Ways to help your child overcome shyness
Handling a shy child is frustrating for mothers. When you have a child who can’t stand and talk when his or her peers are talking is sad. Handling a shy child requires a lot of patience and sometimes, mothers lose it. But this won’t solve the problem by a long shot.
Mrs. Ayobami said when her last daughter reached speaking age, they began to notice a concerning pattern. She had always been a shy child during her toddler years, but as she continued to develop, she started to realize that her tendency to hold back in interactions with others was becoming more pronounced.
Mrs. Ayobami noted that her daughter would not speak to anyone outside their immediate family, yet while at home where she was comfortable, she would talk and talk and even make them uncomfortable. As the youngest of five, our daughter grew up around words, and she became a supremely verbal little girl – but only in the presence of family. In public, she was willing to smile, nod, or gesture, but never uttered a word.
She said: “Even with her grandparents whom she loves and with whom she would happily spend the night, she wouldn’t talk much. All she does is her solitary thing. She took to whispering in her siblings’ ears for communication in public places, and when she was enrolled in school, she went through several hours of class without joining in the songs or any activities that called for speaking up.”
We tried all sorts of things to encourage her to give it a try such as rewards, games, verbal encouragement, and it helped a bit. When asked why she wouldn’t speak, she just said she felt embarrassed. It took time, patience, persistence, and a real understanding of what was going on inside her to help her gain confidence to tak when other people are around.
I learned and understood what was going on with her. Anxiety can be difficult to understand. It can be hard to see why situations that don’t trigger your own fears may make your child hesitate or avoid them altogether. I befriended my daughter. I told he she was my friend, gave her hugs for nor reason, pat her on the back whenever she does her homework well.
I planned my help strategies based on her real needs. I found out that her concern was what others may be thinking of her, and I helped her consider ways to check her perceptions against reality. I told her to not jump to conclusions about other people and their relationship with her.
I taught her till she understood that if she’s not clear about something, asking questions is a great way to get enlightened. Whenever she feels confused about what to do in a new situation, I help her learn new behaviours that might be helpful. I also considered myself her coach.
Overcoming shyness requires building a felt confidence in whatever area of experience is creating the difficulty. Anger, shaming, or impatience was not likely effective strategies in coaching her in new ways of thinking, perceiving, or behaviour.
As a mother who wanted the best for her daughter, I took time to give her plenty encouragement and celebrate her little victories as she achieves them. This is one of the best ways to handle a shy child. Mothers should know that shouting on the child and beating them will do more harm than good.