A shy child is a common concern that many parents have when their child is growing up. Parents hope that their child will be comfortable in social situations and will be able to meet friends easily. As a nurse at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I see many children walking to the hospital every day - some are out, and some are shy and have difficulty communicating with others. While researching this blog post, I learned that shyness can be a child’s inherited condition or response to a stressful situation.
Shame and Children
Embarrassment is a common response to what a child sees as scary or extreme. These situations often occur in new social settings. Children who are shy usually tend to:
• See the world around people you do not know
• Do not speak voluntarily in a social setting
• Watch but do not join other children in playing
Shame from time to time is a fairly consistent response that many children will find as a normal part of development. Excessive shyness can make it difficult for children to develop appropriate social and friendly interactions. Sometimes adults, who identify themselves as shy, report that they feel less satisfied with their lives than their shameless peers. Some have reported that they do not achieve goals in their life as a result of avoiding certain activities such as speaking in front of a group because of embarrassment.
Help Your Child Overcome Shame
Often, embarrassment is not a major concern and may be temporary. The following are some simple strategies you can use to help your child overcome shyness:
• Do not say your child is shy, try to explain to others that your child is slow to warm up to others but do your best not to label it morally.
• Support your child's social well-being by not pressuring him or her into uncomfortable social situations immediately, or without warning. Start with small groups or well-managed social situations. It helps to imitate before any other fun event can be embarrassing.
• Be empathetic with your child's behavior and avoid embarrassment. For example, try sharing a time in your childhood when you can remember feeling embarrassed, describe the feelings of those feelings. Encourage your child to use his or her words to describe his or her feelings.
• Be responsive to their needs.
• Model confident behavior with others - be friendly to strangers in guarded areas and imitate a relaxed social network of all kinds.
• Teach your child not to be afraid of strangers, focus on teaching your child to live with an adult in his or her care (eg parent, teacher or child caregiver).
• Teach your child communication skills. This can be as simple as arranging play dates or participating in play teams.
• Teach your child social skills, such as “Can I play with him?” When they get older, teach them social skills such as shaking hands and looking at each other when you communicate with others.
• Give your child strength and positive commendation. Look for opportunities to build their self-confidence and confidence. Children who feel good about themselves tend to be more confident.
• If your child's embarrassment persists or is serious enough to interfere with daily life and friendships, seek help from your pediatrician to find a therapist who can provide treatment.
Shame is a common behavior that many children experience at some point in their life. It is important to remember that it can be a temporary problem with the right intervention. Please discuss any concerns with your child's emotional development with your child care provider. Please share this blog post with other parents.
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