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Shy kids

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Many young children are shy.

They gradually get more confidence with other people as they grow older.

Shyness is when children are worried in social situations and don't easily join in.

Most kids are shy in some situations that are new to them. It can be painful if it continues into adolescence and beyond preventing them from participating fully in most social settings.

There is a lot you can do to help shy children to overcome their shyness. Here are some ideas to help:

1. Set a good example. Children will feel safer if you are friendly and they'll see how to talk and act around others.

2. Don't label your child as shy. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3. Avoid answering for your children or aplogising for them if they don't answer when spoken to. This draws attention to their behaviour.

4. Give kids plenty of opportunities to meet others in all sorts of situations. It maybe during a ballet class or during a quiet time in the park that they feel confident enough to interact with others.

5. Role play some of the skills needed to meet new people. Saying your name, asking a child to play with you and divulging a little about yourself are examples of social skills you can help kids acquire.

6. Take new situations at your child's pace. Some children are simply slow to warm up to new situations and are very cautious around new people.

7. Have one child at a time at your home so they can form friendships one person at a time. Arrange something for the children to do to remove the pressure from your child.

8. Try to arrange for your child to have special helping jobs at school. Being a buddy of a younger child can help build their confidence around others.

Children who ar shy often need individual attention and an opportunity to shine in ways that they feel safe and secure.

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