How can you encourage your child to be more social?
It can be very heartbreaking to watch your child be too shy to make new friends or play with others at school? How can your encourage your child to be more outgoing?
I also have a daughter who shows insecurities and is shy. She is fine if she is with someone she knows and is comfortable with otherwise she sticks to me like glue and doesn't dare be adventurous and try something new. I was finding this very frustrating as I felt that she needed more confidence, to me more confidence meant better social skills, better school work etc. However, I have come to terms with the way she is, she is who she is, I cannot force her to change and wanting her to be someone she is not is in anyones best interest. This is not about me, it is about her. She needs to develop into her own self, the best I can do is offer her encouragement and never discourage her.
I have given it much thought, she may not be the next leading CEO of some multinational company but hopefully her shyness will keep her from buckling under peer pressure when she is older. I would much prefer a child who is conscious of what goes on around her and needs me to help her get through difficult situations than have one who doesn't need me, is over confident and runs off at the age of 16. Not fool proof, but maybe instead of looking at how to encourage our kids to be more confident we should look at how to optimise a shy childs potential?
Why would I want to push my child to be someone they aren't? Many people live happy, fulfilled lives without being social butterflies. Many other people spend miserable lives pretending to enjoy social situations that make them feel ill. If my child is an introvert, I'd rather they be the latter.
This is heartbreaking. You need to be mindful of their insecurities and give them an opportunity to meet kids on their own terms. Walking into a room full of outgoin kids is a traumatic experience for me 4 year old. I Try to be early to school or other eventsso she can get comfortable with her surroundings before being faced with each kid. choose kids for playdates that will allow your child to grow confidence. Be patient.
Many children who are shy need to feel attached to people that they're comfortable with before they feel safe to venture out and initiate play. When they're ready, they'll do it willingly, without tears and fears. Let your child be.
Like everything else, every child is different! That is what makes us individuals. My 2.5 year old has always been introvert and takes a little bit of time to warm up to people and places. We used to do gymnastics, now we do dancing, pre-school and family day care lots of parks and playgrounds etc so that she is exposed to lots of different situations. She is very independent and always has been so she is happy to run around playing by herself rather then following all the other kids in the playground. I don't mind if she is introvert or extrovert as long as she is happy and confident in herself and as long as she is polite and nice to others (which she is)! So instead of encouranging them to be outgoing, encourage them to be confident so that when they need to be part of a group they are confident enough to be able to handle it.
My 3 year old Emelia is shy around new people especially when there is a lot of them. She is very out going at her day care because she know everyone. But she get overwhelmed easily.... for instance when it is time to leave and we have to say good bye.... she needs it to be one at a time if everyone runs up to her at once she shuts down. I have learned that I need to tell her when things are going to happen in advance. When we were potty training I told her for a week that once the pull-ups were gone she was going to be a big girl and wear panties. Everyday several times a day. Once that day came, she was prepared.
I am introverted and I am okay if that is who she is..... I am allowing her to develop into her own person at her pace. If that means shy and quiet then so be it.
My daughter is the same way....you can't force a child to be outgoing if they are shy. but there are things you can do so they feel comfortable in social situations...put them in social situations....some kids are happy with socializing with other kids once a week while other kids are naturally social. my suggestion is to make sure your child has opportunities to socialize but don't overdo it. Some kids prefer to play by themselves. However i see that you feel like your child is unhappy because they aren't playing with other kids so present your child with social situations but don't force them. My daughter has one playmate that she is really close with and 3 good friends at school. She isn't friends with everyone but she is happy with the friends she has. She has tried dance, soccer and gymnastics and goes to preschool twice a week. I put her in these things because she has alot of energy and I wanted her to channel some of that energy while having the opportunity to be around other children since she is an only child. I think that introducing her to new situations has helped her gain more confidence because of the situations I put her in but also so that she can see that there are tons of kids out there who are all different...anyways they say if a child can get along with their sibling they can get along with anyone so I bet your child will have no trouble making friends when they are ready and find a playmate they like enough.
My daughter is shy around groups of kids/people. I just recently put her into a 5 week soccer program, for one because she asked and showed interest and for two, I thought this would bring her out of her shell. One day during her practice she just followed the other kids running and kicking the ball, then after practice, she started yelling at her older sister about get the ball, come one. I was talking to the coach, so, that he could witness that my daughter actually does talk, knows the game and does possibly have a hidden talent for soccer. The coach turned to me and said, is that the same child, less than 5 minutes ago, just stood there with folded arms and looked like she had not interest. I shook my head with slight pleasure, that the coach had seen what he saw.