A shy child usually worries parents. As a parent, you should understand that shyness is not personality disorder but simply a trait. Most people equate shyness in children to poor self-image and low self-esteem. However, this is not the case as some children are just naturally mild-mannered and reserved.
How should you know whether your child has low self-esteem or is simply shy? A child with high self-esteem but who is reserved establishes eye contact and is nice to be around. If your child can't establish eye contact and withdraws from interactions, your shy child may have a problem.
Tips on how to help your shy child become more outgoing are given below.
Tip #1 - Identify the Reason behind Your Child's Shyness
To help your child overcome shyness, you should determine what causes it. There could be an underlying condition such as a non-verbal learning disability. Other causes include anxiety and difficulty in establishing bonds with other people. By knowing the factors that cause your child's shyness, you will know what approach to use in helping them get along well with others.
Tip #2 - Be a Role Model to Your Child
Children are very receptive individuals and tend to imitate adults. If your children see you as a shy person, they are more likely to be shy as well. To help your child overcome shyness, it's time to overcome yours too.
You can be a role model by showing in front of your child how to be assertive the next time you ask the restaurant manager how long it will take you to be seated (note that assertive is not the same as being aggressive). Show them that you are comfortable talking to people and are able to receive compliments sincerely. Make an effort to help people when you see that they need help. By acting out as a role model, your children will overcome their shyness in no time.
Tip #3 - Consistent Exposure
Take your child on your next grocery trip. Bring them along to social gatherings and public places like parks and libraries. The more they are exposed to the outside world, the more they will understand that there's nothing to fear.
Tip #4 - Teach Social Skills Early in Life
Teaching social skills to your child early in life will most likely give you a positive result. Read books about establishing friendships to them at night. You can also teach them proper etiquette and manners in a regular and natural manner. How to shake hands, complimenting others and how to greet people are some lessons that you can practice with your child.
Tip #5 - Help Your Child Pursue Their Passion
When you help your children pursue the things they want to do, you are also helping them build self-confidence. A confident child interacts with people more and shares feelings well.
Transforming your child from being shy to being outgoing doesn't happen overnight. Consistency and patience on your end are key factors to helping your child open up to others.