Family Life




How to Overcome Shyness In A Child

How to Overcome Shyness

How to Overcome Shyness In A Child

Shyness in social situations is extremely common, particularly for younger children. Most people experience some forms of shyness and fall somewhere on a scale between shyness and boldness. It is only when shyness prompts a withdrawal from social interaction that it becomes excessive and worrisome. The good news is that this sort of problem shows up early.

Children who are inclined to be excessively shy may well develop social anxieties that hinder their development on many levels. But the earlier that parents can identify an issue and begin working with the child, the more likely it is that they will be able to ameliorate the effects of excessive shyness. Your child may never be particularly bold, but they will be able to interact normally with other people in social settings.

Signs of Excessive Shyness

Understanding shyness is key to identifying it. By identifying shyness early, you can deal with it as quickly as possible before it spirals into something bigger. Shyness can be genetic or environmental, or it can be linked to certain mental health issues. These triggers might include:

  • Insecurity of attachment as a result of difficult relationships with family
  • Family conflict or chaos
  • Frequent criticism
  • Dominating older siblings
  • Difficulties at school

If your child has a problem with excessive shyness, it may make itself apparent as early as two to three years of age. There are definite signs of this type of personality in a child's early years. These might include a discomfort with new people and situations, or your child might show signs of a more serious issue, such as:

  • Difficulty talking, stammering, stuttering, blushing, shaking, sweating hands when around other people
  • Difficulty thinking of things to say to people
  • Absence of outgoing mannerisms such as good eye contact or an easy smile
  • Reluctance to play with other kids, to go to school, or to visit relatives and neighbors

Teach Your Child How to Overcome Shyness

If you think that your child may have an issue with excessive shyness there are things you can do to help them develop some social confidence. Begin as soon as you notice the issue. You should start by trying to build your child's confidence up; listen to them and engage with how they feel in social situations. Share your own experiences with shyness in an effort to show them that they are not alone in their discomfort.

You should also try to be supportive verbally. Rather than scold your child for shy behavior, make sure that you find reasons to praise them. Finally, help your child get used to tackling social situations by creating safer social settings for them to try out. For example, invite a single child of the appropriate age over for your child to play with. Shy children will feel more comfortable on their home turf and prefer one-on-one interaction to groups.

When to Consult A Professional

Sometimes, shyness becomes such a problem that an expert needs to get involved. Make sure you've tried other strategies before going to a professional, since a lot of times shyness can be solved with just time and patience. If your efforts to help your child are going without reward, or if their shyness is severely impacting their daily life, it's time to escalate your intervention.

Extreme shyness can be an indication of a deep issue that needs a professional's attention. Choose a counselor that specializes in childhood anxiety and social issues. They'll be able to evaluate your child to determine what exactly is going on. They can also provide you with tailored advice to help you bring your child's confidence out in social situations.

There's nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to consulting a professional. Many children have to go to a counselor, for a variety of reasons. You can only do so much as their parent. Don't try to be a superhero. Some problems need a professional; that doesn't mean you've failed as a parent.

Take your time when selecting a counselor, and recognize that you may need to try a few before you find the right fit. Listen to your child's feedback, and encourage them to be honest with you about whether they like their counselor or not. If you don't see any progress after several months, consider switching to a different counselor. Remember, though, that severe issues can take a long time to shift towards the better. So, be patient.

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