I’ve had several people comment with questions regarding their shy child and confidence after reading my previous posts, How to Raise a Confident Child and How to Raise a Confident Baby/Toddler. My replies starting getting long so I figured why not write a post.
My Shy Child is Confident Too:
Here are my unprofessional, just a fellow mom, thoughts on it.
For the sake of this post I’m going to define shy as reserved. Often shy children aren’t so “shy” at home or places they are comfortable. When I say reserved I’m saying they are slower to warm up to strangers, quieter in bigger group settings, etc. This is a very rough definition and since every child is so different there no perfect way to describe shy, so don’t let this definition stop you from reading the rest of the post.
First of all, if you do have a shy child, I would be very careful not to constantly call my child shy in front of them. This is defining who they are for them and as parents we want them to figure out their own identity and not just have them conform to who you are telling them they are.
It’s ok (and safe!) for your children to take time to warm up to new people. It’s ok if they aren’t chatty with strangers. It’s ok that they are nervous being left in a new place they haven’t been before. A healthy nervousness is safe, if your child is overly anxious this would be another concern and the anxiety would be what needs to be worked on.
How outgoing and shy a child is, is based on personality but confidence does have impact on how well the child is able to interact and communicate with others. Point #9 in how to raise a confident child talks about raising a child that is a confident communicator. This point applies to everyone! No, your child may not grow up to be a public speaker but learning how to communicate is crucial to become a confident adult it’s a skill we use everyday, they will have job interviews, bosses to deal with and future spouses. Different opportunities will stretch them and that’s good! If they have a solid foundation they won’t break when those opportunities happen.
Helping Your Shy Child Gain More Confidence
Building the foundation for a confident communicator doesn’t mean you have to enroll them in an public speaking class, you can however do small things, like these 3 fun speaking games from Kids Activity Blog or simply having conversations with your child!
You can also have them do small things like pay the grocery store clerk for you or have some friends over and have your kids take their drink orders. In the same breath though we do have to remember that with out shy children do have limits and we need to be careful not to push them too hard or too fast as that can be damaging and scary for them. Confidence building activities can be done slowly at the pace your child is comfortable with.
It always makes me smile when I see the shy/reserved child because often times these quieter kids are the ones that are the most stubborn and steadfast in their values. You have a winner on your hand! Train your sweet little one to be true to who they are and be the best they can be without compromising or faking to be someone they are not.
Shyness is not a crutch, it’s just a personality we have to work with accordingly, the most important thing is how they view themselves. Let’s help them have confidence in who they are!
Is your child more reserved? Leave a comment with your thoughts on this. Remember I’m just a mom sharing as I go, I want to hear other mom’s thoughts too! And be sure to join our email newsletter so more great posts like this will show up right in your inbox!
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