Every parent wants to see their children socializing with their peers, running around the playground, playing, chatting and all that. In fact, most parents might get worried when it dawns on them that their child is the shy type. However, as against the way most people see it, being shy isn’t something bad – it’s completely natural, except when it’s not, though, and in which case you might want to find out the root cause of the problem and address appropriately. If you discover that your child is naturlly shy, though and you want to help them feel brave, below are 5 phrases that can help:
- “He/she is not shy, just not talkative”
One thing you don’t ever want to do to your shy child is to allow anybody label them “shy”, as this is one surefire way to get them to own that identity and “accept defeat”. So whenever someone says something about your child being shy, counter by saying they’re simply not talkative – makes the child feel better, since very few people would actually love to be regarded as talkative.
- “How did you do that?”
Whenever your shy child does something great, praise them for it. Shyness is just a small fraction of their personality; look for other traits they have that you can praise them for, and do just that. Are they good at mathematics, commend them. It’s simple, instead of dwelling on their weaknesses, hype up their strengths, and they’ll become more confident.
- “Do you want to lead the next family meeting?”
Most shy children are only shy outside the “territory,” i.e when they are around people they’re not used to, so it’s very likely your shy child won’t have any problem with the idea of leading the family meeting. That’s a good place to start helping them develop the confidence they need to be a bit more outspoken. They’ll likely soon begin to believe that they can do it.
- “Let’s attend the party together”
Since the whole anxiety of your shy child is centered around their fear of leaving their “territory,” they’ll still feel very safe and less uneasy about the idea of attending a party, provided you promised to be there with them. At the party, though, you might want to take it a step further by indirectly suggesting they mix up with their peers, without being pushing, of course.
- ” “
Yes, that’s an empty line, which simply means saying NOTHING. Sometimes, the best thing you can say is nothing, and that applies here. Most times, when someone directs a question to your shy child, you might feel the need to either help them answer the question or just urge them to answer. However, doing these is just you telling that child that they’re not equal to the task, so they most likely quit trying. This is not the result you want. Give that shy child some time to try. You may smile at them if they look at your face, but don’t rush to the rescue. That way, the child believes you trust them to answer and won’t want to let you down.
Overall, helping a shy child feel brave might be an arduous task, but with patience and determination, you can do it. However, worthy of note is the fact that not all shyness needs any form of “corrective” work; some are actually healthy – moreover a shy child won’t run into trouble at school too often. You should only come in if your child’s shyness is preventing them from doing things they should “normally” be doing.