But when children are shy all the time, their shyness can become a problem.
Shy children tend to like themselves less and have a harder time making friends. Their shyness might also restrict their learning.
Unknowingly, parents can promote their children’s feelings of shyness. For example, children’s shyness can increase if their parents:
• Constantly call attention to what others think of them.
• Dote over them and allow them little autonomy.
• “Label” them as shy.
To help children become more confident and less inhibited, parents can:
• Know and accept children as they are. Get to know and show respect for your child’s interests and feelings.
• Build self-esteem. Praise children when they demonstrate new skills.
• Teach social skills. Role-play the use of “social skill words” like please and Can I play too?
• Promote a fresh start. Help your child find new groups of peers to play with and with whom she might achieve a higher peer status.
• Don’t push children into new situations they see as threatening. Take time to help your child feel more secure by luring her into social interactions with interesting materials or information.
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