Parenting a shy child, here is how
Do you have a shy child? Parenting Guru, Alan Yip, advices parents on how to raise “shy” children. Alan is the author of best-seller, FUNtastic Parenting, and the founder of Mind Edge.
First of all what we must be aware of and careful about is not to use negative labeling, if we call our child shy, we are conditioning them to be shy, day in and day out and that is terrible, this is a disservice that we will be doing to them.
So instead, we need to change our language. How do we do it? Rather than calling them shy children, we should say they are a bit reserved, or it just takes a little bit more time for them to warm up and speak up. Instead of focusing on their shyness, now we have to give them exposure. That means get them together with other children. One of the best ways is to team up this child with another younger child. When we now pair them up, the so called ‘shy child’ with a younger child, by default this older child’s confidence will go up, as this child is not dealing with another child of equal or greater capabilities. So that is one way to enhance the self esteem of the shy child.
Another way, start catching the child doing things right. We are hungry for recognition, if we start to be Sherlock Holmes and look for good things that they are doing right, focus on their efforts and praise them when appropriate, you now ignite their fire of confidence at one step at a time and not over night, but over time. This is some of the strategies for parents to use.
Another key area is to identify this child’s unique strengths and qualities. What is the child good at? If the child is very artistic, great! Praise the particular trait in specific terms. “Wow, mummy loves the way you use the colour combination, the brush strokes are very bold. I love the vibrancy of the color.” You have solid praise to help the child become more confident. Don’t focus on weaknesses, build on strengths. That is another extremely important area for parents to keep in mind.
Here are some related articles:
10 no-no’s during parent-teacher conferences
10 ways to help a shy child
Teaching your child basic social skills