How To Overcome Shyness In Toddlers

How To Overcome Shyness In Toddlers

Some toddlers are extroverts while others are introverts. If your toddler belongs to the latter, warming up to people can be difficult for him. But, with your support, he can grow into a confident individual. Here are some tips on how to overcome shyness in toddlers.

Do Not Attach A Label

It is best not to describe your toddler as “shy” or “timid” when you are talking to him or to other people. He may hear you say it and take it as a criticism. The label will likely stick to his mind and he will come to accept it as a fact which will only increase his timidity or make it his excuse to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Just try to think that he takes his time to get comfortable with people he does not know.

Do Not Belittle

Nothing crushes a toddler’s self-esteem faster than hurtful words and comparison. Never compare him to a more sociable child, tease or express your frustration with his lack of social skills. You will make him feel bad and damage his confidence which will only make his shyness worse.

Increase Exposure

Encourage your little one to associate with others, but do it gently so as not to overwhelm him. Set up play dates or a backyard party and invite a small group of kids his age or children younger than him (so he will not feel frightened). Go to the park or to your local zoo and invite your neighbour’s child to join you. Make more trips to the playground. This will allow your shy toddler to interact with other kids by playing in the sandbox, sitting next to someone on the swing or waiting in line for the slide. These interactions will encourage your toddler to talk to other kids. It may take some time for him to warm up, but the more exposed he is to people, the more comfortable he will become.

Hone His Talents

Know your toddler’s interests. Does he love playing the piano? Being in the water? Doing arts and crafts? Then enroll him in a piano, swimming or art class. If your toddler is around children who share the same interests, he will feel more at ease, making it easier for him to mingle with other people.

Practice

Practice at home. Maybe his teddy is in the park and teddy sees children playing tag, he wants to join but is scared to approach them. Ask your little one what he should do and make suggestions as well. Role playing is a great way for toddlers to learn things, especially people skills.

Be Compassionate

Ask your toddler why he is anxious. Is it because he is afraid the other children will tease him or will not like him? Share your own childhood stories. Tell him about the time when you went to a birthday party with your mom and how scared you were because you do not know everyone in the party. Tell him what you did and how you made friends with the other kids in the party. Assure him that his feeling is normal and that even the outgoing child in the park gets shy. This will make him understand that everything is okay, he is fine and he can overcome his shyness.

Compliment

Give praise each time your toddler makes an attempt to reach out. He has to know you appreciate his efforts. If you catch him waving at a child when he is about to leave the playground, say “That is a good wave. You made the child smile.”

Try not to worry too much. Most often, a toddler’s shyness is just a phase or his way of adjusting to the things and the people around him. Just relax, be patient and focus on helping him feel comfortable with himself, and in no time, your toddler can face the world confidently.

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