Young Parents team
My four-year-old will rarely make the first move with other kids, even with friends. What can we do to help her be less shy?
More often than not, children who are shy are afraid of doing things wrong. We need to let them know that it’s all right to make mistakes, and encourage and give them opportunities to socialise at their own pace.
Try these ideas:
Practise initiating a conversation. The key is practice makes perfect!
Preschoolers watch and imitate adults’ behaviour all the time (even when you aren’t aware of it). Spend the day together. Ask your child to follow your lead and try something new – for example, talk to a neighbour that she might feel shy around, or to one of your good friends.
Arrange for a play date with another child who has similar interests. If the venue is your home, talk about how to make the visitor feel comfortable. Sometimes helping another child adjust will bring yours out of her shell. Avoid setting up play dates with domineering children because they can make the situation worse. – Ruth Chia, curriculum and programme manager at My First Skool
Related story: 10 ways to help your child become a confident speaker