It can be easy to label a shy or sensitive child as somewhat socially malfunctioning when we live in a culture that elevates the outgoing personality. In reality, being shy is not a personality fault, it’s one of the many traits that make up the DNA of your child!
If your child is shy, she may exhibit more discomfort in new social situations and also may struggle to connect with other children. Try to identify the situations that seem to make her uncomfortable and seek to help her communicate her feelings. Sometimes a new circumstance or environment will bring out your child’s shyness – such as starting at a new preschool or meeting a new neighbor.
It’s important to help your child feel comfortable when facing a new situation. Take time to listen to why she is nervous about the new circumstance so you can help her understand why it is necessary and reassure her it does not have to be a negative experience. She will not magically become comfortable overnight but by helping her understand her new circumstance, you are helping her feel more secure and valued.
Unfortunately, other children who have bolder personalities may intimidate your child purposefully or just by being more outgoing. Talk with your child about her experience at the new preschool or play group. Ask specific questions about her day to help pinpoint any source of anxiety you might be able to address.
Consider these other ideas for how to encourage your shy child:
- Spend time in situations where your child feels completely comfortable. Whether at home, at a nearby park, or with close friends, positive social interactions will give her the confidence to adjust to new circumstances.
- When your child will be attending a new childcare or preschool, take a tour with your child and show her the classrooms, cafeteria, playgrounds and any other new area. If you have a chance to meet with her teachers before the first day, take advantage of it! Familiarity always helps to alleviate nerves and anxiety.
- Since outgoing personalities can be intimidating for a shy child, encourage her to find other quiet children in her new preschool or neighborhood that she can play with.
- Help your child discover what she likes to do for fun and encourage her in those activities! As she builds confidence in a hobby, she will likely begin to approach new circumstances with less anxiety.
Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Fort Mill understands that every child is special and unique. Our standards-based curriculum is designed to help children learn through a variety of activities and approaches. Whether you’re looking for a place that offers an excellent Before/After School program or a preschool program that will help your shy child thrive, we are confident in our care and education of every child! Stop by for a visit and tour our secure, friendly, state-of-the-art facility today!