How to Help Your Child Be More Social
Shyness in children around new people is common and usually nothing to worry about. They slowly move past it and all that anxiety is quickly forgotten.
But there are times when they are unable to find that level of comfort, and socialization can get tough. Research shows that parents play a key role in the development of their children’s social skills. Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re doing your part!
Get to the root of the problem
The first thing that you can do is explore what is causing your child’s anxiety. Is it fear of being ridiculed? Does she have trouble with knowing what to say? Has she had a bad experience in the past? Is she being bullied?
Knowing what the problem can help you find solutions more easily. Explore the best way to resolve the matter. This usually involves being as gentle as possible and making your child’s comfort your priority.
Out of school activities
Schools can often be an alienating space for some students. There are cliques, there is bullying, and often teachers don’t look into these issues enough.
It’s a good idea to expose your child to a variety of environments and opportunities. Children frequently bond over similar interests. If your child is more inclined towards creativity and art, you can sign her up for an art class. If she enjoys food and cooking, a children’s baking class will be a fantastic idea.
Teach your child to initiate sharing
With children, friendships are often based on how approachable and friendly they are.
Sharing is a great way to break the ice and play together. This also helps your child develop conversation skills. the positive response she will most likely get will reinforce the idea of initiating conversations.
Never shame your child for being shy
It’s important that you respect your child’s feelings. If they feel dismissed, ridiculed, or shamed for being shy, they will retreat further into their shell. Remember to not push your child too much when it comes to socialization. Doing these things will cause them to become self-conscious of her shyness and she will start to think she isn’t capable of social interaction. It might also make her feel like there is something ‘wrong’ with her, causing damage to her self-esteem.
Remember, every child learns at their own pace. Be patient, be gentle, and ensure your child knows she can talk to you about anything.