Shyness is often seen as a negative trait by many parents, but in reality, it can be a strength. Shy children are polite, attentive, and great listeners. Their shyness isn’t something that needs to be fixed, but your children may need help learning to cope with it as they’re introduced to new environments and new people.
Why is my child shy?
The first step in helping your shy child is learning more about shyness. Shyness is considered a complex trait, meaning that their shyness was caused by a combination of genetics and life experiences. Put simply, if your child is shy, they will likely be shy for the rest of their life, no matter what you do to “get them out of their shell.”
Don’t see it as a problem to be “fixed”
Many people see shyness as a problem, and that they have to “fix” it in order for their child to live a happy and carefree life. However, this isn’t the case, and telling your child that their shyness is a problem will only hurt their self-esteem. Just because your child doesn’t jump to introduce themselves to every stranger doesn’t mean they can’t be happy in their own way.
Instead, help them cope with their shyness
Shy children will likely be shy for their entire lives. Instead of trying to fix their shyness, teach them how to accept, cope, and live with it. You can do this in a few ways:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT teaches children how to face their fears and manage their anxiety in tough situations.
- Social Scripts: Teach your child what to say and how to behave in certain situations. You can teach them by using toys or stuffed animals to practice social interactions.
- One-on-one interactions: Introducing your child to a large group of people will just frighten them. One-on-one interactions are much easier for them, and you’ll have more success getting your child to open up.
- Be patient: If your child shrinks away from a social situation, don’t lose your patients with them. Understand that it will take time until they’re completely comfortable around certain people.
Stuffed animals can help children cope with anxiety and learn social skills. At The Zoo Factory, we have many lovable stuffed animals that can help your shy child throughout their lives. Look through our inventory to get started!