Help your kids to come out of their shells!

by Lauren Reeves on 25-05-2014 Kids Play
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Help your kids to come out of their shells!

Let’s admit it, kids can be cruel. Kids can especially be cruel to those that displays behaviours that’s different to what they’re normally used to. Remember how the nerdy and shy kids used to always get picked on at school? Well unfortunately, shyness is still very much frowned upon on at school playgrounds. According to child experts, what helps shy children the most is to know that their parents accept them as they are and give them support and confidence that they will be able to overcome it. Here are some helpful tips to help your child build up confidence and deal with uncomfortable situations with more ease.

  1. Join a sports team
    Most shy kids feels anxious and nervous when they feel all the pressure is resting on their shoulders, so the idea of being able to share responsibilities with other people in the team will help to release some of the tension. The feeling of having other team members counting on them and supporting one another will provide shy kids with the much needed confidence boost that they need to overcome shyness. So find out what kind of sports your kid is interested in - be it Rugby League or Netball and sign them up!

  2. Act it out
    Some of you may think that having a shy kid involved in theatre productions and acting classes is the last thing they would want to do. After all, being in the spotlight tends to make most people anxious - even adults! But because kids have imaginative minds so being involved in school plays can be a form of release for shy kids. They’ll be able to let go of their usual shy self and take on a different persona without the need to feel pressured to impress other kids. Acting lessons teach useful techniques on how to overcome crowd shyness and how to appear confident on stage, which will greatly benefit shy kids.

  3. Experience new things together
    Shy kids often gets very anxious when dealing with new people and situations. Exposure to a new environment gives shy kids practice at adapting to new situations. You can help your kids to slowly overcome this fear by taking them to new places that involves a lot of social interaction on a regular basis. For example, take them to the local swimming clubs for a casual swim. Introduce yourself to other parents and ask if you and your child will be able to swim with them next time. Once your child starts feeling more comfortable with the new environment, remember to take a step back and let them start exploring on their own.

  4. Learn how to make friends
    Don’t assume that all kids find it easy to make friends. For shy kids, they often struggle to strike up a conversation on the playground. You can help your kids to become more comfortable with such situations by teaching them important social skills such as how to make eye contact with people when speaking to them and mirroring the other person’s body language. Another good technique is to role play with your kids. Have your kids imagine themselves at the local park and ask them how they would introduce themselves to other children and ask if they could play with them.

  5. Organise play dates
    For young kids, once they start spending time together and become more familiar and comfortable with one another, friendships will blossom easily. For the shy little ones, parents can try organising play dates with kids from the neighbourhood and school. During the play dates, make sure that there are tasks for the kids to work on such as baking cookies or decorating hand-made masks. When shy kids have something to concentrate on, it’ll make them less nervous. Overtime, they will start interacting with other kids in the room and have fun making something together.

The most important thing when dealing with shy kids is to acknowledge their fear of meeting new people and being in new situations and assure them that you will help them to overcome the fear. There are many activities for kids over at our ActiveActivities directory that will make great ideas for your kid’s next play date.

Lauren Reeves

Lauren has two very excitable school age kids, as well as a full time corporate career. She manages to juggle the two roles and (mostly) maintain her sanity with the help of her ever-supportive partner. Lauren particularly loves cycling, as well as taking nourishing breaks in quieter parts of New Zealand. She lives with her family in Auckland and began blogging for ActiveActivities recently.