How to stop a toddler from being shy

Each and every child is different with their unique behaviour. Some are naughty, some are talkative, some are silent and some are shy but one thing that is common in every child is their innocence and how they attract us in their own way. We parents might find it difficult in handling a shy toddler. Because of their shyness, we might have to avoid any social gatherings, party, outing and many things. I was also very shy as a kid because of which I have lost so many good opportunities, also lacked communication and always stayed back without taking part in anything. It took a lot of time for me to come out of it and change for good. Being shy is no wrong, that is the nature of a person but we need to stop our toddler from being shy and make them bold in order to grow. Another issue that we face with a shy child is sending them to preschool as they may not get adjusted easily. Sending any kid to preschool is difficult and it becomes even more tuff with a shy kid. You can read my article on how to prepare a child for preschool here

My daughter is also shy at times, especially when she sees someone new. Of course, everyone takes time to get comfortable with strangers but at least we initiate a conversation. But my daughter would literally not speak and sit on me or hold me tight every time she sees someone, even other family members for that matter. It would take a lot of time for her to open up and play. No matter how much I tried, she bent her head down and not speak at all. That left me worried and I started finding ways to socialize her with others and I literally forced her at times to talk to people. This impacted her even more than doing any good. I realized my mistake and decided to take it slow. Now, I definitely see a lot of changes in her behaviour. Not that she is not shy, but at least she is not like before and has socialized much better.

You might be wondering what actually I did that changed my daughter. I will definitely share it with you and it is no rocket science, it can be done easily and you will start seeing results gradually.

1. Don’t take your child among a large group of people and forced to talk. Instead, first, start introducing your kid to a small group, let your child spend some time with people. If you start noticing that child is feeling uncomfortable then better to get back home. Continue this small gathering for a few days until your child is fully fine. Once you are confident that your child is comfortable you can take to large gatherings.

2. Take them to play dates or parks as they get comfortable with other kids while playing. They interact and also learn a lot. I took my daughter to playdates at least twice a week. Initially, she was reluctant that I stayed with her all the time and would follow me where ever I went. So I stayed back with her at every play area and slowly she was much used to the place and never bothered if I was around or no. Even if we went to a new play date, she was comfortable to go and play without my presence.

3. Avoid calling out names to your child especially in front of others. It’s very common that we parents tag names to our child based on their behaviour. In front of others, parents say she is shy, she is scared to talk and many more. This should be avoided as that will impact the child’s mind and hurt the child.

4. Don’t force your child to talk immediately. Give time until the kid is comfortable. Forcing would make the child feel irritated and might never feel comfortable in any social gatherings or with anyone. Let your child talk to the person he is comfortable with and when he wants to.

5. Encourage, applaud and praise when your child has done something new or any work. When your child is trying something new, never stop him from doing it or never say no. If really you have to stop him from doing what he was doing then be polite and make him understand why he should not do it. Being tuff and saying no would induce fear in them, they will lack confidence and will have trouble talking to people because of the fear.

6. Lastly never compare your child with anyone. Comparing will only make your child feel he is not loved, he is bad or useless. Comparing might also result in anger, frustration in the child.

These above points have really helped my daughter get over her shyness to an extent. But remember, as mentioned earlier every child is unique and might show the results very soon or late. So be patient and do not expect results immediately or feel disappointed if your child is slow in showing results. Remember, patience is the key.

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