If you want your child to defeat this silent enemy, you will have to help him and make some changes.
Shyness is not an emotional illness, but how it hurts. Paco knows it very well, in the playground he sits alone, away from the other children. He does not dare to raise his hand in class and if he has no choice but to work with his partner at the bench, he finds a way to speak very quietly, so that the rest of the classmates do not hear him. He gets very anxious if the teacher asks him to read aloud, and he starts to shake in the yard when he has to do some pirouette in gym class. In her own words, “being home is heaven.”
Shy children do not create problems in class, such as those who talk a lot or are restless. However, for teachers, parents and educators they are a matter of concern. Despite this, very few children come for consultation for this reason and, when they do, they generally arrive with a note from the school that says: “He does not participate in class.”
There is a belief that, with the passage of time and as they approach maturity, the shy child will cease to be so. This is a half truth. In most cases, they come for consultation not during childhood, but when they are already young and also come with a broken heart. As time goes by, the child must be incorporating a series of social skills that will allow him to establish bonds and acquire an adequate emotional performance. When children fail to establish these social skills adequately, they are limited in their ability to communicate and will have a backpack loaded with emotional stories filled with pain.
How to identify if your child is shy
Shyness is very difficult to characterize, since each child will express it through different symptoms; However, there are common factors that tell us when we are dealing with a shy child:
Anxiety, fear, or fears
These usually appear when it comes to expressing themselves in front of other people, outside their family nucleus: participating in class, doing some activity by themselves (such as going to the store or writing on the blackboard). Added to the fear, comes an element of anxiety, which manifests itself with stomach pains, the urge to go to the bathroom, tremors, stuttering and the classic redness of the cheeks.
If your child is shy, you should know that he is a suffering child, that he may have feelings of inferiority or handicap in front of his peers. In general, there are also feelings of helplessness and guilt for not being able to satisfy others. On some occasions there are symptoms of depression and great sensitivity. Sometimes, the sadness that is experienced by not being able to express themselves, make friends or socialize, leads these children to burst into tears and somatic complaints (such as headaches, stomachaches). All this is generated by fear or anxiety about facing situations or moments in which you feel that you will not be able to respond adequately.
Difficulties relating to others
Shyness can lead children to have trouble relating even to their peers, or other not-so-close adult family members. As much as possible, they avoid participating in birthdays, social gatherings, talking with other children, taking the initiative to invite another to play. They are simply distant, isolated, insecure, submissive to the wishes of others and with little expression when expressing their emotions.
The causes of shyness can be diverse: the shy child is born, but it is also made. For this reason, it is essential that emotional ties are established from a young age and the child is provided with emotional security. This will allow you to lay the foundation for a confident and assertive personality. It is important that they are allowed to interact with other children very early, that they are allowed to run risks typical of their developmental stage, without generating fear or shame.
Help your child overcome shyness
Remember that you as a mother are a pillar for the personal improvement of your child. With adequate guidelines but without overprotection, you can promote their autonomy and their ability to relate healthily:
do not force it
When faced with a new situation, your child will want to avoid it. It is very important that you give him time and confidence, without forcing him. Encourage the situations that you have managed to face successfully, consolidate them and gradually promote new ones.
Don’t ridicule him or shame him in front of others
In particular, never say things like, “Your friends do.”
Even if it implies that inside you want to force it or it ends with your patience, your child needs to know that you understand him and that you will be there to support him, whenever it is necessary.
Find a friend your age
Help him gradually build trust in his peers. Encourage him to establish a secure bond and it gives him confidence to do the things his friend does.
No to overprotection
If you talk or do things for him, you are not allowing him to resolve his shyness, but you are reinforcing his insecurity and dependency. Overprotective parents speak up on their child’s behalf and come to comfort him whenever he is withdrawn. This, however, does not help the child overcome his shyness.
Don’t isolate it
Do not isolate yourself.
Look for opportunities for me to socialize
Let him participate with other children in activities appropriate to his age. Invite your friends over for lunch, a movie, or sports. Encourage her to participate in parties and school gatherings where she can practice her social skills.
Recognize their achievements
Every achievement, no matter how small, must be rewarded. Reinforce their merits, that will make them feel valued and trust their own abilities.
For a child, overcoming shyness can be as rugged as climbing a very high mountain. However, if you accompany him, he can surely reach the top and celebrate his victory.