Despite seeming relatively synonymous, shyness and introversion are two different concepts.  Someone can be an introvert without being anxious. You can be anxious but not necessarily an introvert. Shyness is often rooted in anxiety, whereas introversion is a personality trait.  However your child presents , remember neither introversion nor shyness means something is “wrong” with him or her. Your acceptance and love is essential. It is important that you remain committed to helping your child  manage his or her shyness in social settings. Here are 5 tips on how you can help nurture your child’s confidence and help him or her overcome shyness any situation.

Set Expectations Ahead for your Child

New situations can be overwhelming and may trigger shyness for a child . Ease your son or daughter into feeling more comfortable in new situations by discussing what they can expect . If you are visiting a friend’s house who has kids similar to your child’s age, talk about how they might behave  in another person’s home, and that there will be other kids there to play with. 

Transitioning to a new school can also be  stressful for a child. Meeting new people them for the first time can be very uncomfortable.  This can be compounded by acclimating to a new and strange environment. Help your child prepare for this transition by arranging a visit to the new school before the first day. This way, your child will have an opportunity to get a feels for the new building and grounds,  find a familiar spot, and start to feel more comfortable in his or her new surroundings. 

Do Role plays and Rehearse Scenarios

There are a number of scenarios that may trigger anxiety in your child.  If one of these includes meeting new friends, it can help to do some quick role plays at home.  Have your child try to imagine scenarios and rehearse possible conversations your child may have when  meeting new people. You can use “child-speak” and call these role plays, “pretending”. Playing pretend gives your child a feeling of control over the situation and it may help him or her manage feelings of shyness more effectively. Scripting scenarios can be quite  helpful It as it can give your child an opportunity to break down a situation scene-by-scene explore various routes and outcomes of intimidating social interactions.

Encourage Politeness at all Times

Being shy is okay.  Children are allowed to have their boundaries respected. . However, it is important for us to encourage politeness at all times, even when a child feels shy. They may not realize it, but kids who are shy tend to avoid interactions with people, which can come off as seeming snobbish  or rude. Your child may not intend to seem rude, so it’s important to teach him or her about the consequences of our actions. Talk about how your child’s behavior may have made someone else feel. , and about how they might feel if they are treated the same way. Help children learn to respond appropriately and maintain eye contact when they are spoken to. Teaching these things while coming from a place of empathy can help impress this lesson upon children and help them to overcome  shyness more effectively. 

Correct and Praise in Private

One thing that shy kids dislike the most is being  placed in the spotlight, regardless of whether the attention is positive or negative.  Avoid scolding children in front of other people, as this is likely to put them in an uncomfortable situation. If your child makes a mistake, address it in private, resolve the situation and keep it between the two of you. Remember to speak in a neutral tone and avoid sounding accusatory. Yelling can make  your child feel even more intimidated. 

On the other hand, receiving praise should be a positive experience for your child.  Being commended helps to uplift your child’s self-esteem, but again, he or she may appreciate it more when done  privately. 

Model Positive Self-Talk

Shy kids often have a tendency to downplay their victories, as they usually don’t feel comfortable in  the spotlight. As a parent, you can help your child overcome shyness by encouraging him or her to take credit where credit is due. Encourage children to see the positive  in recognizing their personal successes rather than dodging compliments, which may come more naturally. Being receptive to compliments can help to avoid awkward social interactions. Positive self-talk and self-assurance are  important. The culture you promote at home is a significant influence on your child’s behavior,. so it’s important for you to model healthy behavior . Over time, you will be able to watch your child grow more confident . 

Overcoming shyness can take time but with your encouragement and support, your child can grow into a self-confident and happy individual. 

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