A child who is shy and often quiet has difficulty in communicating and parents are overwhelmed by it because the child doesn’t have the confidence to interact with strangers, let alone friends, which develops into an anti-social attitude or become introverts.
Surely this should be changed so that children do not become lonely because they do not have friends at school or in the neighbourhood. As parents, you can help overcome their shyness and tendency to withdraw from a crowded area.
Here are 5 ways you can do to improve your child’s social skills.
1. Change the way you address them.
A child can get the impression that she has done something wrong with her behavior when a friend or family member address then as a shy person. By admitting that your child is an introvert, this discourages others from engaging in a conversation with your child and indirectly you have conveyed the message that being an introvert is negative.
Instead of using the word ‘shy’ or ‘quiet’ try saying ‘she feels like she wants to stay quiet for the time being,’ this way, your child will feel that you understand her feelings and you know that other times she is not shy nor quiet.
In fact, she will be actively talking when she gets home. By creating an accepting environment in the family, you have given the child her freedom to be as she wishes.
2. Open dialogue.
Pay attention to your child after he faced a situation which made him so quiet, ask him what had happened and what are the reasons that make him so quiet. When he feels embarrassed to meet new people, ask him how does he feel when the other person greets him.
Conversations like these will help you better understand the behavior of your quiet boy if he was too shy to answer others’ greetings, suggest to him that he could wave or smile to them instead. It will also help his transitions with every interaction he has with others in school and elsewhere.
3. Excercise socializing.
Everyone must feel overwhelmed when in places that are too crowded, very noisy or in new environments. However, as adults, we can quickly adapt to our surroundings, while children are still developing such capabilities. Therefore, the child needs continuous exercise on socializing skills.
Introduce social situations to your child slowly and make them work hard to make themselves feel comfortable and also have fun with other children. Do not force her to interact or put her in a playgroup if she isn’t ready.
When forced, she will feel even more uneasy and keep herself away from others. Start with one friend at a time, and gradually create a larger playgroup with several other children.
4. Draft out a plan.
Draft out a few social situations for him and help him practice, for example, a birthday party. When attending a birthday party you must wish the birthday boy or girl, try practicing it with your child, it can be very helpful in the long run.
You can also play a role in these social situation practice plans with your child, to prepare him so that he won’t be nervous when the big day arrives. He will remember of the practice and feel comfortable when he greet his friend at the birthday party.
Try not to be late to the party, because it would be difficult for your child if it’s too noisy since there are too many people. It’s best to be the first to arrive so that your child will attract other children to easily engage in a conversation with him.
5. Praise your child’s changes in attitude as an achievement.
Children respond well to praises, including children who are introverts. You can boost her confidence by praising her for socializing.
But do not reward them with gifts! It will give a negative impression on the child, only use forms of words to show your praise.
With these 5 tips, we hope it helps you understand your child’s situation and how to tackle the problem. Good luck to you and your child, we hope your child interacts with their friends well after this!