Do you have a shy child?
If yes, then this post is just for you.
Often we come across parents who complain that their child is shy. This is the biggest fear faced by them.
My two muffins are quite outgoing and talkative, but even they have their shy times, which freaks my husband the most. He was a shy child and fears that our little muffins too might fall in the same trap. But I feel differently about it. Having a shy child isn’t all that bad.
I feel it’s unfortunate that the world demotes a shy child below her more outspoken counterparts.
Don’t you feel that we grown ups think negative about Shyness, particularly with kids?
But don’t you feel that your child isn’t here to perform or entertain the world?
Though we all love watching kids who eagerly dance and sing for adults or recite their rhymes. Such kids have a wider audiences than the ones who hide behind their parents or vehemently refuse and say “No!”.
Lets talk about the most common parental fear. We all fear that our child’s shyness might be seen as a weakness. At the back of our mind we might be considering shyness as a symptom of a larger developmental delay or social constricts. Or we might be fearing that introverted kids would be less popular or well-liked among their peers. These are all well-intentioned fears, especially as parents try to help their children navigate through social interactions.
We shouldn’t stigmatize shyness. We must not equate shyness as an inherent trait. I can certainly bet that even the most outgoing person has her shy moments (just like my daughters, who have their shy moments several times, inspite of being the most talkative and outgoing kids around).
There are certain introvert people who prefer working alone than in groups. But call them for a group task with some coworkers and they would easily socialize and make their points.
Like I mentioned before, kids too have their moments of shyness that don’t necessarily define their every waking moment. There are so many kids who can be considered shy, but in the comforts of their own home, can perform a big comedy show.
Then why is it that children exhibit shyness ?
It may be due to some biological reasons, that make some people more likely to have shy episodes than others. Also, I feel some kids are more cautious around new people. Others might simply need more personal space and prefer playing alone, while others need to observe before jumping in on the action. Notice that none of these reasons ought to implicate quiet children as second class to the more outgoing kids.
Isn’t this theory true even for adults? Don’t we too get flustered with people we’ve just met or with others who make us nervous or even intimidate us? Unlike children though, we’re better equipped with social cues and how to handle ourselves, so that when we meet someone who makes us nervous, we don’t run to the other room.
This is one stereotype way of parenting that I totally didn’t believe in. I never apologize when my two muffins are shy, neither do I let anyone comment “Oh, she’s just shy,”. The reason behind that is that it sends a child the message that how she’s feeling isn’t a good thing, rather than the plethora of other reasons she might be withholding a hug (wanting to observe or the need for personal space, for instance).
Instead of wishing away shyness, we can accept kids for whichever characteristics they exhibit and raise them in ways that will help cultivate the traits that they do have.
Instead, simply acknowledge that she doesn’t feel like saying hello right now, and respect and uphold your child no matter what mood she is in. Because we really need to face it, that we’ve all had our shy moods, and to be apologized for our state of mind in that manner wouldn’t make us feel any better or break out of our shell any faster.
So lets all pledge to stop tagging our own or others’ kids as ‘ SHY’. Lets stop making a hue and cry over our child having her ‘SHY’ moment. Let’s not judge our kids or others’. Lets just let the kids enjoy the beautiful phase they are in.
I will be soon sharing some tips on how to encourage your child to be confident. Until then please spend lots of time with your child and indulge in some fun playpdates.
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