Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Solutions For Shy & Withdrawn Children (EXPERT)

Picture your child on the playground.  Is she involved with the other children, participating in the games and activities?  If not, do you wonder how you could help her to develop confidence and courage to overcome shyness?

Discover Unique Ways To Build Confidence

By helping the child succeed at something every day you will increase their confidence and competence.  Start and end the day on a positive note.  Find something that your child excels at; maybe a rock collection, playing guitar, studying dinosaurs, etc. and really encourage that success.

See them as capable human beings.  The message we all want to hear from important and influential people in our lives is that we are capable, competent and confident people.  Telling a baby he is clever for rolling over, or a 7-year-old for zipping his jacket when it is cold outside, are messages that say “You are capable, you are smart and you are capable of making friends.”

Catch them being competent.  Every one likes to be around competent people, especially those who are willing to teach and share with others.  When you witness your child succeed at a task, yet allow others to participate and take part in the victory, be sure to acknowledge the leadership attributes.

While it is important to praise the specific mechanical or technical skill, it is also important to praise the “soft skills” of interpersonal relationships he or she is developing. Express your confidence in their ability to gain courage to try something new or to smile at four new people each day.

Roadblocks to Friendship

In the book Cliques by Giannetti and Sagarese, they called the three roadblocks to friendship: fear, sadness and shyness.  They found among the greatest fears of adolescents were social anxiety and that no one would like them.  As a protective measure, some children will keep to themselves and not give others a chance to not like or accept them.

Improve Social Skills

The shy child may be nervous about approaching the group or even one individual, and so stands with arms drawn in and not making eye contact.  What the body language message says to others is not shy, but rather snooty, stuck up and standoffish.  Your child will instantly become more approachable just by looking up and keeping hands down or even in their pockets.

Some people are naturally shy, but the skills of courtesy, respect and friendliness are skills that can be learned.  These life skills will assist them not only in personal relationships but also in the world of work.

Parents of the shy and anxious child tend to be overprotective and want to shield them for hurt and rejection.  However, over protectiveness focuses the child’s attention on the power of the parent and not on their own powers.

Awaken Their Courage

You can tell your child there are ways to be more outgoing and assertive, but it will take some work.  Remind them that it will make their life more interesting, fun and enjoyable and it will be worth the effort to try to develop life skills in social areas. It will be easy to focus on smiling at others one day, then saying hi on another day, and finally getting a positive result by asking to set by someone new at lunch.

You are not asking her to change her basic personality; rather you are encouraging her to take small steps, like smiling at a new child, ordering her own food, or asking to be part of a new game.

Build Self Confidence in Your Children & Yourself

If you want to change that initial picture of your child standing lonely on the playground, you will want to own the books available at http://www.ArtichokePress.com  These parenting and self-growth books, reports and audios to awaken your heart to solutions for yourself and your family.