Do you have a child or children who are shy? Perhaps you are a teacher or a caretaker for a number of children. If this is the case, perhaps the question has crossed your mind, “What to do about shy kids?”
Shyness may or may not be readily apparent in young children. Some children may cling excessively to mommy in any unfamiliar situation. Others may show no signs of shyness in early childhood, but may develop it during their growing up years.
In either case, the child might eventually outgrow his or her shyness. Surprising to many, however, is that a child can actually “grow into” shyness! A child who shows no signs of shyness at the age of six or seven may become noticeably shy by the age of nine or ten.
One possible explanation for this is that in the early childhood years, it is easier for many to make friends than it is during the later years. Inviting someone of the same age to play in the sandbox can result in a friendship between young children.
As we age, however, interactions become more complex. Children develop interests in various subjects such as sports, music, model building, drawing, and so on. Conversation becomes more important than play as we age, and social interactions become more complex.
So, in the case of “late blooming” shyness, is it a matter of a child “becoming” shy, or simply a case of the world and social interactions becoming complex at a rate faster than he or she can handle?
In any event, there are certain things you should know about what to do about shy kids.
1. Don’t be too aggressive in pushing your children into social activities. Instead, offer support to them when they become interested in something themselves. Offer to drive them to club meetings or other places where they can interact with other people.
2. Show an interest in your child yourself. When your child wants to talk about his activities with you, don’t be patronizing or feign interest. Show real enthusiasm for what your child is enthusiastic about.
3. Don’t interrupt. Your child should be able to practice conversing by talking to you and other family members without being cut off. If your child doesn’t get a chance to talk to members of his own family, how can he learn how to practice talking to anyone else?