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Your shy child

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Your shy child

What to do with this activity?

Every child has a different personality, and sometimes a child is naturally shy or lacking in confidence in social situations. There's a lot you can do to help them to grow in confidence in handling situations that make them anxious. Be positive, because your quiet child is in a better position to watch and learn than a more noisy child. 

1) Firstly, don't draw attention to their shyness, especially publicly - they will think there's something wrong with them. If someone else comments, deflect it with a compliment for your child like "she's taking note of everything that's going on". 

2) Encourage your child to express how they feel before and after an event that makes them anxious. Show them that you understand, and point out that other children might be feeling the same. Think together about how you could make someone else feel comfortable by being friendly, even in a quiet way.

3) Make unpredictable situations more predictable. For instance, explain what will happen at a birthday party before they go to one.

4) At home, act out social situations that usually make your child uncomfortable. Let them tell their soft toys that there is "nothing to worry about". 

5) Give them a few ways they can cope with their shyness, like giving them something to do. It could be a small toy they can fiddle with, and show someone.

6) Don't think of it as a problem. The good thing is that your shy child is likely to be more aware of other people than a child that is the centre of attention.  

 

  • Why am I doing this?

    Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.

  • How can I do more?

    Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.

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