There are loads of kids out there who are afraid to connect with new people and hardly ever put their hands up when the teacher asks a question, even if they know the answer all the time. A little bit of confidence can take them so much further in life and in their studies, as well. As a parent, it is your responsibility to support your son or daughter in developing a healthy confidence that will help them achieve their goals and realize their dreams. If you don’t know where to start, you will find a few tips below.
If your child is happy and content in their family environment, but shy in school and playgroups, it might be time to go out socializing with them. Even if you only visit friends or neighbors, it will help them develop the skills and the knowledge to talk to different people. You can also try taking them to the local library club or to work with you for a couple of hours, so they will get used to different environments and faces from an early age.
Meeting People of All Ages
While your kids might be familiar with you and your partner, as well as kids their age, they would probably feel nervous around an older person, especially of their grandparents live far away or are no longer around. It is important that they learn how to connect with people of all ages, including teenagers and the elderly. Give them some tasks, such as taking a letter over to next door that was delivered to you, or even send cookies with them, so they can gradually build their confidence.
If you have recently moved house and your child is struggling with getting used to their new environment, it might be a good idea to help them explore and get familiar with the place and the new people. If their confidence has been knocked back because they lost their old friends, you might need to be there when they make new ones. Take them to the local park and talk to other moms. Once your child knows that it is safe to talk to new people, they can’t help but copy your behavior.
Connecting with Animals
If your child is withdrawn among other kids and people, you can help them deal with their emotions and fears by letting them connect with animals. Even if you can’t get a pet yourself, you can borrow a dog from your friends, take your little one to a petting zoo, or sign up for horse riding classes. Shy kids usually open up and flourish among animals, as they don’t feel the pressure to fit in.
If your child has issues with communication and expressing themselves, it is a good idea to find a drama club for kids nearby. Find a class that involves sensory motivation, dance, singing, and acting as well, so later your child can choose which one they prefer. Drama can boost any child’s confidence, as they can succeed in communication and track their own progress. Many kids have come out of their shells after starting drama. They are also likely to receive positive affirmations and praises.
If your child is shy because they have a speech problem, you will need to find a professional to tackle the issue as soon as possible. Kids’ brain is fluid at an early age, and they can learn new ways and habits easier. Search for a Speech Therapy practitioner in your local area, or get a referral from your child’s school or doctor. You want your child to be able to communicate without worrying about bullying and mockery.
Do you remember Darci Lynne, the winner of America’s Got Talent? She used to be a shy girl, and she won a talent competition. You can use the same method to help your child express himself through the puppets. If they are dealing with difficult emotions or would like to escape from the noisy classroom and reflect on life, giving them a puppet will help them more than one way.
As a parent, you will have to be mindful of your child’s emotions, sensitivity, and fears, and make sure that you are not making matters worse. Use positive affirmations and praises, even if they feel like they always need to match the expectations of their peers. While it is impossible to protect your child from negative comments at school and in their peer group, you can compensate the effect by giving them praises and boosting their confidence.
If your child is a slow learner, or is struggling in school, they are more likely to become withdrawn. You can get a private tutor or get them in additional classes where they can catch up with the rest of the pupils and celebrate their achievements. Sometimes kids can’t help but compare themselves with others, and feeling inferior doesn’t help them develop confidence.
Apart from drama and horse riding, sports can help your child think more positively about themselves. You will have to find a sport they are interested in and will be likely to engage with for a long time. If they can become better than the majority of boys at football, they will have a confidence boost every time there is a game in school. Competitive and team sports are the best for kids with low confidence.
Whether you know what caused your child’s low confidence or not, there are plenty of ways you can help them come out of their shell and flourish. Find an activity they can engage with and get good at, so they receive praises and positive affirmations. Lead by example and show them how to connect with people from all walks of life and of different ages. Confident kids get further in life, when it comes to career choices and progression, decision making, or even choosing a future partner.