Having an extremely shy and quiet child can be a worrying prospect for any parent. Although there is nothing wrong with having a quieter personality, when it comes to being a child, being introverted can lead to a lack of friendships, personal development and social development.
If you are concerned that your child is not socialising enough, we have some advice to offer! Below, we have set out our top 5 tips on how to get your little one to feel more comfortable and outgoing in social settings:
Be patient with them
The best piece of advice we can offer is to always be patient with your child. Sometimes, shyness can be extremely crippling and can make the person feel isolated and alone, through no fault of their own. If your child is feeling like this, then they will require lots of support from you. The last thing they need is for you to become frustrated with their social difficulties. Instead, give them the space, time and tools that they need to build up their confidence. By having your support and encouragement, they will feel much more able to come out of their comfort zone.
Keep them active
A must-do for any parent with a shy child! The only way your child will loosen their shyness is if they are required to attend social events and clubs. We would really recommend signing your child up for some local groups and clubs based on their favourite hobbies - whether it be a sports team, a youth choir, a dance class or a drama group, taking part in something that they love will help your child to feel more confident, and therefore give them the encouragement that they need to speak to new people and make new friends.
Yes, it is important for you to support your child as much as possible, but you also need to know where to draw the line. When it comes to introverted children, it is understandable that parents assume that they should be by their child’s side at all times. We know it takes a lot of self-control to walk away from your child if they’re crying for you when you drop them off at school or a fun activity. However, we cannot stress enough how important it is to leave them to it! If you are with your child 24/7 at social events, then they will feel less inclined to interact with their peers. So, walk away and don’t look back. We promise, your child will be better off for it!
If your child struggles with opening up in new surroundings, then this could be another reason why they struggle to make new friends. If your child is a homebird, then they will feel much more comfortable being themselves in the comfort of their own home. To combat this issue, why not invite a classmate or two from their school or activity club to your home? This way, your child will feel relaxed in a setting that feels comfortable to them, which in turn, will encourage them to open up more and to make connections with their peers.
Naturally, when your child is at school or in their activity club, it can be difficult to have a clear image of how they are coping in their social environment. This is why it is crucial for you to keep in frequent contact with their teachers, mentors and club leaders. By having open communication and notifying them of your child’s introverted personality, the other adults in the room will have a better understanding of your little one and will be able to help them in the best way possible. Go team work!