My 5-year-old is extremely shy and will not respond to people who talk to her. What is the solution to this problem?
Shyness in children is usually identified by their inability to initiate or engage in conversations. They will usually evade questions, avoid eye contact, and hide behind their mom.
If your child is shy, this is normal, as usually children tend to be more reserved with strangers than they are with the people they know and are comfortable with. You do not need to be alarmed, unless your child’s shyness cripples his social ability, turning him into an extreme introvert, unable to take a step without his parents.
Causes of Shyness in Children:
Shyness can result from many factors and will show signs from a very early age. Some of these causes are as follows:
- Extreme spoiling of your child
- Violence in raising your child
- Mocking and ridiculing your child publicly
- Comparing your child to others, while constantly criticizing him
- Severe emotional trauma (such as a parent’s death, separation of the parents, beating and screaming)
- Isolation and lack of interaction with others, especially if he is the only child
- An overprotective mother
- Body image problems (such as obesity, or being short)
- A physical disorder
- Feeling socially inferior to others
How can you help your child overcome shyness?
Children vary when it comes to overcoming their shyness. While some become independent at a young age (e.g. six years old), others can become less timid as teenagers. Regardless, here are a few areas you can focus on to help your child overcome his shyness:
- Never fight in front of your child, and avoid situations that can cause him emotional and psychological trauma.
- Respect your child’s personality and accept his differences.
- Urge your child to socialize and approach other children so that he will begin to learn behaving in a sociable manner.
- Avoid isolating your child from strangers.
- Compliment your child and boost his ego and self-esteem whenever he behaves well.
- Allow your child to express himself and have conversations with him, training him to verbalize his emotions and translating them for others.
- Boost his confidence by speaking about him to others with pride, while complimenting positive actions he did during the day.
- Give him the freedom to be independent and choose some things for himself.
- Be his role model: deal with others confidently and bravely, and he will surely follow.
- Never use words such as “shy” or “introverted” while describing him to others, as this can reinforce the negative behavior.
- Finally, treat your child with love, as this is your key to rid him of his timidity.