All of us feel shy at one time or another. Children, especially, seem to have bouts of shyness when around new people or new surroundings.
Actually, a child who is shy feels anxious in new situations. They might feel like they are “on show” especially when parents ask them to speak in front of new people. Shy children are more comfortable watching instead of joining in. Children who are shy might grow out of it, or they may become shy adults.
When your child is shy all the time, even around familiar people, you can help by showing them how to overcome the problem through your own actions. By being outgoing and confident as an adult, your child sees that it is okay to interact with others. And share from your personal experiences by telling your child about times you felt shy and how you overcame the feeling.
As a parent you can:
- Show your child what happens when you are not shy by modeling good interactions with others.
- Encourage your child to meet new children at parks while you are present.
- Give praise when your child steps out of shyness.
- Take your child with you to new situations and introduce them to new people.
- Let your child master what they enjoy and do best, praise them for these skills.
When a child is shy all the time, it can cause problems with their quality of life. This can lead to:
- Few chances to practice social skills
- Few friends
- Little or no participation in fun activities like sports, dance, or music.
- A fear of being judged.
- High anxiety
If your child is showing signs of extreme shyness, you may want to seek the help of a child psychologist or counselor. The counselor can help your child learn how to relax and manage stressful situations. They can also help your child with social skills training so you child can be confident in new situations with new people.
Most children will be shy at one time or another. By being supportive and encouraging, you can help your child to be more confident and outgoing.