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Discoveries of a Wanderer

This was originally posted on Open Equal Free

It’s that time again! Children are returning to the classroom. Going back to school can be exciting for many kids, but for some who are shy and timid, being in a classroom or new school can be daunting. Here are a few ways you can help your shy child handle the first days of school.

1. Talk to your child.

This may seem like common sense, but by asking for details of your child’s day at school, you can encourage him or her to open up to others. Engaging your child in conversation will improve their social skills and self-esteem. When you are at social events, introduce your child to new people and encourage him or her to ask questions.

2. Avoid the using the label “shy.”

According to one family educator, Janice McCoy, using the term “shy” around your boy or girl can inadvertently give the impression that being shy is a negative thing. Janice says, “Your child may be shy and slow to warm up to people, but none of that is necessarily within your child’s control. It’s just who they are.”

3. Encourage extracurricular activities.

Whether it’s dance class, basketball, or math club, encourage your child to do things outside the classroom. He or she will spend more time with peers in an environment outside of the classroom. These opportunities will give your son or daughter the chance to meet kids from different schools, offering him or her more chances for social interaction.

4. Avoid being strict.

If your boy or girl chooses to be quiet around others to deal with stress, setting strict rules to overcome this timid behavior probably won’t help. On the contrary, it could silence your little one even more. Instead, try to break the silence by creating more opportunities for social exchange. For example, try setting up play dates or activities so your child can interact with peers.

With these few easy steps, you can make a big dent in your child’s shyness, encouraging him or her to enjoy school as much as possible.

Creative Commons Love: Edge of Space on Flickr.com

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