directions in Psychological Science, shy kids are likely to have “the shy gene”, which is passed down from their parents. These kids can overcome shyness after the age of 7, but only if their parents are social. This means that you must develop social skills and act as a role model for your kids so that they can overcome shyness right from a young age.
Ease Them Out of the Shell Gradually
Shyness is not something that goes away overnight. You have to work hard to make kids feel comfortable while socializing with others. In order to do this, you have to develop a special connection with them so that they can open up with you as it is only then they will share their insecurities. Respect the feelings and emotions of kids so that they can feel comfortable around you.
Change Their Weaknesses into Strengths
Now when kids have finally started sharing their feelings with you, it’s time to help them in overcoming shyness by increasing their self-esteem and giving them confidence. Statements like “don’t be shy” or “don’t be nervous and quiet” may not resolve the issue, but your help and support can. Respect them for what they are and help them in exploring the world from what they have. Your sole goal should not be to get rid of shyness as it may not be possible. What you should do is make sure their shyness does not come in their way. You can easily do this by:
- listening to their views about different things;
- showing them appreciation more often;
- encouraging them to participate in discussions;
- helping them in making new friends;
- motivating them to try new things;
- acting as their role model;
- coaching them to stand for their rights;
- giving them opportunities to interact with people by asking them to do little things like picking the phone, ordering a meal, etc.;
- sharing your childhood stories to make them realize shyness is not an illness;
- avoiding shaming them and also stopping others from doing this too;
- introducing them to people they have never met before to polish their social skills.
Help Them in Getting Comfortable with Their New Self
Shy kids find it difficult to accept changes as they lack confidence to face new things. This is why they may need an extra bit of time to learn to get used to meeting new people and developing social connections. There may come days when they do not want to talk to others either out of fear or lack of confidence. You have to continue being supportive until they get comfortable with their new self.