7 ways for every mother to support a shy child

As a mother, you must know how to deal with a shy child and be able to help her or him to build self confidence. Here are some tips for you.
shy child
These tips can help you deal with a shy child. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 4 Jan 2023, 03:00 pm IST
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Does your child feel uncomfortable at social gatherings or just sits in a corner during parties? If YES is your answer, you clearly have a shy child. It’s normal for children to cling to their mothers at times. But if it happens frequently, it’s important to know how to deal with a shy child. You must help them build self-confidence. Kids who are confident in themselves are more willing to attempt new things and can even handle mistakes better. You must have noticed that if a confident child initially fails, the kid would try again. So, if you want your child to perform better in their academic, personal, and social lives, try to raise a confident child rather a shy kid.

HealthShots contacted Shefali Vaidya, psychologist, Apollo Spectra Mumbai, to find out how mothers can manage a shy child. She notes that children who lack self-confidence doubt their abilities. They could allow others to mistreat them and they could struggle to advocate for themselves. When they make a mistake, lose, or fail, children with low self-esteem have a difficult time dealing with it.

Child meditation
Mothers can help their shy kids build self-confidence. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Tips to deal with a shy child

1. Take note of what your kid says

A child’s thoughts get silenced when you talk over them or deny them a speaking opportunity. Give your child the opportunity to speak when she or he has something to say, suggests Vaidya. Stop what you’re doing and give your child the floor if the little one wants to talk to you or demonstrate something for you. Don’t get distracted by anything else happening in the space or online, other than making eye contact with your child.

2. Stop calling your child ‘shy’

There are labels for everything and everyone, but they don’t look nice on people. So, stop telling people that you have a “shy child”. Instead, you may teach your child to practise saying something like, “I don’t feel like talking right now”, in case someone approaches your kid and she or he hides behind you.

3. Be patient

Allow your child to stand by your side and watch until they are ready to join if they need some time to warm up at events like parties. Don’t focus too much on it. Make it really dull for your child to stand while the grownups look on. However, you should also let your child know that you respect who he or she is and that you are confident in your kid’s ability to go play when the little one is ready.

4. Demonstrate your confidence to your child

Have a chat with your little one. Give specific examples of how you overcame your shyness and explain what you did to deal with your other moods and emotions.

signs of problematic child
As a mother, don’t encourage your child’s fears. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Don’t encourage your kid’s fears

Kids pay close attention to everything we say. They will pick up on such vibrations if we talk about “scary” things or fears all the time and experience similar feelings as well. When you’re with them, use your words carefully to avoid sending them any unpleasant sensations or feelings.

6. Don’t shout at your children

Sometimes as a mother, especially during chaotic times, you become angry and shout. Shouting at children is bad for both the mother and the kids, so it is something that needs to be worked on. Yelling at a shy child can just make the kid more reclusive, so try not to do so.

7. Stop comparing

Never ever compare a child to a sibling or acquaintance, says the expert. Sometimes, mothers utilise friends or siblings as role models when trying to influence their children. These kids are not being encouraged by remarks like “Look how your sister plays with the others”, This can, in fact, be being discouraged.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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