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Helping Your Preschooler Become Less Shy

By: Theresa Stanton | Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

preschooler-less-shy-SCASometimes even the chattiest of kids can become shy. In unfamiliar setting they might become bashful and either hide or they may not respond to questions. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal for a child to be timid.

During preschool years it is common for kids shyness to intensify it is because their world is expanding, and often times they can become overwhelmed by these changes. However, there are several ways to boost your child’s confidence.

Common signs that show your child is becoming a tad bit shy is they tend to clam up when meeting a teacher or new classmate for the first time. Being in a whole new environment with new classmates, teachers, and activities can make any child feel nervous. It’s important to realize this is your child’s first time interacting with kids and participating in group activities, so it might take some time for them to get used to their new lifestyle.

You don’t need to worry about your child being shy at a young age. As time goes on your child will begin to feel more comfortable. But it is important though that you as a parent find ways to try and make your child feel more comfortable in school.

How Can You Encourage Your Shy Child?

  1. Talk to your child’s teacher. Compare notes of how your child acts at home vs at school. If you notice your child isn’t participating in class try to look for ways to make the classroom an engaging and comfortable place.
  2. Try sitting in on a class. By being in the classroom it could help your child feel more comfortable. If your schedule does not allow for regular or lengthy visits that’s okay. Most kids consider a visit to be a special treat and it’s a chance to see your child’s behavioral habits.
  3. Check to see the reasons as to why your child might not be doing school projects or activities. Sometimes children avoid doing things because the activities might be too difficult. If this is the case, talk to the teacher about simplifying activities so that he or she will be able to understand. Other times children might not participate in learning activities because they already know how to do it. They might find the task is too easy or even boring. If this is the case ask the teacher to make a separate activity for him or her to do that way he still will be learning and participating.
  4. Help your child learn. Sometimes children have a harder time grasping new skills in a loud environment. While at home slowly introduce your child to various sounds they might hear in the classroom to help them adapt. Find out from the teacher what songs your child likes to sing while at school and incorporate them into their learning environment at home. If your child has anxiety about singing give them encouragement by telling him or her you’re proud of them. Gentle encouragement can help them feel more comfortable.

Other great ways to boost your kid’s confidence is by helping your child to practice social skills. Have your child practice answering the phone, ordering her own meal at a restaurant, calling a friend for a play date, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ to unfamiliar adults and handing cash to cashiers.

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