If your child is loud and bubbly around you but quiet and fearful around other people, they might be overly shy. Some shyness is normal in children but it can become a problem if it affects their socialization skills. This can be especially concerning for homeschool parents with kids who aren’t around other people all day. Here are a few ways to help your child with shyness.
Empathize with Them
A child’s shyness likely stems from anxieties and worry. Avoid forcing your child to do something they’re uncomfortable with to try to “toughen them up” or “get them used to it.” Shyness is often a phase that children will overcome with patience and support.
Support Their Interests
Your child is less likely to feel shy when doing something they love. If they like reading, take them to a library gathering. If they like to swim, take them to the public pool. They’re more likely to get out of their comfort zone when they’re having fun.
Model Confident Behavior
Whether you’re teaching a homeschool lesson or taking your child to the grocery store, model confident behavior for your child. Be excited to answer the front door, for example, or take a phone call. Ask the grocery store clerk how their day is going and mention how nice they were afterward. Try to gently show your child that being friendly and open with people is a good thing.
Encourage Social Skills
Although you shouldn’t force your child into uncomfortable situations, it’s not healthy to let them stay home every day until their shyness dissipates. Take baby steps with social situations, like small playdates and short activities. As they become more comfortable in these settings you can vary what kinds of activities they participate in.
Shyness can come from a lack of confidence. Compliment your child often and encourage them to be expressive. Look for opportunities to build their self-esteem. A child who is comfortable with their appearance and personality is less likely to be paralyzed by shyness.
HomeschoolFacts.com has a complete list of support groups to help support you in your homeschooling endeavors and connect with homeschoolers near you. You can search the list of support groups here: https://www.homeschoolfacts.com/homeschool-support-groups.html